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Pocahontas' Necklace

Making Pocahontas' necklace wasn't exactly straight forward. I had an idea in my mind but the first 3 or 4 attempts at making it after coming back from holiday and still recovering from food poisoning or some virus, failed miserably.

Without going into too much detail, it took me a few goes before I understood what I had to do to get the results I was looking for and that's the necklace you see in my tutorial.

You will need to make a template out of paper both to decide on the style and to get the size right to fit your neck or the person you are making the necklace for. You can use regular paper and measure the length of the necklace in front of a mirror. If you are not comfortable drawing the entire pendant, you can draw only half of it, flip the image over and trace it on the other side, so that you are left with a mirror image.

For the base or skeleton of the pendant I used Premo in White and I wrapped it with FIMO Effect in Mint.

For the leaf pattern I used rubber stamps designed for card making, but alternatively you can use a stencil after baking the pendant. Stencils were in my original plan, but I couldn't find any that were the right size or that matched the motif I was after. So I moved on to rubber stamps and bought two sets of 10/20 stamps or so. They were very inexpensive and you can use them individually to create any pattern you want. I ended up liking the effect of the stamps so much more than the stencils, because of the three dimensional effect and because it looks as if real leaves were used to make the necklace by the edge of a river.

To add colour I used emerald acrylic paint, simply because I love that colour and to create a bit of contrast with the mint colour of the clay, and of course Pocahontas lived in the forests of Virginia, so having green in the pendant was sort of imperative to me. I applied the colour with a sponge, keeping it flat so as to minimize the risk of getting any paint inside the leaves so just the outlines were highlighted, which is why is so important to press the stamps well into the clay for all the details to stand out later.

I also used yellow and white acrylic paint.

Once the paint had dried, I used Premo in Sea Green polymer clay to sculpt the "tree bark" connectors on the necklace. Apart from embellishing the necklace, this step will also add strength to the joints in the base of the necklace.

I know I repeat this a lot in my videos, but I still get asked about it. Yes, you need to use some sort of liquid clay to bond baked and unbaked polymer clay. I say FIMO Liquid because that's the one I use, but you can use any other brand of liquid polymer clay you have.

I also get asked if PVA glue works the same as liquid clay, but the truth is I don't know because I have never tried it.

I also get asked if water can be used for the same purpose, but water would have the opposite effect, in fact water is used as a release agent. If you watched my guitar tutorial, you will have seen that I used water to avoid the layers of clay sticking together.

Polymer clay is resin or oil based which of course will never bond with water.

To make the holes in the pendant I used a nail art piercing drill, but if you don't have one you can poke holes into the clay with a needle before baking the pendant and add a screw bail in the same way that I do after baking.

Letting the clay cool down completely before you do any of this, is very important. Warm clay is still brittle and may crack while you handle it.

For the feather I used silver mica powders, but metallic eye shadows have the same effect. Do glaze it after baking to avoid the pigments coming loose.

To glaze both the pendant and feather I used DecoArt Gloss Varnish. But independently from which one you use, make sure is water based varnish. Never ever use nail polish to varnish your polymer clay, they are not compatible.

My Pocahontas pendant is not for sale because after coming back from holiday feeling pretty awful, all the comments I received really lifted my spirits so as a way to say thank you I wanted to give this necklace away to one of my subscribers/readers/followers.

To find out more about how you can enter the GIVEAWAY read the description of my video here:

You have 4 weeks to enter!

You can watch my Pocahontas' necklace tutorial here:


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