How to make porcelain jewelry

Written by alexis rohlin
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You can make porcelain jewellery with cold porcelain clay. Cold porcelain clay is a type of modelling clay that can be made in the home. Cold porcelain clay is air-dried or hardened by sitting in the open air. You can make your own cold porcelain clay and then colour it and place it in candy moulds to shape it. Once the clay has dried you can paint it and seal it with a spray varnish.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3/4 cup white glue
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon glycerine
  • 1 teaspoon cold cream
  • Sauce pan
  • Spoon
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 clean dish towels
  • Plate
  • Eye pins or jewellery wire
  • Acrylic paint
  • Small detail artist's brush
  • Water-based varnish spray

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  1. 1

    Add 3/4 cup white glue, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon glycerine and 1 teaspoon cold cream to a sauce pan. Stir with a spoon to mix them. Place onto a burner on your stove on medium heat. Stir the mixture as it warms up to dissolve the cold cream into the mixture.

  2. 2

    Add 1 cup cornstarch to the mixture once its texture has become smooth and creamy. Stir the mixture constantly as it cooks. When the liquid has been absorbed the mixture will stiffen and have a texture similar to that of lumpy mashed potatoes. Once the mixture has pulled off of the sides of the saucepan, turn off the heat and remove the porcelain clay.

  3. 3

    Dampen a clean dish towel. Place the porcelain clay into the centre of the wet towel. Wrap the towel around the clay. Dampen another clean dish towel and lay it over a plate. Set the damp towel wrapped clay onto the centre of the plate.

  4. 4

    Knead the clay through the towel with your hands. Keep the towel wrapped around it to protect your hands, as the clay will still be hot. Knead the clay through the towel for three minutes. When it has cooled down enough to be safe to touch, peel the towel off the clay and rewrap it after every four presses with your hands as you knead it.

  5. 5

    Powder your hands with cornstarch to prevent the porcelain clay from sticking to them. Remove the clay from the towel. Take the towel off of the plate. Continue kneading the porcelain clay, adding more cornstarch to your hands when necessary to prevent the clay from sticking to them. If the clay sticks to the plate, dust it with cornstarch as well. Knead the clay for five minutes or until the texture of the clay is smooth, elastic (springs back when you pull it) and it has stopped being sticky.

  6. 6

    Add four drops of acrylic paint to the clay if you wish to colour it. Knead the colour into the dough until it is thoroughly mixed.

  7. 7

    Apply a thin layer of cold cream to the cavities of a candy mould. Make small 1 inch balls with the porcelain clay. Press the balls into the cavities of the mould, using one ball per cavity. Gently press it down so that it fills in all of the nooks and crannies of the mould and to remove any air bubbles that may have formed. Add more clay as needed until the cavity of the mould is full.

  8. 8

    Let the clay cure and air dry or harden overnight. The clay will pull away from the sides of the mould as it dries and will reduce slightly in size.

  9. 9

    Insert the bottom of an eye pin into the top of the moulded clay to make it a pendant. Or you can poke a straight hole through it with a piece of jewellery wire to make a bead. This can be done now because, even after drying overnight, the interior of the clay will still be soft enough to insert wire into it. As it finishes drying over the next day, the clay will shrink and hug onto the pin to secure it in place.

  10. 10

    Let the porcelain sit overnight or until it has completely dried. Dried porcelain clay is slightly translucent and very hard.

  11. 11

    Paint the porcelain pendants or beads with acrylic paints and a small artist's detail brush in a design of your choice. Wait one hour. Spray the pendants or beads with an even layer of water-based varnish. Wait one hour and turn them over and spray the back to finish making a waterproof seal.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash out your saucepan and spoon with hot soapy water immediately after use to remove the sticky clay porcelain residue before it hardens and becomes difficult to remove.
  • If you wish to paint detailed designs with more than one colour. Paint the bottom colour first, wait 20 minutes for it to dry, then paint the top embellishments or highlights.

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