Micaceous Rock and "Yellow Gold Glitter" Premo Polymer Clay Mix, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Polymer Clay Micaceous Rock Composite Goddess Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Rock and

Micaceous Rock and “Yellow Gold Glitter” Premo Polymer Clay Mix, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Polymer Clay Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Micaceous Polymer Clay Goddess Pendants, by Karen A. Scofield. 2016.

Appears more glittery and sparkly in person.

Micaceous rock from family land in South Dakota was crushed and added to “Yelllow Gold Glitter” Premo polymer clay — the stronger polymer clay by Sculpey that’s suitable for making thinner beads like this. (Always wear a mask if working with micaceous rock in this manner to avoid permanent lung disease.)

About 2″ long and 1/4 inch thick. Mica powder patterns, a sun or spirals, were stamped into the raw clay before curing. The sun and spiral symbolism can have significance. E.g. http://www.whats-your-sign.com/spiral-meaning.html. Small bead holes are added after curing (now shown), usually after jewelry design is complete. Design may determine hole placement and number.

The finished beads look very much like some of the micaceous earth in South Dakota. The particular rocks used in making this came from family land right by Medicine Mountain, which is sacred land. So these beads have personal significant meaning for me in at least four ways. They are my creative expression, the rock comes from family land, the rock comes from the vicinity of sacred land upon which I attended a ritual, the rock represents time spent with family, and the symbolism is well chosen, of course.

Medicine Mountain Background:www.flickr.com/photos/sari0009/19354330223/in/dateposted-... There are two Medicine Mountains and only one is in South Dakota. The history and backstory for this particular Medicine Mountain is hard to find, hence my link is offered here.

Interesting Factoid: In some areas of South Dakota, the ground glitters like gold due to the earth and rocks’ micaceous (mica-filled) nature and looks magical.

Earthenware Clay ceramic Goddess pendants to be bisque fired, by Karen A. Scofield

Earthenware Clay Ceramic Goddess Pendants Ready for Bisque Firing

Earthenware Clay ceramic Goddess pendants to be bisque fired, by Karen A. Scofield

Earthenware Clay ceramic Goddess pendants, need to be bisque fired, by Karen A. Scofield

So I’ve done that.  By the time they’re completely done, to the last glaze firing, each Goddess pendant will have taken well over two or three hours hands-on time, specifically, to make. At minimum.

This does not count the time taken for prototype and bead mold development. I used polymer clays for those steps.

It also does not count the time to transport the pendants to the kiln to get fired several times (they will be glazed) or any effort involved in selling them (websites, teaching, writing, making videos…whatever it takes to beat obscurity and poverty).

I first envisioned popping these beauties out in just seconds, with them ready to be fired.  I found that bead molds for such curvaceous figurative beads are more like guidelines. That might not be such the case with shallower, less curvaceous pendants. We shall see.

I found the trick in creating these ceramic beads is to use perhaps damper clay than usual so I can get the clay smoothly and deeply into the mold without creases or partial filling of deeper areas. However, this means I work on these beauties quite a bit after I pop them out of the mold due to distortion and marring.

When I tried to fix these distortion errors, I create other distortions while doing that, the clay is so soft. So I have to fix those and back-and-forth it goes for a while until I am satisfied.

When I add the bellybutton (which takes 3 tools) and details of the pelvic area and lines of the derrière,  there’s this same back-and-forth process of perfecting and correcting.

Aaaaand the same process happens for the bead holes. In the process of creating them, I create distortions that I have to fix and while  I’m fixing those, that might create distortions…and back-and-forth it goes until I’m  satisfied.

I work on these earthenware pendants both wet and dry — I also sand them and finally buff them carefully on my big, super thick as terry cloth bathrobe.