Sunday, June 3, 2012

Crystal Clay

Soooo I caved in and sampled a new mixed media trend in jewellery-making.

Crystal Clay! Also known as Apoxie clay, or Epoxy clay, or DeCore Clay, depending on the brand. I tried to get the best deal. For example, a pack of DeCore Clay will give you 20g of clay for $10. A pack of Crystal Clay which is $15, will give you 50g, AND gloves, a beeswax crystal applicator, and a little pile of tiny swarovski crystals.

Alas, I was so excited to try the clay that I did not take in-progress photos (you only have a working time of 1 hour with this clay before it hardens). But when my next order of clay comes in next week, I will post a tutorial.

But basically, you get the coloured clay and a white-coloured hardener, and you mix them both together until the colour is even. Then you press the clay into a "bezel" (a pendant with a hollow in it to hold the clay), then press crystals into the bezel. The piece will cure in 12 - 24 hours and have a rock-hard finish. You can then glaze, varnish, paint, or drill it!

My first attempt was very basic and ended up like this:

As you can see, it's a very basic and boring design and I didn't space the crystals evenly.

 My second attempt worked out a bit better, and I got this pendant:

You will not believe how sparkly this is in person! Unbelievable.

I had some extra clay so I made this cute pendant for my little sister:

I actually didn't rub the surface with water prior to letting it cure. You can tell the difference!

Finally I made a matching set for the pendant:

All in all, I found Crystal Clay to be very fun! I still have a LOT of clay left in this colour to make projects, so the clay itself is not expensive and goes a long way. The real price is in the crystals.

I saw some glazed pieces at a craft show today, and I'm afraid it made the piece look overly shiny, in a plastic way, and tacky. If anyone out there has some better examples, throw me a line.

People have done some pretty amazing things with this clay, beyond the simple "stick crystals into clay" method. Like mixing in glitter, metal beads, painting it and stamping it. So hopefully my next examples will be a bit more creative. :)

Until next time!

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