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It's a Mod, Mod, World Beaded Necklace
By: Karen Mitchell and Ann Mitchell, AnKara Designs
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Make a truly unique necklace with several colors of twisted wire and swirled beads.
- One 2 oz. block of each color FIMO soft polymer clay: copper, lime green, peppermint
- One package of each color 18 gauge Fun Wire: clear copper, clear lemon-lime, clear blue
- One package 22 gauge Fun Wire: clear copper
- One spool silver tone 20 gauge wire
- Two surgical steel earring hooks
- Work Surface (granite, marble or glazed ceramic tile recommended)
- AMACO polymer clay and craft oven
- AMACO pasta machine
- AMACO PolyBlade
- Round nose pliers
- Wire clippers
- Wooden skewer
- AMACO Set #2 bead rollers
- Amaco professional bead baking rack
- Oven thermometer
- Oven mitts
- Measure clay for bead roller: Condition the copper clay. Roll it into a 1/2" thick snake and press it into the oval section of the bottom half of the bead roller. Keep pressing until the clay fills the groove and is flush with the top of the bead roller (photo #1- clay in groove). Trim off excess clay. Remove the clay gently from the bead roller and place flat side down on your work surface.
- Mark your clay: Use the ridged ruler on the side of the bead roller to make measurement imprints in the clay (photo #2- mark and cut). Cut nine 3/4" slices. Roll each slice into a ball.
- Roll beads: Lay one ball into the oval bead groove. Snap the top of the bead roller in place. Roll the bead until it is oval. Repeat with the other eight balls of copper clay. Repeat steps 1-3 to make six round beads. For the round beads, make sure to measure your clay in the round groove of the bottom half of the beads roller. You should end up with nine oval and six round base beads in copper clay.
- Make lime stripes: Condition the lime clay and roll it into a rectangle on the fifth thickest setting on the pasta machine. Cut a straight edge lengthwise on the rectangle. Cut the thinnest possible stripes lengthwise from the sheet (1/32"). Cut one stripe for each bead.
- Wrap beads: Starting at the top of an oval bead, press the end of one green stripe in place. Rotate the bead, slowly spiraling the stripe to the other end of the oval, with about a 3/16" space between the stripes. Cut off excess lime clay. Repeat this step for the other eight oval beads and for the six round beads.
- Make peppermint stripes: repeat step #4 to make peppermint stripes. Cut one stripe for each bead. Wrap the peppermint stripe around each bead halfway in between each lime stripe.
- Place one oval bead back into the oval groove. Gently put the top of the bead roller in place, but do not snap together firmly. Gently roll the bead until the stripes are integrated into the base bead. Align the bead with the bead piercing marks on the roller. Put the top of the bead roller in place and align marks carefully. Insert the bead-piercing pin carefully from the opposite side of the bead roller (this will cause less drag). Remove the pierced bead on the pin from the roller and place it on the bead-baking holder. Repeat this step for all of the oval and round beads. Bake all of the beads for 30 minutes at 265 degrees (F). Remove from the oven and allow beads to cool.
- Make wire coils: To form a coil, wrap the clear blue wire snugly around the wooden skewer until you have three full wraps. Trim both ends of the coil. Repeat this step until you have 6 coils.
- Add wire to bead drops: For the oval beads, cut seven pieces of silver tone wire that are 2 1/4" long. Make a 1/8" closed loop at one end of each piece of wire. Slide one piece of wire through the hole of each oval bead until the loop touches the bottom of the bead. For three beads, add a coil on top of the bead, and make a 1/4" loop in the silver wire that will not slide into the coil. Trim excess wire. Close the top loop on two of the drops, add ear wires, and set aside. Leave the top loop open on the third drop; this will be the center drop for the necklace. For the other four oval beads, make a 1/8" loop in the silver wire at the top of each oval bead. Trim the excess wire and leave all four of these top loops open. Cut two 1 1/2" pieces of the silver tone wire. Make 1/4" close loops at one end of each piece of wire. Hook the top loop of one oval bead through the loop on one of these pieces of wire. Close the loop. Repeat for the second piece of silver tone wire with the 1/4" loop. Slide a blue wire coil onto one of these pieces of wire, and finish with a 1/4" loop that is trimmed and left open. Repeat for the second drop. For the round beads, cut six pieces of silver tone wire 1 1/2" long. Make a 1/8" closed loop at one end of each piece of wire. Slide one round bead onto each wire, and form a 1/8" loop at the top of each bead. Leave the top loops open.
- Make blue scrolls: cut seven pieces of clear blue wire: three at 2", two at 1 1/2", and two at 1 1/4". Take one 2" wire and bend it in half over the thick part of the round nose pliers tips. Slide one 2" wire through the bottom loop of the center oval drop. Form a small scroll bent away from the center curve with the skinny tips of the round nose pliers. Form another small scroll in the opposite direction with the other end of the wire. Gently pinch the scroll so that they touch. Trim excess plastic coating from the ends of the wire. Repeat this scroll step for the other two 2" pieces of wire attached to the two other oval beads with earring hooks attached. The earrings are complete. Repeat this step for the two 1 1/2" pieces of wire for the beads with the extra coil segment, and for the two 1 1/4" pieces of wire for the last two oval beads. NOTE: Handle the plastic coated wire carefully, as it is easily marred.
- Make lemon-lime scrolls: For the round bead scrolls, cut six pieces of lemon-lime wire: two pieces at 2", two pieces at 1 1/2", and two pieces at 1 1/4". Bend each piece of wire in half with the thick end of the round nose pliers tips. Slide one piece of wire through the bottom loop on each of the round bead drops. On the first piece of wire, cross the two ends of the wire. Bend a small scroll on each end of the wire toward the center. Repeat for the other five beads. The drops with the larger scrolls will hang toward the center of the necklace, graduating outwards.
- Start twisting necklace: Cut a 36" piece of each color of the 22 gauge wire. Take the lemon-lime piece of wire and form a round 1/4" loop in the center of the wire. Make two twists in the wire above the loop. Bring the ends of the wire together and slide on a blue wire coil covering the two twists above the center loop. Spread the lemon-lime wire into a 'V'. Bring the center of the clear blue and clear copper wires up behind the 'V', and give all three wires one full twist away from the center loop. Add center oval bead drop with the coil to the center lemon-lime wire loop, and close the attaching loop. Bring the copper wire down and form a 1/4" round loop on each side of the center loop, bringing the end of the wire(s) back up and around to the front of the necklace. Add the round bead drops with the largest scroll to each copper loop. Twist all three colors of wire together twice. Bring the blue wire down and form a 3/16" teardrop shaped loop one either side of the necklace. Bring the blue wire around the front, and twist all three colors of wire together twice. Add the oval bead drops with the extra coil segments to each of the blue loops. Make a 3/16" lemon-lime teardrop shaped loop like the blue ones on either side of the necklace. Twist all three colors of wire together twice. Add the round bead drops with the medium sized scrolls to each of the lemon-lime loops. Form a 3/6" copper teardrop shaped loop on either side of the necklace like the blue and lemon-lime ones. Add the simple oval bead drops with the smallest scrolls to these copper loops. Twist all three colors of wire together three times. Make a 3/16" blue teardrop shaped loop on either side of the necklace, and add the final round drops with the smallest scrolls.
- Make hook: Twist together the remainder of the three colors of wire on both sides of the necklace. Hold the necklace up and determine the finished length that you desire. On one side of the necklace, measure from the center of the necklace along the twisted wire to half the determined length and add 1". Bend the twisted wire at this point and double it back on itself. Bend at the halfway mark of the necklace and form a hook for the closure (photo #14- form hook).
- Make the loop: Measure half of the length of the necklace from the center along the twisted wire. At the halfway point, form a loop that is large enough to fit the hook, and then double back on itself the remainder of the twisted wire (photo #15- form loop).
- Finish the hook and loop: Cut two 6" pieces of 24 gauge clear copper wire. Set one piece aside. Bend the remaining wire at a right angle 1" from one end. Align this bent end of the wire with the base of the loop, with the end facing away from the loop. Wrap the base of the loop in a tight coil of this thin copper wire, covering the short piece of wire, until you have a 1/2" piece remaining (#16 wrap ends). Twist the two ends of the wire together and trim to 1/4" (photo #17- twist ends). Trim the excess of the three colors of thicker wire. Tuck the trimmed ends of the thinner wire under carefully (photo #18- completed clasp). Repeat this step for the hook end of the necklace. It is now complete. Try it on and shape it to best fit your neck.
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