Welcome back! This is essentially Part II of yesterday’s “Turning Over a New Leaf” post. The skills and methods in this tutorial refer to the previous post, so please do check back there if you get lost. I’ve used the same Sculpey III polymer clay and mica powders as in the first leaf tutorial, but now we’ll be adding in some findings to make a finished product.
For these earrings, we’ll need polymer clay, mica powders, two jump rings, two ear wires, a needle tool, a non-porous surface, and a tissue blade or other lifter/scraper
For this project, I have chosen copper findings that go nicely with the mica powders that I want to use. These jump rings happen to be 6mm, but the important thing is to choose ones that are porportional to the size of the leaves that you want to make. As always, if you don’t have a needle tool, you could use a toothpick or tapestry needle. If you don’t have a tissue blade, any wide, flat lifting tool should do.
Have a small ceramic tile or other oven-proof work surface (I use a small, round craft mirror) and a needle tool ready. Choose your polymer clay (I use Sculpey III) and work it until it is pliable and conditioned. Now we are ready to begin.
Portion 1 — In the palm of your hand
Roll out two small balls of clay the same size
One at a time, roll each ball to a point at each end
Check to see that they are close in size and shape
Roll one end thinner (this will become the stem)
Portion 2 — Shaping and Detail
Flatten out the leaf shape with your finger, starting with the stem
Smooth out any fingerprints or other indentations
Using the needle tool, make a line down the center from the tip of the leaf to the top of the stem
Create the rest of the markings on both leaves, as explained in Turning Over a New Leaf
Portion 3 — Making it shiny
Dab a small amount of your lighter shade of mica powder onto your finger
Gently highlight the ridges and outer portions of each leaf
Using your darker color, fill in the middle of each leaf and coat the top of the stem
Blend the colors
Portion 4 — Findings
Gently unstick your leaves from the work surface
For each leaf, compare the size of your stem and your jump ring
If necessary, smooth and gently pinch the stem to be thin enough for the jump ring to fit over it
Lay the leaf flat-side-up in your hand with a jump ring around the stem
With the join of the jump ring showing, fold the stem over and gently press it into place
Using a needle tool, pull the jump ring up as high as it can go without cutting into the clay
Gently pinch and shape the tip of the leaf
Once both leaves have jump rings and are shaped how you want them, lay them flat-side-down on your baking surface
After baking and cooling to the manufacturer’s specifications, just add the ear wires, and you’re done!