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One of the keenest pleasures in life is that of conceiving an idea for a unique creation and then giving shape to the design and bringing it to life. The idea of giving life and reality to an idea that you yourself conceive is something everyone strives for when they want to use their creativity. Many people want to give a free reign to their creativity by designing and making jewellery using FIMO polymer clay, but are not sure how to go about the process necessary to set their creative muse free. Hopefully, the following guide of step by step instructions can help you begin this process.

The Beginning
To begin you need to decide what type of jewellery you want to make; earrings, rings, necklaces or bracelets, this helps you decide the shape, style and aesthetics of your pieces. The next step is to decide which colours you want to utilise, keep in mind that you can mix colours to achieve the effects you desire, placing a thin layer of one colour over another or simply ‘swirling’ the colours can create a beautiful spiral effect. You will want to make certain that you have acquired the proper tools for the job, such as knives, shaping tools and the spatulas needed.

Getting to Work
It’s important to decide which shapes you want to use, once you have chosen and mixed your Clay accordingly to achieve the colours you want then you will need to cut the shapes accordingly. Don’t forget that once you have cut your shapes you need to use either a toothpick or other appropriate tool to make a hole in the middle where the bead will be strung once its finished, keep the hole in the centre of the shape so that it does not break from too much stress or pressure in one direction or the other.

Firing Your Beads
Now it’s time to bake your piece, most clays recommend a temperature of 350 degrees but some may require higher or lower, so consult the guide included with your clay. One of the best ways to fire these beads is to use some sort of container that will allow you to place the beads on a skewer to insert them so the beads are fully exposed. At this point you can either coat your beads with a glaze to give them a shiny appearance before placing them in the oven or you can glaze them after they come out, this is according to your personal tastes. Some people prefer to glaze before and allow it to bake as the beads fire – this does tend to give it a more lustrous look, whereas if you glaze the beads after they fire you can run the risk of the glazing having streaks and even fingerprints.

Your Finished Product
Once you have let your polymer clay beads finish baking and cooling it’s time to remove the skewers if you chose to fire the beads fully exposed. Simply twirl the skewer gently to free it from the bead and slide the bead off the skewer. Now that you have your beads free you can give life to your design and enjoy putting your handmade jewellery, co-ordinating complimentary colours of different beads to go together and perhaps different shapes and sizes to make a more interesting piece.

Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of www.cooksongold.com. Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of supplies from over 10,000 products including fimo polymer clay, gold and silver wire, jewellery findings, tools, precious metal clay and art clay silver – gold, silver, platinum and palladium plus technical information for jewellers, jobbers, designer, craftsmen, artisans and students.

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