I trained as a metalsmith so I still think in terms of metal techniques sometimes. And sometimes...this doesn't work at all but other times it does, as in the case of tube rivets.
For those who are unfamiliar, a tube rivet is a cold connection for metal - meaning no soldering required. You drill a hole into two pieces of metal that you want to connect, line up the holes and put a small piece of metal tubing into the hole. Then you hammer into the tube, flaring the edges and sandwiching the metal pieces together. I don't NEED this technique to connect polymer but you can use it as an interesting way to finish a hole.
- polymer clay in colors of your choice
I'm using bright yellow and medium grey for the tube rivet as it "suggests" sterling silver
- large needle
- pasta machine and roller
- cutters, patterns or templates of your choice
- flexible blade
1. Condition your polymer and make a base shape, cut out with a cutter or template or, as I did, just roll a blob through the pasta machine on the thickest setting.
2. Next make very tiny balls of grey clay - these are your mock tube rivets - they can of course vary in size but mine were about the size of peppercorns.
3. Mark a whole with your needle in the flat piece of clay to mark your opening.
4. Put the small ball of clay over the hole and CAREFULLY flatten with your acrylic roller. You don't want to squish the earring, especially if you have any texture on it, and you don't want the rivet totally imbedded in the surface. Go slowly, you can always roll a little more if you need to. You want it close but not totally flush with the surface of the earring.
5. Re-pierce the hole with your needle and widen it further by twirling the needle.
6. Bake according to package directions.
7. Enlarge the hole even more with a drill if you'd like. (I do.) The hole should correspond in size to the rivet - the larger the rivet, the larger the hole should be.
Optional: if you like you can distress your earring with black acrylic at this point, wiping the excess off quickly. The little bit that is left at the edge of the rivet enhances the effect even further. Still too much paint? Buff with some steel wool.
So here I've used this idea with some of my Shape earrings - I'm sure you can modify it to suit your purposes and style.
|top: Grey Mountain earrings|
bottom: Blue House earrings
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