Friday, February 26, 2010

Sunflower Pendant Necklace from Polymer Clay

The optimistic sunflower is one of my favorite flowers. This necklace was originally made as a gift for a friend who lost almost all her possessions when her house burned to the ground.  I wanted to make her something hopeful. It is handmade, entirely from PREMO polymer clay. 

 The pendant was constructed on a "sandwich" base made of two identical flat circular 1 1/4" diameter pieces of pieces of clay (a thickness of 5/64" or Atlas PM#4) containing portions of the broad ends of the three heart-shaped leafs to hold them in place.  A channel was formed formed horizontally between the two pieces near the top of the pendant to act as a channel for the stringing wire by curing the pendant base with a straight piece of 20 gauge wire that was coated with ArmorAll and to be removed after curing. The two pieces of the base "sandwich" were then "glued" together with liquid polyclay.

A petal shaped plug of golden yellow clay was hand-formed and then thin slices were cut off to create the petals. Once the raw petals were thinned at the tips, the characteristic sunflower veining was added by drawing them on with the tip of a piercing pin and the tips were pinched together they were added to the cured base.

Dozens of "Bulls-eye"canes were made of of browns and golden yellow and then reduced to tiny diameters. Once reduced, they were combined together making a round tubular cane to mimic the brown center of the sunflower which eventually becomes  the delicious sunflowers we love to eat. A thin slice of this “seed cane” was added to the center of the flower and the pendant was cured. The ladybugs were studio made with polymer clay and acrylic paint, dabbing on the tiny dots with a "used up" Micron .3 pen tip (and a 3X magnifier!)

 The handmade cobalt colored beads range in size from 4mm to 15mm. Some of them were appliqued with thin slices of a sunflower cane based on a design by Sue Heaser. The canes were meticulously smoothed onto the beads using a 1/4 inch acrylic rod. After curing, the beads were sanded through four grits of sandpaper, then two-part buffed and four coats of heat-set varnish were applied, all making for a shiny glass-like finish that mimics Italian Millefiori glass beads.

Copies of the newly re-designed necklace and matching earrings are available at my on-line shop, MelodyODesigns at ArtFire 

You might also enjoy viewing my Sunflower Collar Necklace.


  1. SO BEAUTIFUL! I just adore this piece! The pendant is stunning and the accessory beads pull the whole thing together so nicely. Just love it.

  2. Anita, this is awesome. Hope your friend is ok. Anything we can do to help?

  3. Thanks for your lovely comments! Bonnie, you are a dear to ask. Yes, my friend is OK, but bouncing back and moving on can't be easy. All prayers sent her way gratefully accepted.

  4. This necklace is absolutely gorgeous!!! It is full of love and positive energy, something to really light up the stormy day! I am sorry for your friend, but am sure this gift will help her to keep her spirit up!

  5. How awful for your friend but what a lovely necklace I am sure it will give her some hope.

  6. Hi Melody, What a nice guesture for your friend to receive one of your lovely pendants. Im sure it has cheered her up no end. It is beautiful like all your work. Love the sunflower and the blue beads with the sunflower motifs just lovely. Anything yellow to brighten up a sad day.
    E XXX

  7. I'm so so so sorry for your friend! What a beautiful necklace you have made for her - it's full of hope and will surely help her in her healing process. Sending prayers for her.

  8. Beautiful necklace Anita. I am so sorry for your friends loss. This should make her smile.
    Rainbows and lovely tea sounds like a wonderful idea.
    Thank you for stopping by.

  9. You are a very talented clay artist, wow! Beautiful! I am following you now by the way. And thanks for commenting on my Prisoner of Love necklace =)

  10. What a lovely gift. Sunflowers always remind me of lovely ladies and this is no exception. So glad you came by and visited. Please stop in often. Take care, Susan

  11. What a beautiful necklace, Anita! This will definitely make her smile in the midst of her loss. What a beautiful gift that comes from the heart, and what a great friend! My heart goes out to your friend.

  12. Hi Melobeau lovely to hear from you.
    thanks for the concern re the flooding. Yes lets hope our season is mild., but sadly it is happennig elswhere in Oz at the moment for a lot of places and makes me cry when I see it and know the feeling.
    We can only say a pray and hope things will come right.
    Almost always, some Good comes out of bad , as it did for us here.
    My first efforts of Kaleidoscopes need a bit of tweaking LOL, I think, but my heart is there so I will improve, as I said.
    I like that you understood my muses about attitude. Thats great.
    I write as I do to keep myself focused, and it is how I am. Your site is joy to come to with your colorful work.

    love It

    See you again soon. Love

  13. It is a beautiful necklace Anita. Sunflowers always raise my spirits, I hope they do the same for your friend. BJ