Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Untouched by Human Hands

Wafer Beads (AKA Tiles)
I like this method because you really can make beads largely untouched by human hand. ( well the sides are touched but lets not quibble).

1.You start with the front on back of the tile like bead. Lay a textured sheet of clay or a veneer on a baking tile and cut out your tiles with a rectangular cutter. I am using very thin sheets of clay (1 to 1.5mm thick)  for this because the centre of the bead will give it structural integrity.

2. Carefully clear away the extra clay.(not should not touch the surfaces of the thin shapes until they are cooked.
The exception to this rule is if you see a bubble between the clay and the cooking tile let the air out my make tiny hole with a fine needle and light push the air out.

 3. Cook the tiles for the full length of time. You want them to be strong so I do not shorten the cooking time but I do as always tent the tray and include a test scrap to check for strength.

4. Take two cooked wafers. I am using one that is textured. ( I used one of my stamps for the texture.) the other wafer if a veneer I have made with millifiori slices. For the center I have used a neutral colour clay but you could go wild here it you wanted to.

5. Brush on a thin layer of LPC (Liquid Polymer clay) to help the bond between the cooked wafer and the raw centre. You don’t want much LPC because the wafer will slip around rather than sticking.

6. & 7. Trim of the excess centre clay.

8. Flip over your bead and ably another coating of LPC to the reverse side of the bead.

9. Snug up the bead by pushing the sides together. (now you can touch the front and back of the bead but make sure you don’t have LPC on your fingers because that will give you finger prints - and the whole point of the exercise in beads with no finger prints). You should also push in the centre to make sure there are no gaps.

10. Almost there. Pierce the bead with a needle and bake it. I only make a small hole as a guide and drill it larger after the bead is cooked. I think that it there is less chance of the bead delaminating that way. You can make ask many holes as you like thought after three it might get a little hairy.

So there you have it. Feedback and corrections are welcome as usual.


A Half-Baked Notion said...

Thanks for sharing your expertise, Joan. This is a beautiful method and seems to give the ultimate control over your medium.

Carrie said...

Thank you, Joan ....this is an excellent way to make tiles - I shall definitely try this....I am on a tile-bead necklace roll at the moment!

joan tayler said...

I am glad that the tutorial has been helpful. I am sure that others do it this way but I had not thought of it before.

Zackary Faraj said...

very interesting blog, Thanks for sharing. Keep posting like this.
Beaded Front Design

artyjudy said...

That saves so much sanding!
Thanks for sharing that Joan. <3

Robin Feliciano said...

How did you get the color on your tiles?

joan tayler said...

The tiles are made using slices from millefiori canes that I made. I have a l little tutorial on making a cane on my blog. You can paste the link below into your browser or look at other's examples on the net.
my link
good luck and have fun.