Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inside Bangle Making – Part One

New year, new projects.

Like many creative folks, I keep a running list of things to try. My notepad sits next to my PC, and when I see something that I would like to try, I jot down a note about the project, and then go on to something else. These notes and notebooks may not always yield a new design, but often the entries spark further creativity or expansion. I do try to add a new product line every year, and it is amazing how fast the years fly by.

This year, I am trying out some bangle bracelets. I am currently working on design ideas for the 2014 Primetime Emmys that I want to gift products to at the end of the year. In the meantime, I am working on designs and ideas for something that will not make me crazy when I make 100 of them. These bangles are an idea that I have been playing with, and if I like them when I am done, I have a very long time to create 100 of them.

Once I started on these, I discovered that the amount of handwork involved in smoothing the dome of the bangle blank will be too hard on my hands to complete 100 of these without a lot of pain. I do plan to make a lot of these cool and fun bracelets, but maybe, not 100 of them. My thumb is still angry with me today for the use and abuse from yesterday.

These blanks will be home to colorful patterns and designs in polymer clay. They are not very attractive at the moment, but the blank is not supposed to be attractive; it is supposed to be functional while using up a lot of that box of scrap clay that I accumulate regularly.

These bracelets are probably going to be a bit on the small size once I get them done, as I made them a bit too tight. It happens. They will still fit a 6 inch wrist, but twisting knuckles through them may be a tight fit. It depends on how thin I can get my interior color for the finished piece.

I did three different sizes, and I look at these as my blank canvas. I do not have my final designs mapped out yet, nor do I have any idea of how these will all turn out. I only know that they will not look like they do today when I am done.

I will probably use any of my polymer clay canes or kaleidoscope canes from Blue Morning Expressions.

They have been through three bakes and a lot of 240 grit sanding to get the edges knocked off and ready for the final veneers.

BangleMake3 BangleMake1 BangleMake2BangleMake4 

Stay tuned for the next adventure in bangle making.

Julie and Blu