Jan 14, 2012

Gear Heart Pendant Tutorial

Ok, here it is!
Your votes were tallied and here is the tutorial that you wanted to see first.  
Let's get started shall we?

The original Gear Heart Pendant was done in browns and copper but I was out of those items so I went for the black and silver on the tutorial.  The idea is the same.  The steps are all the same.  The colors are just different.  Which, really, is kind of cool so you can see some options.

Here's what you will need...

Black polymer clay
Red polymer clay
(I like Sculpey, and no, I'm not paid to say that.  It's just my personal choice)

1 - necklace or a chain to make a necklace
1- Silver head pin (Jewelry finding item)
1- Large gear (Tim Holtz found at Hobby Lobby)
1 - Small gear (Lisa Pavelka at Hobby Lobby)
2- Small brads, brushed nickel finish (scrapbooking item)
1- Jump ring, brushed nickel finish

and it will help to also have...

Needle nose pliers and wire cutters
item to poke a hole (metal rod in picture)
wax paper

And, here's what you do...

Step 1: Put your wax paper onto of your work surface.  Clay is non-toxic but it's best to always protect your surface area.  Plus, it will keep things clean.  Next, break off a small chunk of clay from each color and do what is called "conditioning".  If you haven't used clay before, basically you are just going to play with it for a bit.  Squish it, roll it, knead it.  Get it soft.

Step 2:  From the clay that you just conditioned, take another small amount and make the above shapes.  A small heart from the red and a rectangle from the black. I don't have measurements but keep in mind that you don't want them too big.  If it helps, the black piece is just slightly bigger than a quarter.

Step 3:  Next, take your large gear and very lightly press it into the black clay.  Don't press hard.  Press just enough to kind of hold it in place.  If you press too hard, it will squish the clay too much and will ruin your design.  Also, play around with the location of the gear.  I preferred mine off center.

Steps 4 and 5:  Then, carefully place your heart in the center of your gear.  I say carefully because the heart is small and it's easy to squish.  Next, add your small gear to the heart.  Again, press it in place lightly and set it aside for a moment.

Step 6:  Now we need to make some wire staples.  Take your head pin and bend the end into a small hook.

Step 7:  Once you have the end bent, take your wire cutters and cut off the end to make a small staple.  Repeat two more times so that you have three staples total.

Step 8:  Then, using the ends of your needle nose pliers, or tweezers, push the staples into place.  I put one through the heart and small gear and then two over the rim of the large gear.  These staples will cook into your clay and help hold everything in place.  Plus, they look kind of cool too.

Step 9:  Now it's time to attach the side chain.  You'll need to cut a small piece of chain off of your necklace.

Step 10:  Take one brad and attach the chain to it.  My chain didn't have very large loops so I just put one arm of the brad through the loop and slid the chain to the back of the brad.

Steps 11 and 12:  Next, take your brad/chain combo and push it into the side of the pendant.  Then, repeat that step by adding the chain to the second brad and pushing it into the bottom of your pendant.

Step 13:  Now that the brads and chain is in place, your last step before cooking is to poke your hole at the top.  Don't skip this step.  Trust me, I've accidentally forgotten this before and ruined my whole design.

Step 14:  (Not shown)  Preheat your oven to 275 and bake for 15 minutes.  Tip: If you plan to do a lot of clay work, it is wise to dedicate a cookie sheet to just your clay.  If not, use an old cookie sheet and place a few sheets of paper down, then put your un-cooked clay on top of the paper and bake it like that.  I have a dedicated cookie sheet but I still cook my clay on paper.

Step 15:  Once your pendant is cooked (don't over cook or your clay will burn and discolor) let it cool.  Then, add your jump ring through your hole at the top and attach your awesome pendant to your chain.

Step 16:  Wear it!

See, that's not too hard is it.  Actually, I think they are pretty fun to make.  If you end up making one, let me know how it goes.