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Silver leaf polymer clay cabochons - part one

Using a combination of silver leaf and metallic acrylic paints on polymer clay quickly became one of my favorite techniques.  You never know quite what you're going to get as the paint moves around and interacts with the cracks in the leaf.  And you can make your cabochons any size and shape you'd like!  Part one of this tutorial is creating the polymer clay cabs; part two, next week, will be constructing a finished pendant necklace. 

1. Condition the clay.

2. Form a flattened black clay oval.

3. Place oval on top of sheet of silver leaf and press lightly.

4. Roll a few times in each direction to begin stretching silver leaf.

5. Add drops of acrylic paints (I used Jacquard Lumieres, which are metallic) and roll an even slab until you like the look of the crackling.

6. Make polymer clay shapes for cabochons.  You can use any clay, including leftovers.

7. Carefully apply the leafed clay slab over the tops and sides of the cabochons. Cut around the bottom and seal the edges.

8. Bake.

9. To finish the cabochon surfaces, rub with a soft cotton cloth and apply Future floor polish.  Do not use sandpaper; the leaf is too delicate.

Part two covers the instructions for one particular project I did with one of these polymer clay cabochons, turning it into a pendant.  

Copyright 2011 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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Cherie said…
I had no idea you could do that with polymer clay. Great tips!
OMGosh, I thought you were going to make the entire cabochons from polymer clay; but you just did a veneer technique. Now that I think about it, that makes perfect sense. Brilliant... and the cabs are beautiful!
Cyndi L said…
Technically, the entire cabochon *is* polymer clay, but the interior is scrap clay...don't want to waste good black clay :-) If you wanted really big cabs or a specific shape, there's not really any reason that you couldn't use some other material for the interior, as long as it can be baked.