Tuesday, 10 January 2012
One bead material that is sometimes under-appreciated is FIMO clay. It can be a lengthy process to make FIMO beads and the need for lots of raw materials can make the beads costly to buy and to create, but they are beautiful, miniature works of art that can be manipulated to mimic anything from sculptured flowers and leaves to polished stones. This versatility means you can pair them with anything you like; metal, glass crystals or felt, just to name a few.
Never before has the ability to create stunning, realistic flowers and leaves been afforded to artisans. FIMO clay can be custom blended and manipulated to make everything from asters to zinnias, as well as beads for stringing, or placing on filigreed metal findings.
To make FIMO flower beads, you need some packages of FIMO clay, powder finishes if desired, an assortment of tools for working with the clay, a pasta making machine and a dedicated toaster oven. There is no single way to make decorative clay amulets due to the countless shapes and designs, but a few tricks remain constant; knead the clay to make it pliable, after it is shaped, bake it in the toaster oven to harden and when the bead is finished, sit back in amazement at the talent you never knew you had.
If your talents lie in buying exquisite polymer clay beads rather than fabricating them, look for flowers, flowers, and more flowers if you want something hot and trendy! Because of the many shades and hues of polymer clay, flowers and leaves can look more realistic than ever. This makes creating wearable gardens and flower arrangements easier than you ever imagined.
Some FIMO blossoms, especially clay roses, look like fine porcelain and are set in antiqued bronze findings, giving them a Victorian appearance, which adds to their charm. Everyone knows how much the Victorians adored flowers and floral themes. Steampunk- and Victorian-themed accessories are very popular right now, so mixing clay blossoms into your repertoire will really shake things up.
To create with these romantic blooms, use the findings as they are and attach them to a length of chain. You would be hard pressed to find an easier method for creating jewellery with a beautiful, romantic antique look. Do not skimp on the clasp. Use one that is just as pretty and special as the floral component.
For something unexpected, you may want to explore micro-macrame. For this kind of craft, 2mm silk is typically used, but anything goes be it hemp, leather, twine, yarn, or something else.
Using micro-macrame with FIMO flowers results in a soft comfortable piece of jewellery that can still have movement. Play with the thread colours in conjunction with the bead colours for more realistic effects. For example, tan or coffee-coloured thread with green, leafy beads and multi-hued blooms will provide the appearance of branches and blossoms, like a real garland.
For fun, try combining micro-macrame, FIMO blooms, leaves and free form peyote stitch. The result is just as unique as you are, and people will be amazed, thinking the piece is more complicated than it really is.
If you were not graced with a green thumb, you may find the arrangements you create with FIMO flowers, wire, and tiny clay pots to be the next best thing to having real plants. Let your imagination flourish and you may find an interesting and exciting new hobby in addition to creating fabulous jewellery.
Enjoy your experiences making both wearable and non-wearable FIMO flower gardens. They've got style, colour, they never fade, never need watering or plant sitting and they have everything but the bugs!