Glow in the Dark Pendant, Faux Hammered Metal Bezel [Spotlight]

Polymer Clay Projects “Polymer Clay is so great! You can do just about anything with it.” ~Carolyn-F

These “Spot” features are for you guys to display your accomplishments and share stories of inspiration. The projects are based on techniques learned from articles here at the blog, as well as from tutorials at the Polymer Clay Video Library. My hope is for these “Show and Tell” features to help everyone get to know each other a bit better, thanks to this wonderfully artistic medium of polymer clay. And… there’s prizes too!

Glow in the Dark Polymer Clay Pendant with Faux Metal Bezel by Carolyn Fiene

Cindy’s March 2, 2010 tutorial was made with glow in the dark clay … and it really does glow in the dark. There was some discussion about the pendant backing. I think hers is hammered metal, but I decided to try my hand at duplicating it in polymer clay. Polymer Clay is so great! You can do just about anything with it.

Anyway, here are the results of my experimentation. I purposely left the glow in the dark rainbow cane irregular and somewhat lumpy – wanted it to ‘match’ the distressed look of the silver backing, made from straight silver Premo clay. It was distressed with a couple of my leather tools, then pressed to a light bulb for baking.

Thanks Peggy-B, for reminding me about the light bulb baking technique. I didn’t have a burned out one, so I just used a new one. That works too. BTW – with the emphasis on fluorescent bulbs these days it may eventually get hard to find the old incandescent bulbs, so if one burns out, be sure to hang on to it!

Maybe now that I have done this, Cindy will let us know what she did use for her pendant.


As everyone probably knows by now, it was hammered metal that I used for the backing, just like as Carolyn suggested above. I will be showing you how to make my version of this metal bezel in just a couple of weeks as part of the Vol-023 Polymer Clay Library video tutorial series.

If you are interested in sharing pictures of your polymer clay projects with the community, please follow these 2 simple steps:

1) Email several of your photos to me as attachments. My email address is shown in the “From” line of the weekly Polymer Clay Newsletter that gets sent out each and every Friday morning.

2) Include a description and/or story about your pieces, being sure to reference the tutorial(s) or blog article(s) that provided at least some level of inspiration for your work.

Don’t be shy. Everyone is VERY friendly here.

In the comment section below, please do compliment each other; Offer encouragement; Ask questions about the techniques used; And in general… be social. This is your community! It’s up to you to make it a fun and supportive place to hang out. All of you are amazing and it’s wonderful to have everyone here!

Thanks Cindy! This is an AWESOME idea that’s really kicked my imagination into overdrive. The spiral jelly roll cane is pretty cool – and I did have to pop into a dark room a few times to see mine glowing! LOL – but I’d LOVE to try this general idea of alcohol-inked glow-in-the-dark skinner blends on Donna Kato-style squiggly beads and pods. I was going to try to catch up on chores this weekend, but I’ll probably be playing with clay instead! ;D ~Sue-F

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  1. Elizabeth S., 03 April, 2010

    Stunning! Before I read your comments I was sure that you had a head start on the hammered metal version of the bezel Cindy has in the works to teach us. An amazing piece of work , Carolyn. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Elizabeth S/

  2. Bonnie, 03 April, 2010

    Great piece Carolyn, what did you use to hammer it with? I love that idea and I love Cindy’s idea about the glow in the dark cane but I love all of Cindy’s ideas.

  3. carolyn, 04 April, 2010

    @Bonnie: I used leather modeling tools … smooth surface, one teardrop shape and one square.

  4. Joyce M, 03 April, 2010

    Carolyn I love your pioneer spirit. It is wonderful to see the results you get when you venture on trying techniques in your own way. Very attractive pendant combination, I haven’t reached that point as yet but you, as others, keep inspiring me. I will settle down again after the summer and do things on my list that is growing longer and longer. For now its reading the daily blog and sometimes a short time with clay making notes for when the girls get here.

    My sister’s kitchen is being remodeled so I have been trying to be helpful there. My part is done for now. Next is planning our vacation, leaving Florida April 29th with Nova Scotia our final destination.

    I will miss the daily blog though there will be plenty to keep my mind busy but that is getting ahead of myself. This is such a sharing, loving
    community.We are so blessed to have found one another though miles separate us.

    Well, Everyone, hope your weekend is special, happy claying.

    Joyce M

  5. Lindsay Weirich, 03 April, 2010

    beautiful work! I have some glow in the dark clay, I’ll have to break it out!

  6. Melinda Herron, 03 April, 2010

    How very pretty and inventive! You are so very excited about PC and it’s so very inspiring!

  7. Jill, 03 April, 2010

    When I first saw the picture I thought to myself, “Hey, did I miss the hammered metal tutorial?” It looks like metal. Great work!

  8. aims, 03 April, 2010

    I’d wear that pendant in a second! It really does look like hammered metal!

    Beautiful! I love the colours!

  9. Catalina, 03 April, 2010

    What a great piece! I, too, thought it was metal! I had to look twice! I wonder if Cindy will get into precious metal clay! (Hint, hint!) I have been tempted to try it but I have to make a special place where my Art Director, Princess Daisy, the Maltese, can watch from safety.

  10. carolyn, 04 April, 2010

    @Catalina: This was just silver Premo …

  11. Carole Holt, 03 April, 2010

    Carolyn such a lovly pendant, i think your faux metal is marvelous and wonder how you did it .By the way whats leather tools ?

  12. Linda K., 03 April, 2010

    @ Carolyn F: Wow, you sure fooled me! At first I thought today’s blog was by Cindy and she was showing us another sample of what we’ll be seeing in the upcoming video. Did you only use clay or did you add mica powders?

  13. carolyn, 04 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: only clay

  14. Elizabeth K., 03 April, 2010

    Hi Carolyn just love your faux metal pendant. I intend to do something like this with the Silver spoon bail as I have not got any spoons yet, so look out for my effots. As you say and as I tell people You can do just about anything with Polymer clay and it looks good too.
    Elizabeth. XX

  15. Cheryl Hodges, 04 April, 2010

    Carolyn, your pendant is so beautiful- love the colors and the irregular look on the jelly roll part. And using silver clay as the backing is absolutely wonderful as you can do just about anything with clay. it really looks like silver. i was planning on doing some ‘silver looking’ stuff with just silver clay and now that I’ve seen how it looks will definitely go ahead and try it. A really stunning pendant and i love your little tags with the dove. I did read about the inspiration in your work on your website and definitely do agree. Did you engrave the dove or use a stamp?

  16. carolyn, 04 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: I used sort of a stamp for the dove. It actually is a sterling dove sitting on a pinky ring that I got back in the 70s. I bent the shank to make it easier to hold and to get the sides away from the dove so I could stamp deeper.

  17. Cheryl Hodges, 04 April, 2010

    @ Catalina – i work with precious metal clay and have done a couple of pendants and rings. The clay dries really quickly so yo uhave to work fast and the finishing (sanding) before firing, takes a lot of work. I havent done a lot because it takes time and can get expensive as its real silver.

  18. Catalina, 04 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Yes, the cost has been a factor for me as well. But my husband has wanted me to try it. And the need to work fast is not something I like. I got more research to do before I decide to try it. Did the pieces you made come out good? Were you happy with the results even though it took a lot of time and energy?

  19. Lawrence, 04 April, 2010

    I like the style of the pendant and the hammered look of the faux silver background. Did you use any glow-in-the-dark in the silver background ?
    I took a workshop in Metal Clay and found it interesting but expensive. I do use the torch occasionally for small silver pieces. I come from a pottery background, mostly stoneware and porcelain in a co-op studio. When I moved to this small seaside town I didn’t know many potters and discovered this marvelous PC medium which is far more colourful and versatile as well as comparatively inexpensive to work and create with.
    Now I don’t want to invest in an expensive kiln when my dedicated convection oven serves my needs.
    I still like to play with hammered metals, wire work and cold connections thanks to a couple of guild friends and Cindy’s inspiration.

  20. carolyn, 04 April, 2010

    @Lawrence: Nope … no GITD clay in the silver – just plain silver Premo!

  21. carolyn, 04 April, 2010

    Sorry for the delay, guys! I didn’t realize all these comments were here. Thanks ever so much for the compliments … and for caring enough to ask some great questions.

  22. Phaedrakat, 04 April, 2010

    Beautiful pendants, Carolyn! This is a great representation of the hammered metal. The silver clay and your cool leather-working tools certainly did the trick! Thanks for the reminder to “hang on” to some of our burnt-out lightbulbs. You’re right — they’re getting harder to find these days! Thanks for sharing your fun & fresh work.

  23. Cheryl Hodges, 04 April, 2010

    @ Catalina
    I think I need more practice before i can say that they are good. The sanding is very important but really difficult because once the clay is dry ( you have to have it bone dry before you sand) it is very, very fragile and brittle. I ended up breaking the ring i was trying to do twice. If it is not sanded really, really well – you have to look at it through a good magnifiying glass- any little blemish will show up even more when it is fired and you can’t sand it after its fired unlike polymer clay which is sanded after baking and you can keep sanding till its the way you want. I plan to try some more but when I can devote more time to it.

  24. Catalina, 05 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: I didn’t think you had to sand it before you cured it. I thought you had to buff it after it was fired and you could put it in a rock tumbler to polish it. Well, I maybe wrong but it looks more involved than polymer clay and more expensive. Maybe Cindy can make it easier for us! :) …Boy, are we asking for the moon from her? She does so much already!!

  25. Peggy Barnes, 04 April, 2010

    Carolyn it turned out great. Thanks for the thought of saving some bulbs. I have one I keep in my craft room but now that I think about it I am going to hang on to a few more, that is if we have any left. If not I better have my husband pick some up if you can still buy them. I have a tendency to drop things and if I know me I will if I can’t get any more to replace it. I am definately going to have to give this a try. Bet it will look great with the gold and copper also. Your beads look great also and they always have that sanded shiny finish. You really do great work and now I am inspired to try my hand at it.
    Uuuuuuggggggs, Peggy

  26. Cheryl Hodges, 05 April, 2010

    @ carolyn – sorry i put this question in the wrong blog. Did you glue the glow in the dark pendant to the backing after baking or did you use bake and bond and then bake it? I havent tried joining pieces as yet.

  27. carolyn, 05 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: After I baked the backing I just pressed the raw GITD onto it and baked again. Gee – was I supposed to use Bake and Bond. The raw clay seemed to stick real well to the baked. Was this maybe beginners luck?

  28. Phaedrakat, 07 April, 2010

    @carolyn: In my experience, it’s best to use some liquid clay (or B&B) to help with adhesion – just in case… :~)

  29. Cheryl Hodges, 07 April, 2010

    @ Catalina – you have to sand it really , really smooth – I had to look at it under a magnifying glass – any little pit of blemish will show up bad when its fired and shined. No shortcuts there. I don’t mind the sanding, its just that it is so fragile before firing, I broke my ring twice! After it’s fired you have to brush of the white residue with a steel brush and then burnish it and if you want it shinier polish it .

  30. Catalina, 07 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Yes, you are right. I went back and researched it again. It is very labor intensive. But they come out really nice. A “labor of love” is what I like to call it. My husband still wants me to try it. But, I need a fire safe place and I really don’t want to go outside with it. I wish I could find a kiln at a garage sale! (Now, I’m dreaming!)

  31. Phaedrakat, 09 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Me too! I want a yard sale with an inexpensive kiln, food processor, convection oven, extra pasta machine, etc. Maybe even some leather working tools, rock tumbler, all kinds of wire, etc. The “dream” garage sale! Now,…how to find it? :-)

    PMC does seem like it would be really fun. What gorgeous jewelry we could create using both types of clay!

  32. Cheryl Hodges, 09 April, 2010

    if you plan to do small items you don’t really need a kiln. You need a torch with butane which is not expensive. You need a kiln only if you plan on using cork clay and copper clay etc. As long as its silver and small items you dont need a kiln.

  33. Catalina, 09 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Right, but a safe fire proof mat or blanket or metal table to work on so you won’t set your house on fire! I’m not too sure if my husband would let me play with a torch, maybe I could get him to do the firing and that way it’s his fault when the house goes up in flames!! LOL!!

  34. Phaedrakat, 09 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Right! Forget “blame it on the dog” hehe, it’s “blame it on my DH!” You’ve said before that he likes to play with the clay every now & then. So, let him fire the PMC and any “accident” is all on him! hahaha, I love this plan! ;-D

    Actually, I’d better not joke about flames. I just bought a micro torch last week. I still need to get the fuel, but I’d better not tempt fate!

  35. Catalina, 10 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Let us know how you like working with the torch when you try it out. I guess I need some confidence in trying this out. So, I’m relying on my fellow clayers to do the brave thing and pave the way. I have the attitude of, “if she or he can do it – so can I!” But, if I do it and fail I will give up or put it off for a long time. Ok? Sorry, no pressure here! Just encouragement :)

  36. Phaedrakat, 10 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Sure, I understand that thinking! I still have to get the butane (they didn’t carry it at the place I bought the torch.) My car is broken down right now, so I’m relying on rides from family (which I HATE!) I can’t stand having to have people take me places. But as soon as I get the fuel, I’ll try it out. Then I’ll let you know how it goes. Another thing, Cindy should be doing a tutorial on it pretty soon. At least I think she said she’s going to do headpins next month. And that means torch fire! Thanks for not putting the pressure on tooooo hard! hehe

  37. Cheryl Hodges, 11 April, 2010

    @ Catalina and Phaedrakat – the torch is not difficult to use. it also has a safety lock button which you press when you want to use it. I’t small and fits in the hand really well. you can also adjust the flame. Just keep the butane fuel in a safe place where it can’t be knocked about or near something inflammable.

  38. Catalina, 11 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: Ok, maybe I could give it a try. You make it sound easy. But, I have not only my dog to look out for but my waist long hair! Oh, correction – MY HUSBAND’s long hair!! He is the one who likes it long and won’t let me cut it!! So, I often tell him he needs to brush it and blow dry it! LOL!! And he does!! BTW, he shaves his head! He doesn’t realize how much a pain it is to have long hair! Not to mention when I get a hotflash!!

  39. Phaedrakat, 12 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Yep, men & the “long hair” thing! lol At least he’s willing to help with the blow drying; your man is quite a find! ;-) I finally cut my hair short after my first surgery (I just couldn’t ask anyone to wash & dry all that hair while I was laid up. It was so gross after weeks in the hospital, that I had my sister chop it right off!) Since then, I’ve never let it get too long. (Nicer when the “flashes” come.) Anyway, make sure you tie it back before you use your torch. Also, your “art director” might have to be kicked out of the room while you’re at it. (Poor Daisy!)

  40. Cheryl Hodges, 12 April, 2010

    i think all the men want us to have long hair. My husband the same; however I’ve never had long hair. the longest I ‘ve had upto my shoulder. Now its mostly short- please put your hair up or tie it away when working with the torch.
    @ Catalina and Phaedrakat – You can do it! It’s not difficult. I managed it the first time I tried it; I’m sure you can do it. Maybe I might decide to do some too’ you’re making me want to go back and do some silver.
    By the time I finish music lessons and cooking it’s too late in the day. I like to do the silver work during the day. It gets difficult with artificial lighting. A tip – when firing dim your lights so you can see when the piece turns orangey. If the lights are on or too bright, you might over fire and then it can melt and pool up.

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