In other news... ;o) ...I buffed up a few of the beads I made a week or so ago-- the ones with crackled paint on translucent clay, placed paint down on black clay. I only buffed three of them, because so far, I've only sanded three of them. Oh my gosh, how I do hate sanding round beads!! It's so much worse than sanding other shapes of beads-- not that I love love love doing that, either. Maybe when we get the tumbler tumbling, I can leave the round beads for it to handle. :o)
Anyway, the beads buffed up beautifully, if I do say so myself. They have a gorgeous glossy finish-- without a finish. I do prefer to leave my clay "naked" whenever I can. The finishes just take more time (and trouble) to apply, and I don't like the feel of the finish as much as the feel of the polished clay.
However-- I did learn a few things in this process-- things I hope to remember when I try this technique again. Namely, the following:
- Sanding round beads is a major pain (as previously stated).
- But on the other hand, round beads are nice for a change from my usual bead shape choices.
- The paint didn't crackle enough for my tastes. Next time, I need to start with thicker sheets of translucent, so that there's "room to crackle". That way, more black (or other base color clay) will show through the decoratives strips and shapes, and I think the beads will look better that way.
- I ought to also try this technique with metal leaf-- with the original colors of the leaf, but also with pre-tinted translucent clay to alter the color of the leaf. (Of course, this will tint the whole piece of translucent clay, but that might not matter so much against a dark background color. Or... I could try tinting the leaf priot to adhering it. I wonder how well metal leaf would "take" alcohol inks...)
While buffing, I tried putting the round beads on a rod (copper wire), holding either end of the rod, and letting the beads spin freely against the buffing wheel. (I did them individually, but come to think of it, I guess there's no reason I couldn't have put multiple beads on the rod at the same time.) One of them worked out well. The other seemed to buff more in one place than in another, which I don't quite understand-- unless the bead was just that uneven. Anyway, it made the bead easier to hold, that way, so even though I still had to buff the ends (near the stringing holes) off the rod, I'll probably use that technique again, the next time I'm buffing round beads. (Which, given what a pain they are to sand, might not be often. (g))
I'm still thinking about how best to display/store my finished necklaces and other pieces of jewelry... It would be nice to have a way to keep them so that I can see what I have and keep them from becoming tangled or potentially scratched or otherwise damaged. I think I have the supplies already around the house to make one or two strips with cup-holder hooks for hanging jewelry. They'll only hold a certain amount of items at a time, but that's better than nothing, for a start.