Swarovski Ceralun clay is a wonderful media that allows you to make simple jewellery with maximum impact. The clay comes in 2 parts (resin & hardener), when equal amounts of each are mixed together it forms a clay that can then can have Swarovski crystal chatons, diamantes and stones set into the surface.
We recently interviewed Jackie Astill about working with Swarovski’s new Ceralun clay; not only had Jackie created some innovative pieces which you can see in the previous blog post here. She also had some great advice and tips for working with the clay.
Think about and plan what you want to make, then get things in place before you mix the Ceralun, this will give you extra working time.
- Wear gloves when you mix the clay, but once it’s mixed you can work with bare hands. You can use a barrier cream if you want.
- Swarovski Ceralun clay can be a bit sticky so have a damp piece of strong kitchen roll or hand wipes ready to clean your fingers on, as you go along.
- Do not mix too much clay in one go, it’s easy to mix more, but there can be a risk of wastage if you mix too much at once.
- A non-stick working surface (Teflon sheet) is useful; you can make a piece without a bezel and then peel it off when it has set. If you do this on a glass or plastic sheet, the Ceralun will bond to it permanently.
- Use “Embellie Gellie” to pick up and place your crystals – using tweezers can leave marks in the clay.
- Buy a lot of very small crystals – you’ll be surprised how often you’ll want them to fill in small spaces!
- It’s a good idea to have a small spare bezel to hand so that if you have any excess mixed clay it won’t go to waste.
- Once mixed, you have about two hours working time before it starts to cure. You can slow down the curing process by putting mixed clay into the freezer and then warming it gently in your hands when you are ready to use it. You can also increase your working time by putting the mixed clay on a frozen freezer block to keep it cold, particularly when the weather is hot (the condensation on the block will stop the clay sticking).
- Curing time is 72 hours to be totally cured, but it will be pretty-well set within 24 hours. You can speed up the curing time by putting your completed pieces in the oven at 80 degrees centigrade for 2-4 hours, if you’re in a hurry!
Here are some great pieces that Jackie has made that will hopefully provide some inspiration for your own Ceralun projects.
All pieces of jewellery featured in this blog post have been made by Jackie Astill you can find out more about Jackie here and view more of her creations on her facebook page. You can also buy Jackie’s creations on Etsy in her shop called Ancient and Modern Gems.
Thanks for reading!