Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lilian Nichols...Bodacious Beads and Buttons

This is the photo of the Bodacious Beads and Buttons that Lilian sent in her email announcing the latest class she was offering in polymer clay techniques.

We learned to make all those she pictured...and more.

Perhaps the most unusual shape were the Bodacious Beads.  They are shaped like an American football.

Here is the improvised tool she uses for making them.  The tool was designed by a retired scientist.  It is made from PCV pipe.

Another interesting shape was the bicone.  It is pointed on either end and looks like two cones attached at their widest part.  I pushed the two upper ones into a bit of soft polymer clay so you can see both points.

These flattened bicones were turned into buttons for an ordinary-looking black jacket which turned the jacket into  an  attention-getter.

Lilian reviewed Natasha Bead techniques and we had lots of fun experimenting with them.  Here is a set of earrings.

Another bead making tool that Lilian demonstrated for us was the Extruder. Here she is showing another handy invention to make extruding easier for a polymer clay artist who is working alone. The extruded clay cane exits horizontally so it doesn't become misshapened and can be any length.

Here is a patch work square she made by cutting off sections of the cane that she extruded.  It was fascinating to see the different squares made each time she cut off a section.  All the small squares are from the same cane.  She squeezed them together and stretched the resulting larger square.

There were five of us in the class.  We all had fun experimenting with the techniques and various color combinations.

All of the beads, except the extruded one, started with polymer clay conditioned with a pasta maker and then twisted into a cane like the one at the bottom of the page.

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