Jupiter Beads Made With a Clay Extruder, Scrap Clay and Old Canes

Jupiter Beads by Melinda Herron

Spotlight: “This is my first lesson… OMG!!! In my 2 days off I made a ton of fabulous beads.” ~Melinda-H

Today marks the beginning of an exiting new feature here at the blog. I’m going to start doing special feature articles based on photos and stories submitted by YOU!

A couple of days ago in my post about Graffiti Fashion Jewelry, Arlene Harrison summed up what many others have been saying for a quite a while now… “It’s a shame you don’t have a way for people to send you pictures of what they do with your lessons. I’ve used several.”

And here are links to a couple of other discussion threads where this photo sharing feature has been discussed at length… Make them with Polymer Clay and Polymer Clay Projects. In particular at these links, have a look at the “What-Went-Wrong” and “What-Was-I-Thinking” concepts that were presented.

Well Arlene and everyone else… you are right! And the quickest way to get this going is to simply use email.

So if anyone wants to send me your project photos, my email address is in the “From” field of every Polymer Clay Newsletter issue.

Or you can simply leave me a comment below any article here at the blog, saying something to the effect of “…my d’Anjou Pear bead turned out so cute I can’t stand it! Cindy please give me your email address so I can get some photos over to you.” [Hint, Hint Elizabeth]

When you submit your photos, be sure to also include descriptions and stories that can be posted along with your pictures. Be funny. Be informative. Be inspirational. I absolutely love creative writing :-)

By the way, the reason I don’t add my email info right here in this article, is because there are nasty little spambots that roam around the Internet harvesting anything and everything that even resembles those kind of links.

Anywho… let’s get to it. Today’s stunning jupiter bead and disc bead photos were submitted by Melinda Herron.

Jupiter Beads by Melinda Herron Disc Beads by Melinda Herron

So this is my first lesson and I loved it!!!! I’ve been doing this for a little under a year mostly learning from books and little bits off the net… I must admit I’ve been following your newsletter for a couple months now and I finally bit the bullet (I’m very “frugal”) and got a subscription. OMG!!! In my 2 days off I made a ton of fabulous beads. I loved them so much I had to sand them and polish them to finish… which I never get around to until weeks later. I used up about half of my scrap clay and some old canes!!! Thank you so much. It was a fabulous couple of clay days! Can’t wait for the next installment!!! ~Melinda (Helena, Montana, USA)

Don’t you just love her enthusiasm?! She got so excited that the sanding and polishing didn’t even seem like a chore. How great is that?!

I think you will all agree that Melinda did an excellent job on her Jupiter Beads! They turned out absolutely fantastic! Please join me in telling her so, in the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Joyce, 12 July, 2009


    Love your Jupiter and Disc beads. What a fabulous job you’ve done and the photography! You’re certainly on your way and your excitement is contagious! Can’t wait to get going on a group of like beads. Continued success to you and thanks for sharing.

  2. Maureen, 12 July, 2009

    Great job! Now I have the incentive again to give it a try! Thanks Melinda! And Cindy…great new feature on your site! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s attempts at what you teach us! What fun!

  3. Polyanya, 12 July, 2009

    They’re gorgeous Melinda – did you buff them by hand or with a dremel?

  4. Elly Moore, 12 July, 2009

    I love your beads, what great job you did, I guess I’ll have to get to work and try some of these. Again a great Job

  5. Melinda, 12 July, 2009

    Thank you all for your wonderful encouraging comments. I can’t tell you how much it means to have this support…

    @ Polyanya: I sanded 1/2 by hand and the other 1/2 using a kids rock tumbler then I buffed by hand because I haven’t mastered the dremel technique (I will have to order the back issue of Cindy’s instruction for that)… then I dipped them in Future floor polish.

    I’m still experimenting with the whole finishing and polishing of my beads (I’ve only started sanding them a couple months ago.) Again… only started doing this just under a year on a whim but I was amazed at the fabulous versatility of the polymer clay material and what really peaked my love of this is when I started caning… and so far it has satisfied my artistic drive.

  6. Jocelyn, 12 July, 2009

    Love these beads, and good for you!!!! They are amazing, Melinda!

  7. sarahwww, 12 July, 2009

    That is bunch of beautiful beads. I especially love the disks. Did you essentially “squash” a round bead?

  8. Silverleaf, 12 July, 2009

    Nice one Melinda! I particularly like the purple/red disk bead.

    Will have to have a go myself.

  9. Cindy Erickson, 12 July, 2009


    Your beads are beautiful, and I adore your enthusiasm! It is catchy for sure!:)

    And, Cindy, I am soooooooooo glad to be able to see Melinda’s beads here on your wonderful site!!! Thank you so much for listening to us, as always, and making the sharing of our works come true!!!

    Hugs to both you, Cindy, and Melinda! :)

  10. Carrie, 12 July, 2009

    Great beads Melinda!! I had to try some myself today. They are as addicting as lentil beads!!!

  11. Melinda H, 12 July, 2009

    Thank you everyone!!! I am truly overwhelmed but the all the beautiful sentiments expressed… (blushing deeply and hubby is laughing at the giddiness)

    And thank you, Cindy for this extreme honor and for your fabulous blog. It’s a great place and I’m so glad I found it!

    @ Sarahwww: that’s exactly what I did

    @ Carrie: I love love love lentils!!! Confessed addict here!

  12. Polyanya, 13 July, 2009

    Thanks Melinda, looks like I’ll be ordering a Dremel soon too – have you tried a tumbler yet?

  13. Elizabeth, 13 July, 2009


    These are beautiful beads! I would love to see what you are going to do with them as I am a bit jewelry design challenged. Please send a pic of the final product.

  14. Maureen, 13 July, 2009

    Elizabeth, I agree! It would be awesome to see the beads used in finished jewelry! I also am designed challenged…I have lots of beads in a box and just can’t picture them in a finished product, although I know someone else will have the same beads and make them into something great!

  15. Elizabeth, 13 July, 2009

    Yea! A kindred spirit in jewelry design challenge. Your statement expresses perfectly how I feel-I can spend hours playing with beads on the design board and fail to come up with something I like. I have a friend on the other hand, who will take a bunch of my beads and whip up something great in minutes. Maybe if we team up, Maureen, and together beg and plead, some less challenged folks will share pics of what they have done with their “Cindy pieces”. Hugs. Elizabeth

  16. Melinda, 13 July, 2009

    @ Maureen and Elizabeth: I understand completely.. I will attempt to make the fabulous beads into a completed work soon but sometimes I find that extremely difficult! I have this coming weekend off so maybe…..

  17. Cindy Lietz, 13 July, 2009

    This is so great to see all the support you guys having been giving Melinda! If you have any questions to ask Melinda about her beads, do that. I am sure she would be happy to answer them as she has already done for some of you.

    Because of you Melinda, others have already had the courage to send in photos as well. So there will be more of these “spotlight” articles coming soon.

    By the way, feel free to send me photos of stuff that you had trouble with too. This way I’ll be able to offer problem solving advice, which I’m sure will end up being a valuable learning experience for all.

    Elizabeth and Maureen brought up excellent points about jewelry design challenges. So for those of you who have photos of completed jewelry items using the beads you learned about at this site, please do send those as well. That will be very inspirational!

    I am curious Melinda… Did you group your scrap clay into color themes or did you just grab bits of random colors, to make your beads? It would be fun to know!

  18. Melinda, 14 July, 2009

    Cindy: I grouped my scrap clay into color themes for some of the beads and then for some I just grabbed random scraps. I have to admit the random ones are some of my favorites.

  19. Jamie, 17 July, 2009

    Melinda your beads are beautiful. I love the finish on them Makes me want to just run my fingers over them! I especially like the 2 in the center with the lovely blue, purple red swirls. And nice idea to make the disc beads. Lots of uses for those! XOXO Jamie

    What a great idea Cindy! Now I can see what everyone else is doing with your great ideas. Even if I cant try them yet myself! :( XOXO

  20. Cheryl, 17 July, 2009

    They are beautiful Melinda! Thanks for sharing. I specially love the reddish one and the blue, cream one in the photo on the right and the centre two beads with the brilliant blue swirls. i haven’t had time as yet to try out some of these wonderful lessons as music exams are coming up soon and I’ve been busy with my students. Hope to be able to try some soon.

  21. Lisa Whitham, 18 July, 2009

    I love these beads…and how great you can use scrap clay to make them! Fabulous!!

  22. nancy reddick, 25 July, 2009

    Melinda, these beads are beautiful. So perfectly round, I really like the disc beads also, I never have any luck with disc beads, they always come out so imperfect, nothing like yours.Keep up the great work!!!!

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