Friday, September 12, 2008

clay beads.

With two sick boys (yep, both) we took it slow much of this week. They didn't have much energy to do too much at a time, but did want to be somewhat busy, so in between playing a lot of board games, reading books, listening to books on CD, doing sticker books and watching a few movies, we also did some craft projects. Both boys really like working with the air dry clay, and enjoy any excuse to include that in a project.

This time around we made beads. Making beads is pretty easy - pinch off a bit of clay, roll it up, shape it into whatever you want it to be (cube, circle, tube), and stick it onto a skewer.

From there we decided we wanted some texture, so the boys rolled the beads over some stamps to imprint the moist clay. We also tried winding thin craft wire around and then removing to add a pattern too.

We let the beads dry about 24 hours and then moved on to paint.

Using acrylics, the boys painted a base color - we used brown and deep red. Before the paint was dry we wiped it quickly with a sponge to get most of the paint off (while there was much that did still absorb into the clay). The boys then added some metallic paint over the top. They liked the idea of copper (which we saw at the geology museum), so we used copper and green as our two metallic colors.

We let that dry and then just coated one layer of clear matte acrylic varnish.

We have beads! They turned out great. They can be added to twine or leather to make a necklace, or - what I think we plan to do - they can be tied on to string or twine as embellishments...I'm thinking holiday gifts!

While the boys worked on their beads, I played around modeling heads (inspired by Gwen). Here is one of my screaming heads in progress... ;)


Sharon said...

I hope the boys are feeling better soon and that there are no major asthma episodes. I hope you don't catch it too and that it ends where it is.

Those skulls are amazing and creepy. Very cool!

Ruth said...

It's a project that connects them with the ages, how earthy and inventive!

dawn klinge said...

This make me want to go to the craft store and pick up some air dry looks so fun. I'm so sorry to hear that both boys have been sick. I hope they feel better this weekend.

sheila said...

Nice metallic paint. And are you going to call your head Edvard? He looks as though he was made for a YouTube movie. (do you watch Dr Who? he reminds me of the Face of Bo)

One year we made dried apple heads. They took forever, were a little too creepy for Max, but the twins thought they were AMAZING.

Anonymous said...

awesome activity. i wish i knew how to get that air dry clay here. the beads look great!
and i LOVE that screaming head. now if that didn't come from shadow i don't know where it came from. very nice.

also, i love the idea of doing craft time with my boys, but everytime we attempt it, things go haywire. perhaps it;s just their temperment, but they don't like organised projects, they like free for alls, which i'm happy to oblige. but i've noticed they often feel frustrated because when they tire of crafting or drwing or painting, they don'tr have a finished keepable product. j especially gets upset. but if i say, "hey! let's do it together and see what happens." his response is "no, mama. i want to do my own thing."
do you have any suggestions?

Tara said...

The screaming head is spooky- perfect for Halloween?
I like the colors on the boys beads- hope they are feeling better soon.

Yarrow said...

Beautiful beads. I love,love the skull. those would be awesome for Halloween time. Blessings.

Anet said...

Wonderful beads! They will make a great necklace.
The screaming head is a little creepy, but really fun! I think Noah would enjoy making one of those!

Mama Randa Morning Glory said...

I have not been a part of the blogging community for several months now, and it has left a gap in me. I want you to know how inspiring it is to read your blog and others of like-minded mamas spending their days learning with their children. It really helps keep me out of a rut. Thank you!

What a good idea to roll the beads over stamps for texture. We like to use the clay studio at the local university's craft shop. You can buy clay (it's inexpensive) and then you get free unlimited use of their kilns, wheels, glazes, and other equipment-- it's awesome!

Tara said...

I love the skull! And the beads too. Through my downtime with illness we have gotten back in touch with some more artistic activities. It's very nice. Your boys are lucky to have a momma like you!

Anonymous said...

Cool beads and fabulously creepy screaming head!

Best wishes to the boys for a speedy recovery.

Lisa Clarke said...

Those metallic beads are pretty impressive, and being a clay bead artist myself, I know of what I speak, LOL!

I like the face, too. Very unusual!

Claudia - La Casa nella Prateria said...

That's an interesting project, thank you for sharing. And... love your screaming head.

RunninL8 said...

Whoa! That screamin' head is rockin'!!! Lo would be affraid of it!
Great beads, guys!!!!