Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shibori Beads: A half-ass tutorial

shibori 1

It occurred to me recently that I must suffer from some sort of craft A.D.D. I can't seem to stop my brain from thinking of things I want to make. And often the overwhelming need to try a new idea happens before I'm finished with my current project. So this post is a mash-up, a peek inside my craft-addled brain that wants to sew, make jewelry, redecorate, play with clay, draw on my ipad, etc.

So...shibori. It's everywhere and it's so so pretty. The indigo and white is really classic, though I do plan to share a purple shibori treatment when I get around to taking a picture. The bundles above are from a failed (and very messy) shibori endeavor. I didn't have real indigo and substituted some blue idye - the colors ran too much and I ended up with a big, washed out mess. The pre-dye bundles do look kind of pretty, though.

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shibori inspired clay beads
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The shibori beads were really easy to make. That's why this is a half-ass tutorial. It's polymer clay; you know what to do with it, right? Just smush it together until you get something you like.  Having said that, here are a few tips for getting a nice result:
  • toss your beads in cornstarch before baking in the oven. it removes fingerprints and keeps the clay from scorching. 
  • try not to mix the blue and white too much or it will just be light blue. for areas where I wanted to white to pop a bit more, I buffed with a bit of wet sandpaper.
  • buff with a rough linen cloth (cloth from failed shibori dye attempts worked well for me) and beeswax for a subtle and natural finish. 
new necklace

That's pretty much it. A very easy and satisfying project. Just for fun, here's a sketch from my tumblr drawing a day - a meandering of patchwork shibori cloth. See what I mean about craft A.D.D.?

shibori patchwork sketch, just for fun







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