Today was a work at home day. I have a busy week ahead of me, with several evening appointments and lots of daytime things to do, so I thought I'd take advantage of the one "free" day and get claying. On Sunday, I had prepared some sheets of clay with metal leaf and had to use it within a few days as it gets a bit "brittle" and breaks in the most inopportune spots if it isn't used quickly.
Originally, I had intended to use the sheets for books, but I've done several blue books so opted to do simple shaped beads instead. For once, I actually measured the size of the bead cores, and tried to make the beads for the necklace graduate. Well it is nearly the end of the school year, so why not! I made a very simple focal bead for the necklace, and even baked the beads in ascending order of size. For the bracelets, I decided on uniform size as I wasn't sure what kinds of spacers to use. I ended up making blue donuts for spacers for one bracelet along with some blue swarovskis. For the other, I used more spacers and one less bead.
Instead of poring over the sink to wet sand all the beads, I put them in the rock tumbler with sandpaper and let the machine do the work. I find that if I hold the beads in my fingers to sand them, my hand gets quite sore, and I don't want to run the risk of developing a repetitive motion injury. So, even though it might not do as fine a job of repeat sandings at progressively finer grits, putting the beads in the tumbler for several hours does not a bad job. Of course I could leave it running for a few days but who can wait that long! The beads were quite smooth and after the tumbling, I buffed them to a satiny finish.
I'm not much of a jewellery designer, but I am hoping this necklace and one of the bracelets will become part of someone's collection this Friday. If the colours aren't right, I can always start with some other coloured metal leaf next weekend, and hopefully those will be more suitable..and I can put THESE in my own drawer to wear.