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Swirled Lentils With Inclusions

Swirled Lentils With Inclusions

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Published by rubarb04
Free tutorial on creating Barb Fajardo's signature shape swirl lentils with bead caps. Fun and addicting polymer clay bead shape.
Free tutorial on creating Barb Fajardo's signature shape swirl lentils with bead caps. Fun and addicting polymer clay bead shape.

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Published by: rubarb04 on May 16, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Swirled Lentils with Inclusions and “Bead Caps”
Copyright © Barbara Fajardo, 2005 
Swirl Lentils have been my signature shape since opening my first little 2 oz. package of polymer clay in 2000. I’ve continued playing with the shape by adding a variety of sparkly and shiny inclusions. And who doesn’t like sparkly and shiny! Use your owncanework along with any variety of inclusions. Play with shapes of lentils by rollingsideways for a lozenge shape. Then shape into a tube to by flattening the ends. Trypinching into diamond or square shapes. As with all polymer clay projects, thepossibilities are only limited to what your own imagination can come up with!
Supplies and Tools
Various canes made from translucent and opaque clays
Scrap clay
Inclusions (metallic leaf, micro beads, glitter…get creative!)
Translucent Liquid Sculpey (optional)
600x wet/dry sandpaper (optional, put recommended)
Finish (acrylic floor polish)
Lucite square or other small flat piece
(plexiglas, glass with taped edges, CD case)
Tissue Blade
Smoothing Tool
Unlined index cards
 Aluminum Foil
Drilling Tool and/or Needle Tool
Oven and Thermometer 
Ice water 
Roll a log of conditioned scrap clay and cover with a layer (medium thickness, about 1/16”) of aselected base color.
Before continuing, be sure to press out any air bubbles, this is crucial.
Next, press your selected inclusions down the length of the log. I used green micro beads,metallic leaf and a tiny bit of iridescent glitter.
 Apply very thin slices from your canes randomlyalong the length of the log, making sure to cover your included areas with translucent cane work. After applying as many of the slices as you like, rollthem in and smooth along the length of the log withyour fingers.Remember, any smoothing you do now, willsave you sanding time later.
Now, cut your log into pieces and pinch theends together so that no scrap clay is showing.Before beginning the swirling step, further smooth in the cane slices as you roll eachpiece into a ball in your hand.
 After you've swirled yourself silly, you have a decision to makeregarding the bead holes.
Mycurrent preference is tocompletely drill the hole beforecuring. I use a simple thicksewing needle. Make sure thatthe raw bead is cool and firm(refrigerate), so as not to distortthe lentil shape as much.
 If you completely pierce a raw lentil, you mayneed to gently re-shape with your Lucite squareor even gently roll again on its side. As with anytechnique, practice makes perfect.
If you prefer not to drill completely through, justlightly press pilot holes into either end of your lentils and finish drilling after curing with a drill bitimbedded and glued into a scrap clay handle.
Set your lentils on unlined index cards and curefor at least 40 minutes or longer at 275 degrees(use an oven thermometer to insure proper curing). You may want to tent your beads withaluminum foil to prevent any browning of thetranslucent and lighter colored clays.
 After the curing is complete, dunk your beads into an ice water bath foapproximately 30 minutes. This step seems to help make the translucent claymore clear. At this point, sanding with at least 3M 600x wet/dry sandpaper andbuffing is advisable. After all of my beads have clean bead holes, I brush on at least one coat of finish. I let the beads dry completely and then set the finish in a 200 degree ovenfor 10 minutes.
The next step is the bead caps. Use a very small leaf or petal cane for these(about ½”). You want the shape of your cane round at this point, so that you canroll it in some metallic leafing. After you’ve done that you will want to roll theleafing in a bit, so that you end up with about a ¼” cane. Cut into two pieces.Pinch each piece into a leaf shape and line up the two pieces together bypinching a little more. They won’t stick together very well because of the leafing,but just work with it. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before slicing.Take some thin slices from your bead cap cane and apply gently at the endswhere you’ve drilled your bead hole.
It is recommended that you use somedots of liquid clay where your bead caps will be applied.
 After you haveeach side of the bead set with your bead caps, gently smooth with a smoothingtool. I don’t sand the caps at all, so make sure you have them nice and smooth.

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