Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rubber glass necklace


The first project that I want to share with you that uses the new Rubber Glass product will cause you to wonder why I didn't just use resin. Several reasons: this silicone product is flexible, which means that you can cinch your beadwork tightly around it and have it actually dig in slightly. You can even stitch right through it if you want to. Once it is cured, you can fracture it so that it takes on the look of either glass or ice. No release agents are needed with your molds. It is crystal crystal clear when it dries so that anything embedded looks like it is trapped in glass.  Only the very clearest resin comes close.



Basically, silicone and resins are two completely different products. Each has its best use, and since this form of silicone, Rubber Glass, is new to the market, we've just begun to figure out all we can do with it!


Materials & Tools

Rubber glass (Smooth-On.com)
Brass wire
Size 8/0 seed beads, ice blue
Size 11/0 seed beads, ice blue
Size 15/0 seed beads, ceylon pearl
Nymo beading thread, size O white

Scale
Mixing cup and stirrer for silicone
Mold for silicone (I used a small paper cup)
Masking tape
Beading needles, size 13
Scissors
Flat nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Small file


1. Form a loose swirl pattern with brass wire, leaving a 4 inch "tail".



2. Mix up rubber glass according to the package directions. Measure carefully.



3. Use masking tape to suspend the wire in the silicone while it hardens. Unmold when fully cured (no release agent is needed). Cut the back flat and "chip" the sides to create a jagged looking disc.



4. String enough size 8/0 seed beads to go around the disc. String through the beginning bead from the same direction and slip that bead over the brass wire.



5. Peyote stitch a couple of rows around the disc, pulling snug.



6. On the back side of the disc, create "prongs" with size 11/0 seed beads topped with one 15/0 seed bead. Stitch back down through the 11/0s and back into the peyote ring.



7. When all the prongs are stitched, take the needle and thread to the top of one prong and add size 15/0 seed beads between the top of each prong. Stitch around the whole ring again for strength, and run the needle back down one of the prongs.



8. Stitch to the front side of the peyote ring, and add prongs on that side too.



9. Repeat step 7, creating a ring in the front. Run the needle back down into the peyote ring and secure all thread ends.



10. Turn a wrapped loop with the brass wire and file any sharp ends.

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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24 comments:

flyingbeader said...

Awesome! I showed by husband that website & he is intrigued by more than rubber glass. He refurbishes antique radios & saw other products there that could help him with bigger more damaged radios. And yes! I'm buying some of that Rubber glass. I love the resins, but I'm sensitive to them & break out in hives when I'm using them so I love the alternative.
dot

Cyndi L said...

Cool! I hope you will both find some things that will help you with your projects :-)

Eileen Bergen said...

That is just beautiful, Cyndi! Thank you for sharing the technique and new product.

Jeannie said...

Maybe my dreams of woring with glass aren't dead.
Can you tint or add color(s) to it?
Cyndi, this is the coolest find ever.

missficklemedia.com said...

What a fascinating creation!
I would love to experiment with this for Christmas icicles.

Cyndi L said...

Jeannie, yes! You can add pigments to them that are designed for silicone. Most of those pigments are meant to be opaque, but by adding only a small amount, you can make a transparent tint!!

Cyndi L said...

Oh, Christmas icicles...what a great idea! I can see them with wire wound up around the outsides too :-)

Tammy said...

I never heard of that before!

Lithi said...

Wow! I am impressed. I would never have thought to mix rubber and glass together for a project. This is awesome.

Cyndi L said...

Ahhh, but it's not rubber AND glass...it's rubber glass! Cool, huh?

Noreen Crone-Findlay said...

Is the finished piece flexible or is it brittle and hard?
I love the way you made the beaded setting for it. Neato!

Barbe Saint John/ Saints and Sinners® said...

cool!! I like using clear silicone for moldmaking, but its not as clear as the rubber glass. I want some now!!! thanks for the inspiration!

Cyndi L said...

Noreen, the edges are soft and flexible, so even though they look deadly sharp, they can't possibly cut you. The product as a whole is flexible, but it also fractures easily (which gives it the look of glass), so you can't flex it *too* much.

Cyndi L said...

Barbe, yeah...this stuff is super clear, but it's also different from mold-making silicone in the way it fractures :-)

Kay said...

Two questions if you don't mind answering. 1: What tool did you use/how did you carve your shape? 2: Looking at the way your metal squiggle is suspended, I'm wondering whether you can put an object, for example a pearl, in the mixture and if so, would you first pour half the mold, place the pearl, then fill the mold? Or would you drop the pearl on the filled mold and poke it down with a toothpick? Would the pearl possibly float to the top? Thanks so much!

Cyndi L said...

Two *great* questions! One of the cool things about this stuff is that you don't need any tools at all to carve it. You can use anything for a mold, because silicone doesn't stick to anything once it has cured. It will just pop out of your mold (I used a dixie cup) and then you can shape it by hand, just tearing off small pieces until it looks the way you want. You can also just an exacto knife to cut through it if you want more precise slices.

As for suspending other things in the silicone, here is the problem: once you pour it, you can't pour another layer if it's fully cured...they will just separate. If the item you want to suspend is too heavy to "float", you can try to time the curing process and insert your piece as the silicone thickens. But the curing process is pretty long, like overnight. So for now, I'm working on suspending things by use of a wire or by adding inserts that are lightweight. I'd like to do some experiments to see exactly how long into the curing process you could still add something and have it work!

liniecat said...

This looks an interesting product!
Wonder if you could tumble it somehow to get that sea glass effect too? Say if youve encased an item, then tumble it so it frosts up? Not that I have a tumbler but maybe someone else will have.
I suppose simply distressing it with sandpaper would spoil it....but must see if its in UK yet and have a play with it. Fab tutorial, thanks. Lyn

Cyndi L said...

Hmmm...I think tumbling it would rip it apart, but I'll try some sandpaper and see if that gives it that sea glass look.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Cool project Cyndi! It has been great watching you take this medium to a completely new place! It is such an interesting product. I love how you trapped the wire in there like that. Makes me think you could make a neat ice bracelet done in a strip with the wires embedded inside. Especially if the wire was blue, green or silver. Would look cool I think!

Cyndi L said...

Thanks Cindy! That would be a very cool look, I think. The color of the wire would show through perfectly since it's sooo clear :-)

Joani said...

Ooh! The rubber glass stuff looks like so much fun! Do you have to worry about bubbling at all, like with resin?

Cyndi L said...

Not quite as much as with resin. This type of silicone is thinner and the bubbles seem to rise and pop more easily. There are some forms of silicone that have to be cured in a degassing chamber, but this doesn't happen to be that type.

Arusa Shaishana said...

I have some questions , pls. I'm interested in this rubber glass, and want to use it in my jewelry project too
1) you said it can be teared by hands, it means this product is not strong enough to be casted into the whole bracelet, right? I wonder if glazing it with high strength silicone will help, I really love the transparent look of rubber glass.
2) I wonder how soft , and how easy to break is it, I know it's hard to explain by words so I,ll ask you to compare the touch of it with a gel candle, pls

By the way, thank you for your tutorial, it help me a lot. ;)

Cyndi L said...

Hello Arusa! Rubber glass is definitely not strong enough to be cast into a firm shape like a bracelet. It would break into pieces the first time it was worn. It's very soft and easy to break, and I had to be very careful in sewing through it not to fracture it. I don't know if you could add a glaze to it or not, but I'm betting not. You know how silicone can't be added to once it has cured. The surface is not soft and sticky like a gel candle; it makes crisp, dry surfaces when it fractures. It just fractures very easily. I hope this all helps!

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