I completed the Peacock Necklace Project this evening so results have to be posted.
The tutorial for this project was designed by Christi Friesen, you can view her website and the free projects she has for download there by clicking here. Christi also sells her work has a gallery of previous works and has books and additional projects and online classes you can purchase. I definitely intend participating in one of the online classes, because I adore her style and the way she writes her tutorials so know I will really enjoy learning what’s on offer in the classes.
The tutorial for this peacock polymer clay and bead single stranded necklace is available on The Firemountain Gems website for free. It was featured on the cover of one of their catalogues. I have played around with clay for a couple of weeks now and this was one of the first things I attempted, so it is easy enough for a complete beginner to follow and as you can see from the result is very satisfying in it’s entirety. Christi has an easy going voice in her tutorials and is funny without being patronising a quality which is probably one of the reasons why she is such a popular teacher in her field of polymer clay and mixed media art.
I did not want to spend oodles of cash on the project because I am still not at a point where I know for sure that I am going to love (ok maybe I am now, but I wasn’t before) playing with polymer clay. So I decided to use what I had on hand and therefore I had to improvise in relation to bead choices and reccomendations and some materials. There are definitely a few things I would (woulda shoulda) recommend doing that I did not.
- I used beading wire (26 guage) to string the entire project. It does give good strength but it is not as flowy as Christi’s is because she used flex wire (also for beading but thinner and covered in plastic)
- I don’t own a crimping pliers (well I did, but &^$%&$@ knows what I did with it) so I have been crimping the crimp beads with flat nose or round nose when I can’t get close enough with the flat nose pliers, this means while the beads are crushed, they are not actually crimped so the finished product is not as strong, and also if you miss or press the wrong way, adjacent beads usually get smashed in the process.
- I also don’t have any crimp covers, they would have helped to add a better finish to the project.
- I don’t have a pasta machine or a clay conditioning machine yet (next on the list!) so while conditioning clay my hands do get quite sore to the point of finding it a little painful to start conditioning again the next day.
Overall though it is extremely exciting being able to follow along on a project that looks immensely complex and stunning and be able to produce something as a complete novice that approximates the project photo. If it weren’t for the well worded and thoughtful project including hints and tips along the way where newbies could fall in a heap, it would not be achievable and potentially put some potential clayers back in their box for good.
I have a tendency to want to not start at the beginning but to be able to pick something up and learn right away how to do it and do it properly and perfectly and have been disillusioned many a time. It is very refreshing to find something that does not fall into the same category. Now that I finished the project I have a lot of appreciation for the time and effort that I will need to put in to take my level of work and turn into something better.