Firstly, you'll need a bezel suitable for your design, ETI's EnviroTex Jewelry Clay and some pointy back crystals or chatons. I've used Swarovski crystals for a super sparkly finish.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for mixing the epoxy resin clay and most importantly, don't forget to wear the gloves that come in the kit. In it's uncured form, this product is an eye iritant and it can cause burning to your skin, so always take precautions to protect yourself.
|Click the image to open it in a new window to read the steps.|
Place a feature crystal into the centre of the clay and then create your design around it. Use a silicone tipped tool to help you place the crystals. I've used a large sapphire crystal surrounded by a row of dainty clear crystals.
My second row of clear crystals is placed in between the spaces below the first row. If symmetry is not your thing, try placing them randomly and in different colours for a fun look!
Once all the crystals are positioned you can use a toothpick to gently press them into the clay surface. The girdle of each crystal should sit flush with the surface of the clay. The arrows show a couple which need to be pushed in a little further yet.
Looking much better!
If you make both earring components at the same time they'll be more symmetrical.
Now you'll need a fine soft brush and mica powder in your choice of colour. Dip the brush into the powder and dust it over the exposed clay. Don't worry too much if you dust the crystals too - that can be cleaned off later. I've used Pewter Perfect Pearls but Pearl-Ex is a great choice too!
You have to look closely to see the difference but the component on the right is dusted with mica whilst the component on the left is the natural resin clay colour. Adding the mica powder gives a nice polished sheen to the clay.
Gently brush away the excess powder and set the components aside to cure for 24 hours.
Once the clay has cured, you can assemble your earrings. I attached the earring findings with 5-minute epoxy for permanent adhesion - I find this to be the adhesive that works best for me. These earrings were made for unpierced ears so I've used a clip on earring blank but a stud setting would give you the same look. And as a finishing touch, I attached a simple pear-shaped crystal dangle to the loop on my bezel for some extra elegance.
In real life, these earrings are just stunning but I couldn't capture that dazzling brilliance in the photo. But take my word for it, if you want the look of expensive, fine jewellery (at a fraction of the cost), then this is the project for you!
'Til next time.....