Can you tell I am a bit obsessed with the beautiful stones and geodes that nature makes?! Here I’m making my own version; but with Polymer clay. It’s endless possibilities have taken me in my usual unconventional direction. Such fun to make as no perfection is needed to create these Pretty Polymer Geode Pendants!
Step 1: The Secret Method:
The Amazing Polymer Clay:
Whilst strolling around a craft shop and pinterest I came upon ‘Translucent Clay’! Wo, that opened a whole lot of possibilities in that ‘artist-brain’ of mine. You know I love the clear beauty of resin with my pendants. This Premo brand Polymer clay has 2 colours of a translucent clay that with the right treatment will allow some perfect way to add sparkle and detail.
My line up of Premo clay (left to right):
- Black (5042)
- Graphite (5120)
- Silver (5129)
- White (5001)
- pearl (5101)
- Translucent (5310)
- White translucent (5527)
I am replicating something from nature so I have chosen the more neutral palette of colours, but feel free to experiment. Just be aware that if the colours are too strong it will not look as real. Keeping to colours that relate on the colour wheel also works well.
I’ll admit that polymer clay has not always been my love since it typically looked so ‘plasticy’, probably since most use such a saturated bunch of colours. I like a challenge so I’m making my own rules… as usual.
Love the Pasta Machine:
Haha, I think my mother-in-law would flip! I now use the pasta machine to roll clay! Yes, it’s wonderful for that! Soften some of the translucent clay by working it in your warm hands until it will run through the machine at the thickest setting. No special tools are needed for simple working with polymer clay you can just use things that you already have; knives, knitting needles, rolling pin, nails, straws, wire, rocks, etc instead of buying expensive tools.
Silver leafing is amazing with translucent clay. To embed some metallics use some silver or gold leaf and place over the rolled clay, as much or as little preferred. Once you roll it again slightly thinner it will crackle and spread. How lovely! And if you repeat with many layers it will shine through the translucent clay. Go crazy or be refined, there really is no wrong with this project.
Step 2: Making the 'Shapes':
The Geode Layers:
The basic principle of this project is to make a multitude of layers of varying shades/colours. Some can be thicker, some thinner, repeated layers… and so on.
In my mind I wanted the translucent layers with the metallic embedded in the centre and working outwards to darker colours, some can be mixed as well. Take reference from real geodes. The ‘more the better’ to look genuine. Yes, they are wrinkled since that will add some waves to the lines. (skip ahead if you must see)
The Geode Core:
The core piece is really just a ‘place-holder’. It will allow the layers to be wrapped around it and formed but I am not planning on keeping it. So I used what ever bulk clay I had to make a bumpy ‘log’. I have some glass rocks with great texture and use them to texturize the edges.
Add all the layers around the ‘log’ making sure they are well attached without any air bubbles. Don’t be concerned that it needs to be a perfect circle as it should be quite an irregular shape. Texturize the outside with rocks or tooth picks or what ever you can find. Nature is not perfect so no need to be.
The Best Part:
If you were a bit confused it will now seem to all make sense! See the great layers when you cut the clay?! Use a clay slicer/cutter to get some nice slices. If the clay has gotten too soft from the working it can be chilled a bit before cutting so it will not lose its shape and texture. Choose a thickness relative to what you are making. I am making pretty large statement pendants so I have cut them about 3/16″ or about 4 millimetres.
Step 3: Open Them Up:
If they are not quite flat they can be rolled under some parchment paper or pressed under a smooth tile. Notice the unique layers and how it is much more interesting than just a circle. The more the better! The leafing will show through the translucent clay as well.
A Hollow Geode:
The centre log was a place-holder so it will be cut away as geodes have a hollow core. However if you want to create an agate slice then you can incorporate layers in the middle as well… so many options. You can manipulate the shapes at this point and add texture on the interior and exterior edges.
If you would like some holes use a straw to pierce them. Bake according to the instructions. Be careful to not over-bake the clay. Any excess clay can be wrapped around some ‘balls’ to create some great beads as well. The scraps work great if they are run through the pasta machine again. There is a special way to finish these like no other polymer project!
Step 4: Bit of Bling:
Hopefully you have finished making the geode shapes as it’s time to put them over the top! This is not your ordinary way of working with polymer so the results are unlike any other; there’s a little magic in each middle. I’ll let you in on the secrets of Making these Polymer Geodes Sparkle.
I will admit I am not a fan of glitter. I do not want to be a glue-gun-glitter-crafter type of artist. But let’s just use something that will give some reflective qualities. So let’s just call it geode dust… Instead of glue use some acrylic medium or varnish to wet the inside of the hollow only. Then sprinkle on the ‘geode dust’ Choose which kind/colour you like or even use a crystal dust. Let them throughly dry and then brush away any excess. It should only be attached in the inside thickness.
Step 5: Clearly Magical:
Here is what makes these geodes so unique. Ever since working with resin I love the crystal clear sparkle for all types of things and it works perfectly here.
Since these are stone like slices are flat it works well just to use some tape as a barrier to prevent leaking of the resin. Make sure it’s well adhered on the bottom edges.
The Answer is Clear:
Mix some clear resin as per instructions. Mix thoroughly but try not to ‘whip’ air into the mix. I have used Alumilite in the past however it does slightly yellow over the years. As a way to embrace this colour shift add some ‘geode dust’ or some colour.
Making sure that the surface is level slowly fill the centres of your geodes. A tiny swirl of acrylic paint mixed into the resin will add more unique details. Flecks of ‘geode dust’ or silver/gold leaf adds another dimension. As the resin starts to thicken the swirls will stay put much easier.
Any surface air bubbles can be bursted by blowing at them with a straw or by using a quick pass with a mini-torch or lighter.
There will be some more finishing so the resin fill should reach the surface and possibly ‘dome’ slightly. Let it set completely and resist the urge of touching to check… Don’t ask me how I know that.
Step 6: Shine On
My goal for these Polymer Geodes is to make super smooth flat slices so a good wet sanding after curing will take out any small imperfections. Grits of 220 – 400 work well. Don’t worry about the outer edges as they should look rustic and rough.
Make it Shine:
With your imagination you may even embed some small details like shapes. See the tiny gold leaf heart in this one.
As a way of finishing that is less laborious than the many stages of sanding (as my Rustic Resin)I have used a clear finish that is water-based. To eliminate any brush marks and assure a super smooth finish make sure to puddle the varnish. It will need to dry slowly but it will self level quite nicely. Once dried to a high gloss you will now see into the ‘magical middle’ of your geode.
Step 7: The Final Finish:
To finish them as pendants and other jewelry you may drill them and insert eye pins or make some… endless possibilities. Leather lacing, chain or cording works well. Make some marbled beads to couple up perfectly with these. These statement piece pendants are great on long tunic tops.
The subtle qualities of the translucent clay, layers of colours and the crystal clear centre will make for a gem of no other. Well done!
I have a big heart… a stone one! Haha. I’m sure you can too.
Alright, while you are at it they seem to multiply! No two are alike! Check my store in case I have some to spare. My little way of spreading the sparkle joy!
I am a big fan of making Geodes of all types; for tutorials check my site
Runner Up in the