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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mandalas, Etch N Pearl Magic & Syndee Holt - Secret Tools Series: Pt 6

                  Who doesn't love the magic of a Mandala?

Although we all have our favorite tools & techniques, one of the tools at the Top of my favorites list is the Etch N Pearl 3 piece set brought to us by Sculpey products. They are so versatile & can create the look of Master Art pieces even by novice polymer clay artists. So, what are some of the easy Awesome ways we can play with these lovely ditties? Let's take a closer peak.

Place a center-piece pearl to finish your design
Fill a created space with different sized pearls for a cool dimensional look

Add circles & lines for surface design - quick & easy

Use the smooth sides to clean up rough edges

Create wonderful unique frames for your cabochons

Set includes 3 different sized hole makers 
Easily create home-made texture sheets
Create fun pearl dangles & the holes they peak out from

Turn a simple skinner blend into beautiful jewelry & scarf pins

Create Steampunk, Sea Urchins & Tentacles 

Use the needle tool ends for petite filigree surface work 

Perfect tool for adding findings

Create Polka Dot sheets + Ornate Endcaps

Detailed surface carving decoration

How EASY is it to master these 3 marvels? Here are some great tips & tricks from 
Master Artist Syndee Holt that will have you creating like a pro in no time!

1: Use the widest setting on your Clay Conditioning Machine to make a nice fat pearl.
2: Make your pearls on a smooth ceramic tile so that the pearls will stick to the tile and not in the tool. Then just peel up the remaining sheet of clay to expose your pearls.
3:  Dip the Etch n’ Pearl in water every couple of pearls – again so that they stick to the tile and not the tool. A small bottle cap works great.

Etch n’ Pearls are a great way to add color accents, create frames, cover seams.  They are also easy to get carried away with, like I did with the cutter bracelets.
4:  An empty clay wrapper with a little Sculpey Bake n’ Bond in it, a toothpick and you can securely attach your pearls  (** Note from Liz in Vegas,,, get out your white glue  :-)

5: Use the pokey end of the tool to not only press a hole in the pearl for more texture, but to help secure it to the clay surface below. See how it changes the whole look of the pearl?

6:  Try using other tools to create a texture.  For instance the rubber chisel end of the medium ball tool in the Sculpey Essential Tool Kit or the Style and Details kit makes a great phillips head screw look.  These are great for covering seams in clay like on these faux leather bracelets.
7: The pokey end of the tool makes a great scrap cleaner around the edge of the pearl.

8: Make the large pearl, use the medium ball tool to make a dent in it and add a small pearl of a different color to make a elegant decoration.

9:  Use the pearls to create a bezel for a cabochon. 

10:  Use thinner layers of clay to create polka dots that can be used alone or layered.  I prefer to make the thinner layers on paper so that the clay sticks in the tool until I lightly press it into place.  If the clay sticks to the paper, put the tool back over it and swipe the tool towards you to scoop up the polka dot.

BONUS:  The sheet of clay with the polka dots can be run through the clay conditioning machine to make ovals too! Here are some great examples of how you can use the Etch n’ Pearl tool in my recent creative map

Some other great links to Sculpey projects using Etch n’ Pearls include Amy Koranek’s bracelet where she used the pearls to hold the hardware         

Final Syndee Holt Photo:

Mandala Landscapes - Easy No Fail Perfection

What is it about Mandalas that seems to call to so many of us? The flow of perfect symmetry? The way the colors intertwine, so different & yet perfectly fitted like notes that compose that tune that touches us deep within? Maybe it's that they follow All the rules... & yet seem to break the rules at the same time? 

Maybe it's as simple as... they are just so freakin cool?

I LOVE Mandala Landscape art the same way I Love Natasha's, & adore doing them both for the same reason. Very simply, you really can't screw them up. Once you have a palette that works, the landscapes write themselves! Over the next week or 2 (best laid optimistic plans) I will begin posting my books - TONS of books. They will include boodles of Mandalas, Landscapes & Zentangle art. I'll be sharing the step by steps on how I create the different landscapes. Meanwhile, you can add a set of Etch N Pearl tools to your repertory for under $15.00 & begin having fun mastering the little dynamos.

For today, be well & Happy Claying!

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