Cabochon Setting and Fusible Film with Friendly Plastic
Fusible Film and Friendly Plastic are a combination made in heaven as far as I am concerned. Both change with the application of heat, one with a colour change, the other with a state change. Fusible Film changes colour depending on the background and how much you heat it. Friendly Plastic becomes malleable when it reaches 60 – 70 deg C. Put the two together and you get something more than the sum of the two things. Fusible Film stabilises Friendly Plastic making it easier to handle, and it adds great colour and shine to the reverse of the plastic.
This leafy lariat style necklace was made for my last Jewellery Maker TV show on the 1st October (see link at right) when I was given two lovely kits to work with.
Friendly Plastic and Fusible Film leafy Lariat
I used heart shaped cutters to make the leaves, and the Fusible Film made it easier to shape the warmed pieces without deforming them, making it a very useful thing to try when you are beginning to play with free forming Friendly Plastic.
The earrings below are ovals of Friendly Plastic lined with Fusible Film, and curled round a Friller Tool or you can use any vaguely cone shaped tool. Each earring is made up of two curled ovals, and they are fused together using the flame from a hand held gas lighter for barbecues. I was introduced to this tool by Barbara Lees and Karen Schmidt in Denmark, and it is extremely handy for rapidly “spot welding” two pieces of Friendly Plastic together.
Another take on using Fusible Film with Friendly Plastic is this very contemporary pendant made with ripples of Fusible Film backed Friendly Plastic embedded into a single piece of plastic (also backed with film). The bail is a tubular bead made using my Tubead kit.
The second kit included Laser Mesh and some very scrumptious coloured quartz and loads of nuggets as well. After doing a conventional Ooooze with the Laser Mesh using a large oval cutter, I made each half of the pendant more substantial by sandwiching a layer of scrap Friendly Plastic between the front and the back, and then foiling the edges to conceal it and finish off each shape. The little dimples in the Ooozed Friendly Plastic were achieved by pressing in the tip of a kebab stick. It is reminiscent of an octopus’s tentacles in texture.
Scrummy coloured quartz wired into a circle, the centre of which was filled with a ball of Friendly Plastic. Really simple to do, but very effective and makes a lovely little pendant.
You can tell I really liked this quartz! Here are some funky little earrings that could hardly be simpler. Two triangles of Friendly Plastic that have their edges foiled sandwich a the twisted wire that connects the three beads.
To my delight I was given something different to work with this time – some Tim Holtz metal frames. These were easy to patinate using Swellegant metal paint and patina, but there are other alternatives out there, and it is not an essential thing to do, you can just apply Gleams if you don’t want the hassle of paint etc.
I gently curved the frame using some round nosed pliers to make it a more suitable shape for a wrist. The centre of the frame is filled with layered Friendly Plastic which was gently Ooozed into the space in the frame. It had to be glued in place when cold, and I covered the back with some more Friendly Plastic. I used Hypo Cement for this, but Glass Metal and More would work really well too.
This pendant was very straightforward as well. The centre piece is two bits of Friendly Plastic with their joining edges finished with Transfer Foil. I heated it on the griddle (or you can use the Melting Pot or Efcolor stove) until it was soft, then swirled the colours together across the join, heating again on the griddle until the swirls lie flat again. If you do this on aluminium foil it makes it easy to Oooze the piece into the centre of the frame. Friendly Plastic forms the beads on the end of the dangly bits and fills the holes on the sides of the frame.
The gemstones in this kit were so beguiling that I had to use as many as I could. The colours made me think of India and I wanted to fuse this thought with a stunning braid style narrow “scarf” / lariat that Lady Mary was wearing in the first episode of the new series of Downton Abbey. Sari Silk seemed like the way to go, and it meant that I had an excuse to get out my sewing machine and do some free machining all over my silk. hand sewing the gemstones on took a while as they have to go on both sides. I love the result and I think it is very wearable.
Cabochons featured again this month, and I had two agate cabs, both were lovely shapes and colours but neither had much pattern in them so I decided to add a fancy bezel to one, and something more akin to a girdle to the other! The girdle below is made up of four tiny triangles of Friendly Plastic that have been edged with transfer foils. These were heated in hot water and wrapped around the cabochon. The back plate was added after the front had been completed. It only needed a very simple beading wire multi strand necklace to set it off.
Twisting two colours of Friendly Plastic together gives a wonderful effect, and the resulting rope was easy to position around the cabochon. You just need to remember to slightly press in the edges to make sure the cabochon is caught in the bezel. The back is a little wiggle of Friendly Plastic that curls across the reverse of the cabochon, connecting to the twisted frame and thus holding the gemstone securely in place. I also made two twisted rope beads from Friendly Plastic to compliment the bezel.
The next JM show is not until the 17th November which seems ages away, but I had planned carefully so that I could go away on holiday and then still have time when I returned to prepare for the show. However, our holiday has had to be cancelled because my lovely husband broke his arm rather comprehensively by getting the wheel of his bike stuck in the new tram tracks on his way to work. He is not fit to fly, and we are both very fed up that we will now have to wait a whole year to reschedule this particular holiday. Rotten luck, but it does mean that I might just have a bit of time to do some other creative work, and actually write a post that does not involve my JM shows!