Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How-to and Give away

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

The give away is now closed! Thanks to everyone who followed and commented. The winner will be announced Tuesday, Feb. 26!

I'm no longer posting to this blog but you can follow my new blog here...


  1. Thanks for your "how-to" post. Sure I'll use it!
    If I were so lucky to see my name in the winners list, I would choose the Blue House earrings (both are beautiful anyway).

  2. Son preciosos, gracias por la explicación. Besos

  3. I already follow your blog (and twitter), and I don't know which earrings I prefer! Probably the black and white ones :)

  4. I love your unique style Genevieve, and I love following your blog and discovering your new creations. Both earrings are beautiful, so I'll leave the choice to you :).

  5. Thanks for the lovely finishing tip! Love those 'Blue house' earrings....

  6. Thanks for the tip it's a great look. I like the blue house earrings best - blue is my colour. I will go follow your new blog too - would hate to miss your posts. Cara

  7. Thank you for How-to. I must try it. Grey mountains are my favorite.

  8. Great tutorial! I subscribed to your new blog and both sets of earrings are gorgeous.

  9. The 'Grey Mountain' earrings (like all of your work) are gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  10. imagine, a pair of earrings of you ! i would be honored when I win this ! i like the ones with the blue

  11. I already follow your blog Genevieve, and I really enjoy it. I love the blue house earrings!

  12. Awesome!! Thanks for this opportunity Genevieve! I love the grey mountain earrings as a first choice and the blue house earrings as second :)

  13. Great little tutorial. I already follow you on both blogs, and I left a comment on the other one. But just to cover all of my bases in having a chance to be chosen for your earrings, I'll leave a comment here as well. I love your polymer work.

  14. u must be feeling better :)
    great post ~ always find it interesting to see how things are done.
    thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Oh! Lovely! Thanks Geneveive - I'm following both blogs and my favourite are the Grey Mountain ones - both are just lovely though!

  16. What a great idea! I am planning a few beginners sessions for polymer clay and these will be definitely suggested to my students!
    I would love to win the grey mountain earrings!
    Thank you for a lovely giveaway!

  17. Thanks for sharing your techniques Genevieve. I often wondered how you make your pieces. They are so distinct - nothing like what anybody else makes from polymer clay. Love both earrings but the blue/gray would be more my preference. Hope I win!
    Good luck with the new blog)

  18. Thank you for a great tutorial. My first choice are the grey mountain earrings.

  19. Thank you for the tutorial, I'm loving the Grey Mountain earrings I think they would go with just about any outfit.

  20. count me in! i love your work :)

  21. I really like this tutorial, I would not have thought about this! I just found your blog and I am excited to go through your past posts! Thanks! And both pairs of earrings are fabulous! You are very talented.

  22. Blue house!!
    What an awesome tutorial Genevieve, thank you for sharing!

  23. Thank you for the tutorial. I'm a fan of the Blue House earrings. I visited your new site and followed by e-mail. I look forward to your future posts. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  24. Love your style!! My favorite are the earrings with blue... but they are both gorgeous!! Thanks so much!
    ps Tell your son to pick me!! hehe

  25. Thanks everyone!
    I'll post some nice example of metal tube rivets tomorrow.

  26. Hi, I have been following your blog at least for two years. Since I'm a shy finnish I have never left any comments. But now I have to do it since I love your Blue House earrings. Your designs are so beautiful and it is always a pleasure to see them. Sincerely, Tuija

    1. Oh no need to be shy Tuija - I am so to know you are here, thank you!

  27. Love love love the Grey Mountain earrings!

  28. Thannks for the tutorial I will surely put this to good use! Your earrings are a blast! Good -Luck to everyone ! And Thank You for the chance to win a great pair of earrings !
    Great job,Genevieve

  29. Thanks for the faux rivet how-to. I love to see how others work with clay.

    I love the blue pair of earrings.

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  30. Thanks for the tutorial. So simple to do, but something I have never thought to do! I love your blue house earrings!

  31. Simple but beautiful.

    Sweet Kisses.