Introduction: Stamped Clay Jewelry Elements

While I love to use stamps in a lot of my artwork, I think I have the most fun stamping clay. I especially like to make beads and focal pieces for my OOAK jewelry. You can use any kind of durable clay or moldable epoxy, though I will be demonstrating with kiln-fired porcelain.

Step 1: You Will Need:

Clay & whatever supplies you need for curing/firing the clay
Rubber stamps - objects, words, textures
¼ inch wooden slats
Rolling Pin
Xacto  Knife
Drinking straw
Findings for the jewelry you want to make

Step 2: Rolling & Stamping

On a surface the clay won’t stick to (I like to use canvas), set your wooden slats parallel to each other about 3-6 inches apart. Then roll out a ball of clay between the wooden slats with the rolling pin. This will give you a nice clay slab 1/4 inch thick.

Make impressions in the slab with your rubber stamps. Have fun!! Leave room between the stampings so you can cut around them later if you want. If the stamps stick, you can dust them lightly with baby powder.

Cut out shapes. Using cookie cutters, clay cutters or a knife, cut out the stamped clay into the shapes you want. Make holes to attach jewelry findings. A good tool for this is a drinking straw. Remember, all clay shrinks! Make sure you take shrinkage into account when you make holes for jewelry wire and jump rings. I've learned to err on the side of caution and make holes extra large. I'm never sorry. 

Smooth edges with your finger or a damp sponge.

(I always clean my stamps with water, so they're ready for the next project. I use them interchangeably for stamping clay and paper.) 

Step 3: After You Cure/Fire/Bake Your Clay Elements

Color them!

This is what makes stamping clay so great! The stamping texture makes an awesome terrain for holding paint in the crevasses and wiping off the high parts for excellent highlights or brushing on a second color.

When glazing, it's easiest to paint all your pieces at once with one color at a time. Paint a a solid layer of glaze using the number of coats directed on the glaze bottle. When all the glaze is dry, take a damp sponge and start wiping away the top layer of color. Stop when you like the effect. Leave as much glaze as you like. If you want to leave the top layer white/pale, this will give you that effect. If you want to add a second color, brush it on the raised parts only. If you’re using under glaze, add a coat of clear before firing. Fire according to directions.

Step 4: Finish Your Pieces

Add jump rings, cords, ear wires etc. to make your own OOAK jewelry. Above, I added chain maille to my hope and dream focals to make bracelets.

Wear them!

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Bio: Geeky artist with too many pets. Details & blog at: rhondachasedesign.com
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