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Inka Gold Crackle Technique -  Polymer Clay Tutorial - Beginner Project

Here's a really easy project showing off the crackle technique in polymer clay. I've used Viva Decor's Inka Gold paints for this technique as they work beautifully over un-baked polymer clay. If you liked fingerpainting in pre-school, you are gonna love using these paints! They are a thick, acrylic paste that comes in a variety of metallic colours. They work beautifully over baked polymer clay too!

This project is ideal if you have never worked with clay before as you really can't go wrong! Don't stick to making earrings, the project can easily be adapted to making hollow lentil beads as well.

 

You will need:

 

 

  Step 1

Select three colours of Inka Gold paints. I've used Lava Green, Copper and Indian Yellow. Condition some black polymer clay and roll it out to around 2 mm thick. Set the clay on a ceramic tile

 

 

  Step 2

Thickly finger-paint vertical bands of colour over the clay sheet. Set the tile aside until the paint has completely dried (I leave it overnight to ensure the paint is fully dry and not just touch dry.)

 

 

  Step 3

Cut a 2 cm strip from the top of the painted sheet and run it through the pasta machine on the thinnest setting. This will give you a thin crackled sheet for decorating the earrings.

Set this clay aside on a ceramic tile to use later.

 

  Step 4

We need thicker crackled clay for the base of the earrings. So use the thickest pasta machine setting to roll out a fresh sheet of black clay. Lay the remaining painted clay on top and run them both through the pasta machine. Roll the sheet through the machine again on a slightly thinner setting to crackle the clay further. Set it on a ceramic tile. 

 

  Step 5

Cut matching circles from the thick clay sheet to form the base for the earrings. I like to choose areas where the clay colours blend together but shapes with just one colour look equally cool.

Cut out other smaller shapes from both the thick and thin crackle sheets to embellish the earrings further. Apply some Inka Gold paint to the cut edges of the thick clay pieces with your fingertip.

 

  Step 6

Arrange the pieces together on the back of a metal paint palette. Baking the clay on the paint palette gives the earrings a nice domed shape, but you can bake them flat on a ceramic tile if you prefer.

Pierce hanging holes with a wooden toothpick and then bake according to the clay manufacturer's instructions. Once cool, varnish the pieces in place and remove from the paint palette only when fully dry.  

 

  Step 7

Finish the earrings with some anodized Niobium jump rings and earwires. I've used the bronze colour, but there are many other metallic colours that would work well with the Inka Gold paints.

Tip: If the standard size jump rings are too small, remember you can make your own using Niobium wire or headpins and a pair of round nosed pliers.  My hanging holes were a little too far from the edge to comfortably fit the 5 mm jump rings I stock at EJR Beads. So I made larger rings from a pair of headpins and used some 4 mm niobium jump rings to attach the earwires.

 

Don't forget - if you make any beads or jewellery using these techniques, please give credit and link back to this tute. Oh and I would love to feature a photo of them too in the Customer's Gallery!

Text & Images Emma Ralph 2001 - 2013. May not be printed, distributed or reproduced electronically or otherwise without the author's written permission.

 

 


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