Thursday, October 30, 2014

Puffy Hearts - a tutorial

Hearts are an ever popular motif in jewellery making, they come in all shapes, sizes and materials. I love to make hearts in clay, they’re really quick and simple, and there are no limits to how you can customise them to your own style.

Today, I’m going to share how I make my puffy hearts. They are great as they come, or as a base for a more detailed design. 

To start, you need some clay, I am using earthenware, but I think this would work equally well in polymer or other types. 

To get fairly uniform beads, I roll my clay in to a sausage roughly 20mm thick. Try and get it even, then cut it in to equal slices. 

Roll each slice in to a ball.

Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch one side of the ball into a point. I find this is easier if you start to pinch near to the centre of the ball and slowly and gently work outwards to form a point. This stops the clay from folding over itself and you having to smooth and clean up, and also makes the point more even.

You should now have a teardrop shape. Squeeze gently on either side of the round part of the bead to flatten it slightly.

Take a chisel tip rubber tool and cut the clay in the centre of the rounded part of the bead, rolling the tool in the clay round towards the point.

Repeat on the opposite side to create a heart shape.

Gently pinch around the two top parts of the bead to make them rounder and finish the puffy heart shape.

Pierce with a skewer to create your hole. This can be done form side to side, or top to bottom. If you decide to work from top to bottom, start your hole from the point guiding the skewer between the centre at the top. This stops the clay from splitting open and leaving a sharp edge when fired or baked.

Finish in whatever style you wish, glaze them, colour them with paint and inks. Anything you can imagine to make them your own!

Thanks for reading!



We would love to hear what you have to say, please leave a comment.