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Friday, June 27, 2008

A Place for my stuff

Don't know if you are familiar with George Carlin's stand up routine called "A place for my stuff" or not, but if not you should be, it's very funny. He was a gifted and talented comic genius in my opinion, and he will be missed.
I just got some new storage cabinets for my studio, which is what made me think of the routine mentioned above. I love them and it gives me more room for my stuff! It also then makes you start to reorganize and clean things up. Which is always a good thing. When you clean up your environment, you also clear out the extra clutter in your brain. It's great! I had mentioned in a previous post about how I had managed to work myself right off of my desk and how I had moved over to my partners desk. Well after cleaning things up and getting more storage space, I am now back to my desk, and it is all clean and has some open space on it. Sometimes it's good to take a break and just get things together. Regroup and then you can come back refreshed and ready to try some new things. I spent the whole day yesterday just reorganizing and cleaning, and thanks to some assistance from my sister, I finished. So I am now ready to go tackle some new things that have been rolling around in my head. When I have some finished work to show you, I will post pistures. Thanks for stopping by, talk later.......

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I have posted Part 2 of my Tutorial here on my blog. Part One is at the PCAGOE website or newsletter. But I will be posting it here soon as well. I will be adding more tutorials in the near future, so stay tuned.

Tutorial: Painted Hollow Beads Tutorial is at:

My Other Painted Hollow Bead Tutorial – Part 2
By Sally Sotelo

  • Materials Needed:
    Black Premo clay (one small package).
    Acrylic Roller or brayer.
  • Stamp of your choice or texture sheet.
  • Acrylic Paint (I like to use metallics and paint that comes in a tube).
    Pasta Machine or some way to flatten out clay.
    Kemper cutters or circular cutters of some kind.
    Aluminum painting palette with 10 or 6 indentations (I use a few of both types).
    Spray bottle of water.
    Scrap clay (how much depends on whether you choose to do the first step or not.)
    Optional: Gloves to avoid fingerprints.

{This first step is not mandatory. It really depends on how many beads you want to cook at one time, or how many paint palette trays you have available. Doing this will just increase the amount of bead forms, so that you can cook more of them at one time. It will require quite a bit of scrap clay. I've personally made a lot of them. So what you need to do is, condition some scrap clay. Run it through your PM at the thickest setting. Using a 1 and ¼ inch round cutter, cut 2 circles from the scrap clay sheet. Roll into a ball and place it into one of the impressions of the paint palette. Now press down on the ball flattening it on top and filling the impression completely. Fill each impression in the palette with the scrap clay. Then place in your pre-heated oven and cook for 45 mins – 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool, then pop them out. You will now have 10 perfectly formed, domed shaped, bead forms to place your cut out beads on later.

See photos #1 & 2 below.}

First condition your clay as usual. Roll out a slab of clay on the thickest setting of your pasta machine. Cut into a size that will fit your stamp or texture sheet. Spray your stamp with a few shots of water and lay your sheet of clay on top of it. Using your brayer or acrylic roller, roll your clay onto the stamp. Pressing hard, and do this in one pass only. Do NOT roll back and forth over the clay. Peel your stamp from your clay, clean it and put stamp away.
I like to use acrylic paint that comes in a tube because it tends to be thicker and therefore easier to apply to your clay. See photo #3 below of 3 different types of acrylic paint that I like to use (all purchased at my local craft store). Place a glob of paint on the end of your index finger and spread in down your finger a little bit. You should have a nice even coat of paint on the end of your finger. Too much, and the paint will go into the impressions of the stamped image, and if you apply too little you won't get good coverage. (See photo #4 below) Then keeping your finger as straight as possible you will start tapping your finger onto the pattern that you have impressed into your clay. It should only go onto the higher spots of the pattern. Cover the whole sheet with the paint, re-applying paint to your finger as necessary. I usually apply one coat, then I wait for it to dry completely, then I apply a second coat. (See photo #5 below). You can use 2 or 3 different colors if you like, depending on the look that you want to achieve. Be creative try different things, colors, stamps etc. Set the sheet(s) aside to dry completely. This should only take about 20 – 30 minutes.

Okay, here is where you need to decide if you want to have a textured bead, or a smooth bead. If you want to make a textured bead, then you will NOT do this next step of flattening out your clay. So you can go to the next step. If you want a smooth bead then you need to do this next step of flattening out your sheet of clay. So, once the paint is dry, lay a piece of wax paper over your sheet, then take your acrylic roller and with medium pressure flatten out the pattern on your sheet of clay. Try to roll in all directions, so that the sheet doesn't get distorted. You will need to add a sheet of scrap clay rolled out to about the fourth thickest setting on your PM to the back of the flattened sheets. This is to make sure that your beads are thick enough when you go to string them. Otherwise they won't hold up, and the Beadalon or stringing medium will tend to split them apart where you have glued them. See photo below of cut circles from textured sheet that was NOT flattened or smoothed out.

NEXT STEP: Now you will take your circle cutters and start cutting out your bead shapes. IDEA: If you make 2 identical sheets of clay, you can try cutting out the same parts of the designs, so that you have an identical design on both sides of your bead. Or stamp the same design, but use 2 different colors of paint on each sheet, then you can have a two-toned bead. Use your imagination!
Okay now there are 2 ways of doing the next step or you can do both. I do both. After all of your circles have been cut from your sheets, take your aluminum paint palette and turn it over, so that it is upside down. Start placing your patterned circles over each dome shape of the palette. Press down using light pressure around the bottom, so that your circle really hugs the dome shape of the palette. If you made the domed shaped forms from the scrap clay that was discussed at the top of the tutorial, then get those out now. Start laying your cut circles over the top of each dome. Taking the dome in your hand, press down lightly around the bottom of each circle, so that it is hugging the dome shaped form. It won't become attached to the form, don't worry. You may want to wear gloves during this step to avoid fingerprints. Now place your palettes and/or your forms on your baking tile and place them in your pre-heated oven and cook for the recommended time. I usually cook them for 25-30 minutes. (See photos below)

After you have removed them from the oven, place the beads that are on the paint palettes aside to cool completely. Once they have cooled, the beads should just pop right off. If you are using the scrap clay, dome-shaped forms, here is what I do to make sure that your circles/beads haven't attached themselves to your forms. Turn on some cool running water in your sink. Now while they are still warm, pick one up and immediately place it under the cool running water, and carefully run your finger just around the inside lip of your bead. It should pop right off of the form. Do this to all of your remaining beads. Once they are cool, dry them off and put the forms away for later use. I have baked my forms multiple times before they started to degrade and I needed to make more.
Okay now you are going to need to get out your finger protectors and your drywall screen. Please see photos below.

But before you do that, I want you to get out your dremel or the handy little sanding tool that I discussed on my blog last week. For that info, go to my earlier blog post about a handy little tool to have. You are going to want to attach some type of flat sanding element to the end of your tool. You will also probably want to wear some type of mask to eliminate breathing in the polymer dust and even some safety glasses. (The safety glasses are always good for those times when your dremel or tool grabs a hold of your bead and sends it flying either across the room or right into your eye.) Now holding onto your bead, just run the flat sanding element along the bottom of your dome shaped bead. This is to eliminate that excess clay without having to sand forever using the drywall screen. Please see photos below. Now be careful that you don't sand off too much! With a little practice, you will get the hang of it.

The bead on the left has been sanded, the one on the right has not. This is made more obvious when you hold them together.

Properly sanded beads, with seam hardly noticible. Kato PolyGlue, push drill and sanded beads

Now, all that you should have to do is, run your bead over your drywall screen a few times, to make sure that you have a smooth and flush surface. Glue them together, drill your holes, add a protective finish, (I use Flecto Varathane, and place back into the oven at 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes to set) and start to string them up! There is no further sanding required. In fact, you can't sand these beads, because if you did, you would just sand the paint right off! Please see photos below for examples of both kinds of beads. The painted and textured beads, and the painted beads that were rolled out smooth. Both look very nice, try making some of each! Good luck, and if you have any questions, or if I didn't explain something clearly enough, please leave a

comment, or contact me via e-mail at

Textured Bead Set on left and stamped sheet that was smoothed/flattened on the right.

Mosiac photo arrangement of both types of painted beads

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More PMC Silver

Here's another PMC Silver necklace that I put together the other night. I added sterling silver beads, glass beads etc. I like the way that it came out I think. I haven't listed this one in my etsy store yet (, as I think it might be a gift for a friend of mine. We'll see. Having a blast playing with the silver clay, but then I already mentioned that, didn't I? I've also got 2 or 3 other polymer projects in the works as well. I have officially succeeded in working myself off of my workspace desk, and have moved over to my partners desk! But then she's never here at her desk anymore anyway, which is a good thing, because I need the room! Her desk was just this big CLEAN and EMPTY space that was calling to me, so I answered. She'll never know, and it doesn't seem that she really needs the space anymore anyway. I guess she lost interest, which is really working out good for me right now. Now on the other hand, perhaps I need to start learning how to focus on one project at a time until it's completed......hhmmmmm, NAH, probably never going to happen. There are just too many things that I want to try and do and make, so I've got 2 or 3 or 4 of them in the works all at the same time. It's just the way that I work I guess. Anyway, I'll be back later with pics, thanks for stopping by....... it was so nice having this chat with you!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Some good changes!

Been working on some changes to this blog lately. Well honestly, I haven't been working on it, but a very helpful friend of mine has. Stormy, from Stormy Designs (see a link to her blog in the right hand side column). She was so great in helping me to set up this new looking blog that you are looking at now! I really would have had no idea of how to go about it, and it would have taken me hours of playing around with it, before I'd have figured it out, so I am so very grateful to her for doing this for me! Thanks Stormy!! I think that I also know how to get my tutorial posted here on the blog, so I'll be working on that in the next few days as well. There will be different tabs near the top that you can click on, to go to the tutorials, etc. So look for that within the next week! As far as what I've been working on lately, well, I've been playing around a bit more with the PMC Silver clay, also known as, Art Clay Silver. This stuff is magical, and I just love it! The more I play around with it, the more I learn. I'm sure that I've only scratched the surface, but I'm learning and having a blast in the process! I made the pendant that you see in the photo, then used some liver of sulpher on it to give it a nice patina, and a somewhat aged look. Then I strung it with some real pretty sterling beads, glass beads, and Swarovski crystal pearls. I like it, and I hope someone else will too. I've just listed it on my etsy shop (, just in case anyone is interested! (wink, wink). Otherwise, I've got some clay in the oven, so I gotta go... thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Designer of the Week!!

I was reading my favorite blogs last night and as I was reading the Art Bead Scene blog, I scrolled down and saw a picture of my Crazy Green Necklace!! I was so surprised! I guess I had won the designer of the week challenge!! How cool is that? Very cool if you ask me. They have a monthly theme, and last month's theme was Earth Goddess or Mother Earth or something like that, and I had completely forgotten about the fact that I had submitted a picture of my necklace. Anyway, it was very exciting for me, and they had some really nice things to say about the pendant as well. So a big thank you to the ladies over at the Art Bead Scene blog!! If you'd like to check it out, please do, here's the link. Just scroll down the page a bit, and you'll see it. Check out their challenge for this month and submit an entry. Be back later and thanks for stopping in!