Sculpted Crystal Clay with Jacquard PearlEx Powder
As your skill levels start to include some of the foundational techniques that we cover here at Nunn Design, your imagination will start to be open to explore the possibilities.
Sculpting Crystal Clay using a silicone mold and adding Jacquard PearlEx Powders results in a stunning look that one would assume it was a heck of a lot harder to do than it is. Now, let’s get started!Get Supplies Read Instructions Be Inspired
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to make a mold.
- How to mix Crystal Clay
- How to apply Pearl Ex Powder
Nunn Design Bezels
Nunn Design Charm, Brass Stamping or Button
Easy Mold Silicone Putty
Crystal Clay 50g-Black
Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment 3g-Gold
Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigment 3g-Silver
Other Supplies Needed:
Olive or baby oil
Plastic Bags, such as a Ziploc
Prepare Your Nunn Design Bezels:
Step 1. The Nunn Design Findings are oxidized to provide the aged look to the precious metal plating. The oxidization, when it comes into contact with the mixed Crystal Clay could change the color of the clay. To avoid this, clean the bezel thoroughly prior to placing the Crystal Clay within the finding.
To clean, get the tip of a Q-Tip wet with rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization on all the surfaces of the bezel.
Prepare Charm for Mold
Step 2. With a pair of flush cutters, trim the loop off of the Nunn Design Charm.
Step 3. Apply some olive or baby oil onto a Q-Tip and rub it on the Nunn Design Charm. The olive or baby oil on the charm will help it release easily from the EasyMold Silicone Putty.
Make the Silicone Mold
Step 4. EasyMold Silicone Putty has a 3-minute working time. For best results and maximum window of being able to work with the putty, make sure your room temperature in brought up to 70 degrees.
Step 5. Lay a piece of plastic, such as a small Ziploc Bag, onto your work surface. Pinch off a small grape-sized ball of Part A and Part B of the EasyMold Silicone Putty. Getting the knack for mixing just the right amount of putty will take some practice. You might mix too much or too little putty the first time. Try your best to guess the amount of putty you will need to have approximately 1/8” putty around the outside edge of your bezel’s rim. You will also want the thickness of the silicone putty to be approximately 1/8”.
Step 6. The working time of the silicone molding putty is only 3 minutes, so you will need to work quickly. Take a moment to make sure you have the following supplies. Laying out everything on your work surface prior to mixing will provide more ease as you work quickly.
- Nunn Design Charm
- A flat surface to press the silicone putty into a flat disk
- A Ziploc Bag or piece of plastic
Step 7. Knead both part A and part B of the EasyMold Silicone Putty together until blended completely. The putty should be uniform in color.
Step 8. Roll the fully mixed EasyMold Silicone Putty into a smooth round ball that is free of creases. Place the mixed putty onto a piece of plastic. If you have creases, try your best to have the smoothest side of the mixed silicone ball facing up.
Step 9. Use one of the lids from the containers of EasyMold Silicone Putty or a flat surface, such as a glass bowl, to press down into the silicone putty. Creating a nice round and evenly flat disk out of the silicone putty.
Step 10. Press the slightly oiled Nunn Design Charm into the molding putty right away (it sets up really fast!). Use the lid of the putty or a flat surface to press the faceted charms firmly and evenly down into the Easy Mold Silicone Putty.
Step 11. Leave the charm in the putty while it sets-up.
Step 12. The Easy Mold Silicone Putty will start to set and be firm to the touch after 20 minutes. Remove the charm from the silicone putty by bending back the sides of the mold. The charm will easily pop out.
Step 13. Wipe down the mold and charm with a wet-wipe. Store your charm for the next creative project.
Mix Crystal Clay:
Step 14. Crystal Clay is a 2-part epoxy. Mixing equal parts of A & B activates the clay. Once the clay is activated you have 90-120 minutes before the clay hardens and you can no longer sculpt or embed objects. Prior to mixing the 2 parts, it is recommended by the manufacturer to wear gloves when handling. Once the clay is mixed it is activated and is neutral and gloves are no longer necessary.
The gloves that are included in the Crystal Clay 50gr Kits are not my favorite. They are way too big for my hands and I have a heck of time mixing and the clay while wearing them. If you are having the same challenge try a different brand. If you do not have a latex allergy, I recommend using a pair of industrial, powder-free, 5 mils, latex glove sized to fit your hand snugly.
I use my latex gloves over and over again to prevent waste. To get the most usage out of the gloves, place baby powder generously over your hands prior to putting the gloves on. This will make it easier to get the gloves off once you are finished mixing the Crystal Clay.
Step 15: With the gloves on, open up the packages of Crystal Clay and pinch off two equal-sized balls of Part A and Part B. Blend together the 2 parts fully until the clay is no longer marbled and is uniform in color.
Tip: I guesstimate the amount of Crystal Clay that I will need to fill the bezels for the project I’m working on. I would recommend having plenty of bezels prepped just in case you have excess clay.
Tip: Make sure to wrap up your Crystal Clay to prevent it from drying out and hardening. Store Part A and Part B in separate zip-lock bags to avoid contamination while it is in storage.
Step 16. Once the clay is mixed, you can safely handle the clay without wearing gloves. Prior to removing the gloves, use a wet-wipe to clean them fully. Store the gloves for your next creative jewelry making project.
Use a wet-wipe to also clean your hands of any baby powder prior to handling the clay.
Use a wet-wipe to also clean your hands of any baby powder prior to handling the clay.
Apply Crystal Clay into the Nunn Design Bezel
Step 17. Roll the thoroughly mixed Crystal Clay between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball.
Step 18. Press the ball of mixed Crystal Clay into your bezel using the tips of your fingers. Since I will be pressing the silicone mold into the clay, I wanted the Crystal Clay to be slightly domed so it can create a good impression.
If filling the corners with Crystal Clay is challenging, use a toothpick to press the clay up into the corners of the bezel. Pat the toothpick marked clay with your fingers until smooth.
Step 19. Use a wet-wipe to clean-up any excess Crystal Clay that might have been left on the jewelry finding. The Crystal Clay hardens like cement, so cleaning it up now and being tidy as you go makes the process easier and the results so much nicer.
Step 20. If you have fingerprints in your clay, or if you want the surface to be smoother than you have, wet your fingers slightly with water and rub the Crystal Clay. The water will help smooth the clay.
Add Pearl Ex Powders to Add Color and Highlights
Step 21. Using a Q-Tip, smear a little of the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments onto the Silicone Mold.
Tap the side of the mold onto a Ziploc Bag laying on your work surface. This will remove any excess Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments from the mold. Place the excess Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments back into the container.
Step 22. Use a wet-wipe to remove any of the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powders from the silicone mold. Whatever powder that you have on the mold will be transferred onto the Crystal Clay.
Create an Impression into Crystal Clay with a Silicone Mold
Step 23. Place the bezel of Crystal Clay covered with Jacquard PearlEx Powder face down onto the silicone mold and press down evenly. To make sure I have a really good impression, I like to pick up the mold and press the mold from behind into the clay, as well as pressing the bezel down into the mold.
Step 24. If you don’t like the impression that was created, pat the impression in the Crystal Clay with your fingertips until you have a smooth surface once again. You may need to pinch off some of the Crystal Clay and reapply the Jacquard PearlEx Powder. Press the bezel down into the mold again.
Step 25. Clean the side edges of bezel thoroughly with a wet-wipe, removing any of the Crystal Clay. The Crystal Clay will harden like cement, so cleaning as you go is a good habit to get into.
TIP: Before storing your silicone molds, wipe it down with a wet-wipe. This will allow you to have a clean mold for the next time.
Step 26. Let the Crystal Clay cure for 12 hours. It will be hard to the touch, but will continue to fully cure for another 72 hours.
Seal the Jacquard PearlEx Powder
Step 27. There are several ways to seal the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments that have been applied to the colorized Crystal Clay. You can read more about this on the Nunn Design Blog. How to Make a Colorized Crystal Clay and Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Sampler. For this tutorial, we are going to apply and seal the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments with Castin’ Craft Resin Spray.
Step 28. To apply the Resin Spray, take the bezels outside and place them on a piece of paper. Shake the can thoroughly and spray an even coat of the Resin Spray over the full surface of the colorized Crystal Clay.
Step 29. The Resin Spray will dry within 10 minutes. Congratulations on your new pendant!