Forming these beads involve three stages. Start with a nice round ball-basic enough. But then the most important stage is making a bicone bead shape using a flat smooth clear plate of some sort. The third and final step is to actually round off the bicone points. This step will result in developing lentil shaped beads used in creating bead bracelets and other handmade jewelry.
Whether you start with a solid color or something layered with lots of decorative colors or cane slices, roll the clay until you have a nice round ball; place the ball on the work surface. Grab the clear plate in both hands. Extend your first fingers to grasp the sides of the plate. These hand positions should help keep the plate level while you turn it. While holding the plate, rotate it in a circular motion, kind of like the motion when you hold a rap to apply wax to a car. Rotate either clockwise or counter wise – your choice. This action will magically and slowly create the bicone shape for you!
To acquire a spiral, you will need to rotate the bicone anywhere from 10-120 times. Start with extremely clean surfaces; the work surface and the plate. Too much polymer clay residue on those surfaces slows down the swirl’s formation. If your base surface is clear acrylic, lay downa printout of a large circle underneath it to help guide you.
Ensure the clay you use in the bead is consistent in firmness. If parts of the round bead vary in firmness, it will be very difficult to keep those rotations even and to form a good even bicone or lentil shape.
There are no rules about making a hole in your bead before or after you bake them. While it is typically easier to make a hole prior to baking, it is also easier to distort the nice round edges of the lentil shape. Try both to see which method you prefer. Generally if you want to the hole to be vertical so you can have a set of small lentils for bead bracelets.
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