Friendly Plastic and Cloud Clay With Children in Mind
Here are some images of the jewellery I made for the last Jewellery Maker Show on May 28th 2014, much of which was made with children in mind. Things you could do with or for children of different ages. I used Friendly Plastic to make the items below, along with Sari Silk (Craftynotions) and some rather good braided leather cord from JM.
This is a close up of the more sophisticated bracelet made of Sari Silk caught together with wire overlaid with Friendly Plastic. The little flowers in the middle were made using the friller tool from JM on a strip of foil edged Friendly Plastic to makeit curl and curve. The centres are headpins covered with Friendly Plastic, but could just as easily be beads or Jewel Enamels. I suggest that this is something that much older children or adults should try rather than young ones.
JM photographed this for me, but sadly it is not shown the way I would have preferred. Having said that, you can see the lightly stitched Sari Silk draping through the wire bound (with Friendly Plastic overlays) ring, finishing off with Friendly Plastic beads on the end of each ribbon of silk.
The combination of textiles and Friendly Plastic is one I love to explore, and this Sari Silk necklace has Friendly Plastic wrapping around it not only to be decorative, but also to give structure.
This bracelet is a type of Friendship bracelet that kids are quite able to make. 3 pieces of Friendly Plastic are joined together by touching them in hot water. Soften the plastic in hot water and then stamp into it using a texture mat. Add Gleams, then trim and roll around some cord.Apply transfer foil to the back of some Friendly Plastic and cut into 1cm pieces. heat each one in hot water and roughly twist around some cord. Chill in cold water to harden before doing the next one. Add cylinder beads of Friendly Plastic by rolling neat strips of warm FP around the cord.
This is a really easy articulated bracelet. Foil the reverse of your Friendly Plastic. Heat and texture it, adding Gleams to highlight the texture, cut into strips and foil the edges using Transfer Foil. Roll the ends around a knitting needle or something big enough to allow the cord to pass through the resultant hole. Varnish and thread onto the cord. I said it was simple, and you could have lots of fun with the textures and the foil colours.
The same idea was used to make this necklace, and it has a vaguely Egyptian feel to it.
Cloud Clay is marketed for use with Children, so it was great fun to take this easy modelling medium and make things that were much more sophisticated than the packaging suggested! Just by mixing a 3 colours all the tones below were possible, and many more besides. This means that it is a great way of teaching children about colour theory in a very hands on and practical way.
Pencil toppers made from Cloud Clay
Even very small children can make the beads for this bracelet. These nuggets are little pieces of Cloud Clay squished in the palm of the hand at the base of the fingers. They make lovely irregular beads, and work well threaded onto elastic cord for a childs bracelet.
For children who can roll a round bead, this little necklace is very straight forward to do. The round beads are adorned with little punched out shapes of Cloud Clay. To make the punched out shapes, roll a piece of Cloud Clay very thinly, leave to dry then use paper cutters to punch out the shapes. A tiny amount of water on the back of each shape will help them stick to the soft clay.
For a more sophisticated version, this necklace and earring set is made of beading wire with coloured balls of Cloud Clay attached. I blended yellow and Blue with a a hint of Black to create the different shades of green.
Cloud Clay is really stretchy, and this makes it possible to dribble stretch and scribble it over a base of coloured clay. The cylinder bead in the necklace below and the earrings have all been decorated with this method. Whenever I demonstrate with Jenny Cleary on Jewellery Maker TV and we are using Cloud Clay, she LOVES to pull and stretch it, emphasising the stretchyness of it. Her enthusiasm for pulling it out into strings gave me the idea for this technique, I just need to come up with a suitable name for it now!
This could be a bracelet or a hair tie.
Whether you are 5 years old, or 90, Cloud Clay is really good fun to play with, and because it is so soft, it is easy on small fingers and arthritic ones too. You can make it as sophisticated as you like, and it is really really light weight. No firing is required and it is not in the least bit messy.
Remember to varnish your jewellery whether you use Friendly Plastic or Cloud Clay to protect the surface and prolong the life of your pieces. I use Duraclear varnish which comes in Matte, Satin and Gloss.
See you on Thursday 12th June for another Designer Inspiration show on Jewellery Maker tv