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Hollow Paper Clay Beads

molds, and hollow beads

I sell most of my beads as finished jewelry. I have been hearing  from some customers, that our necklaces are too heavy for them.  Using paper clay is one answer, but I was thinking.... if I used paper clay and made the beads hollow they would really be light weight. With that in mind I went really wild and made a super big bead, as well as my usual largest bead.

Last year I  made hollow P' Clay ball ornaments, but I started with crumpled newspaper in a ball and covered that. With the newspaper method however, it's hard to get the sizes consistent.

The nice thing about paper clay, besides being lighter in weight, is that it joins together really well. (You can even add new clay to clay that is bone dry. For more on paper clay and making your own, see my post here)
My mold making is really quick and dirty. I just press a bisque fired shape into fresh clay, then bisque fire the mold. If the shape is the same on both sides, you only have to make a one sided mold and use it for both sides of the hollow bead. However if needed, you can make a rough 2 sided mold by letting the first side harden up a bit, then place some paper strips on the first molds edges, and press on more fresh

To make the beads I roll out a small slab and press it into the bisque mold and scrape away the excess clay. Then I make the second side and use P' clay slip to join the 2 sides. ( no need to score with P'clay) Next I make the holes and walla, a hollow bead.

Next month some pictures of the finished necklaces.

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