Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bead Decoration

I've been making mini bisque stamps to decorate my ceramic beads with this week. I already have a large collection of textures and moulds that I use with metal clay but they tend to be on the large size or in a form that doesn't translate particularly well to small beads. I've been doing simple decorations like the dots and texture in the set above just by using my clay working tools to impress the designs but, I do like to do something more interesting sometimes so I've been accumulating bits and pieces that I think might create good original patterns.

On the bisque beads below I didn't use a stamp but simply pressed the edge of a tiny Ammonite into the clay in a random fashion which as well as leaving and imprint gives the bead a lovely nuggety shape.

 Some of my most popular beads are little rounds and squares with a tiny star impression which is made with one of those tiny stud earrings that they use to pierce your ears which I pushed into the end of a bamboo skewer to make it easier to use.

 I have as many odd earrings as I do socks so it's always worth having a look to see if there's anything with an interesting texture...earrings of course not socks!

Buttons of course are always a good source of material and I'm always on the lookout for something interesting. This piece was made by impressing a button with a butterfly motif into the clay...


But making stamps from the buttons means you can keep the design in the original relief style and you get two design options from each button.

As with the earrings, old bits of jewellery  can produce interesting designs too...I'm keen to see how the tiny bee I've taken from this pewter brooch translates to clay...

And the same with this stamp from an old resin brooch that belonged to my mum.

And then there are just decorative objects that catch my eye like this little scent bottle...

Or a spiral shell bead...

Or something as mundane as a safety pin that you can use to make an abstract design...

I have a huge pot of things to try out in this way and then of course there are always free hand designs to try...plenty to keep me out of trouble then!

The Gossiping Goddess


  1. Thanks for showing how to make interesting designs.

  2. Isn't it amazing how these simple objects at our fingertips can take on a new life? Love your finds and how their impressions will live on forever in your beautiful beads.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Lesley, when I first started working with metal clay, I almost succumbed to addiction...........addiction of finding texture in everyday items. I can see where this search for bead textures could lead me. I'm not saying you have an addiction of course, LOL, I am speaking strictly of my own personal experience. It is interesting how many common household items can be used for textures. And FUN!

  4. Thanks so much for this post…takes some of the intimidation off working with clays, PMC, or polymer clay.

  5. Lesley, I particularly enjoyed your post, as I've been playing with polymer clay lately. Of course I knew about the use of buttons, but I'd never considered looking through my old jewelry. A brilliant suggestion. My most recent find was a pretty sterling silver lid to an art nouveau toiletry bottle that belonged to my grandmother. I think it will be so pretty in PC.

  6. Great post, I look at practically everything now as a possibility! Thanks for sharing!

  7. You've got some really great suggestions and ideas. I can't wait to see some of your playtime results. Have fun!


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