Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Autumn Leaves Monarch Butterfly Necklace from Polymer Clay

Autumn Leaves, Monarch Butterfly and ladybug necklace from Polymer clay. 
This necklace currently for sale at MelodyODesigns at Etsy 
"Autumn, a second spring where every leaf is a flower." Albert Camus
I love to pick colorful autumn leaves to press, but the colors of THIS polyclay version will never fade. The leaves and acorns are made from PREMO polyclay using vein impressions made from real leaves and a mold made from a real acorn. The leaf color formulas contain some fluorescent clay to make the colors “pop”. All are tinted with a powder made from crushed soft artists pastels before curing. The butterfly wings were from studio made polymer clay canes*.

The  butterfly has a PC body, wire antennae, and seed bead eyes. The butterfly wings are attached to a  thin black butterfly-shaped aluminum sheet that allows the wings to be repositionable. The individual components are attached to a collar made from sewn macramé cording. The ladybugs were made using PC and acrylic paint. 

*Caning is a labor intensive construction technique borrowed from glassmaking similar to making jelly rolls where colored rods of clay are laid horizontally forming a complex pattern from which a thin slice is cut allowing the pattern to be seen. See a photo of raw Monarch cane below. Each tiny component of the entire complex Monarch butterfly is made by laying individual long rods of clay lengthwise and bundling them together with other tiny rods, so the Monarch image you see is actually made up 100's of tiny rods of clay.

A special thanks to Leigh Ross who, with husband Stephen, runs the Delphi newsgroup PolymerClayCentral. Her excellent leaf tutorial originally inspired me to make polymer clay leaves many years ago and got me excited about working with PC. Her lovely work and wide body of  PC knowledge continue to educate and inspire new generations of PC fans.
The "made from scratch" caned Monarch Butterfly is adhered to a thin aluminum backing so that the wings can be repositioned.

Un-reduced Monarch cane  made from old  PREMO polyclay

The Monarchs have landed in Cottonwood!
To see the Monarch Butterflies on a Blue Morning Glory necklace please click here:


  1. Absolutely adore your beautiful butterflies! Beautiful autumn necklace!

  2. Beyond beautiful, wow, you are such an artist! Great work!


  3. Anita, this is awesome. Reminds me of home in Wisconsin in the fall. I guess you are inspired up there where you live. All I see are cactus and rocks. LOL.
    Great Work. Love it.

  4. Your monarch butterfly is so pretty and love the fall necklace! Nice work Anita!

  5. beautiful, abselutely breath taking , you are an amazing artist Anita!

  6. WOW! Amazing butterfly - beautiful necklace!

  7. It's gorgeous Anita. The butterfly is absolutely perfect, but all the colors work so well together, bravo!

  8. A perfect fall necklace-- positively gorgeous.