Knotted Celtic Heart Beads | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Celtic Hearts - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #241: “The twisted stem in my Love Spoon is a Celtic knot which represents the eternal love or togetherness of the two lovers.” ~Willow Lietz

Because of Valentines, February is known as the month of love. What better symbol to represent love than a beautiful Celtic Heart Love Knot?

The next set of tutorials coming up for this month, were actually inspired by an art piece done by my 15 year old daughter Willow. Most of you already are familiar with the photos she contributes here at the blog. So you probably have already seen some of her artistic side.

Well wouldn’t you know, one of her Visual Arts projects from school, was recently accepted for display at the Surrey Museum Gallery. It was lovingly sculpted from polymer clay of course!

Willow’s assignment was to make a traditional artwork done in a modern way that represented her heritage. Being a fifth generation Canadian of European decent (Scottish, English, Irish, Swiss, French, Swedish, Prussian, German and possibly others), Willow did some research and found that a Love Spoon (which you will see in the tutorial video), was a perfect fit for her background and the project.

Here is what Willow wrote for her didactic that was posted alongside her artwork, in the gallery:

The Love Spoon is an old tradition practiced throughout Europe. My interpretation of the spoon incorporates many components of my family history and traditions. It was originally used as a gesture symbolizing the start of a relationship and the love between a man and a woman. It was used almost in the same way as an engagement ring is now used.

The man would spend hours carving a wooden spoon for the woman he aspired to marry and if she accepted it, they would start a relationship together. The more complicated and intricate the design was, the more love the man had for the woman. Each component on the spoon had a meaning that the woman would take into consideration when she accepted the spoon.

Many of the symbols you see, relate directly to my family history as the tradition of these spoons. The key and lock represent the promise of faithfulness and the security of having a man who will not leave your side. The bird shows that the two people are lovebirds and they want to go away together, but this particular bird is the design of a wood carving my great-grandfather carved for each one of his fifty grandchildren.

The flower resting on the back of the bird is a symbol for affection but is also the Dogwood flower, which is the provincial flower of British Columbia, the province of which I was born. The twisted stem in my Love Spoon is a Celtic knot which represents the eternal love or togetherness of the two lovers.

The meaning of the wagon wheel is to steer a safe course throughout their life together and the anchor expresses the man’s desire to settle down. I thought the placing of the wheel and anchor was appropriate because my early ancestors were trailblazers as well as fishermen. The seashell and the fish emphasize my family’s background of fishing and love of being out at sea. Lastly, the spoon speaks of providing while the embedded heart says, “I Love You”.

~Willow Lietz

Although me teaching you all how to make a Love Spoon would be interesting and fun, it would be far too detailed and time consuming for me to pull off in the time we have available. Plus it is not in the bead and jewelry making category. None the less, I think it makes a wonderful jumping off point for some Celtic Knot and Faux Wood inspired tutorials.

So… for this upcoming Volume-045 at the Polymer Clay Tutor Library, I have decided to do a series of tutorials that will not only work as individual projects, but can also be combined into more complicated pieces as well:

  • Vol-045-1, Feb 03: How to make a Celtic Heart Love Knot Pendant;
  • Vol-045-2, Feb 10: How to make a faux wood cane;
  • Vol-045-3, Feb 17: Applying cane veneers to baked piece;
  • Vol-045-4, Feb 24: Making a faux wood Celtic knot pendant.

In addition, I thought you would also enjoy seeing a couple of other Celtic Knot and Love Spoon videos I found on You-Tube.



Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-045-1 Celtic Hearts:

  • Polymer Clay of your choice. Good selections are natural looking clays such as faux stone clays like Granite, Faux Jade mixtures, or a neutral colored base clay such as Premo Beige or Ecru on which you will later add a faux wood veneer to.
  • Clay Blade.
  • Acrylic Sheet or Block for Rolling Clay (optional). I use the acrylic sheet that came from my Amaco Bead Rack.
  • Sculpey Bake & Bond (optional).
  • Cornstarch and/or Blending Tools such as Sculpey Style and Detail Tools for Smoothing Clay (optional).
  • Sanding Supplies (Wet/Dry sandpaper in 400grit, 600, 800, and 1200 grit or Micro-Mesh Pads).
  • Studio by Sculpey Antiquing Medium or Gilder’s Pastein a Dark Color (optional).

By the way, if you did not already know, those “shopping” links I provided above for the various tools and supplies, are “affiliate” links. That means companies like Amazon pay me a small commission if you click on the links and end up making a purchase at their site. It’s not a lot, but every bit helps in keeping the cost of my tutorials so low… at only $3.32 per month ;-)

The full version of the Vol-045-1 Celtic Knot Love Hearts video will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday February 3, 2012.

Here’s a sneak peak…

The full version of the “Celtic Hearts” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-045 Back Issue Package.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

I would just like to say to you Cindy and family and all the members all the very best. Since I joined you, I have never looked back, I have learned so much and looking forward to the new year… that’s if I have room in my old brain to store all you have taught me. Love to you and yours from the UK. ~Ritzs

I have been following Cindy Lietz’ blog for a long time now. She is WONDERFUL and her site is so full of fabulous teachings about polymer clay. I can not say enough about all that I have learned from Cindy, My Polymer Clay Tutor, and her tutorial videos. The knowledge Cindy imparts on all of us there is priceless. I would suggest that anyone who is at all interested in working with polymer clay, jewelry making, or in finding fellowship with like minded people, become part of the community, sign up for her courses, and all that Cindy has to offer. Both experienced clayers, and beginners can benefit greatly from her. I am just one of many who has learned so much from Cindy. Her videos are the best. The videos are high quality in all ways (content, picture, and sound). Cindy is such a precise and considerate teacher. She anticipates all of the questions that one might ask, and she answers them, and shows great examples as she answers them, with fun and easy to follow videos. Don’t waste any more time… check her out, and you will be so happy you did… I certainly am!!! A Loyal Follower. ~Cindy-E

You won’t find better – or less expensive – videos anywhere. Cindy’s videos are Class AAA. Her husband, Doug, does the filming. They make a great team and have a way of making it seem as if I were right in the room looking over Cindy’s shoulder. ~Carolyn-F

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Knotted Celtic Heart Pendant video tutorial:

  • See examples of Celtic Hearts in a variety of sizes and finishes including faux stone and faux wood examples, as well as 2 different completed necklace projects.
  • Find out how simple it is to create these cool looking hearts that look like they have been carved from a solid piece of wood or stone.
  • Learn this super easy first step to creating this complicated looking technique. People will be surprised when you tell them that your hearts are not made of real stone or wood.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Celtic Hearts” preview video shown above, is now available for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-045 Back Issue Package.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Angela M, 02 February, 2012

    Congratulations, Willow, on your acceptance for display in the museum gallery. What a lovely spoon you have crafted-it really does look like wood-and I love the meanings behind each of your symbols. You are quite the talented young lady :)

    Cindy, I’m looking forward to the celtic heart tutes. This is a design I’ve long been interested in.

    Angela M

  2. Monique U, 02 February, 2012

    What a stunning piece of art you have created, Willow! So inspiring, too, that in these days when schools seem to be moving away from including the arts in curriculum, here is an example showing that it is still valued and encouraged in some School Districts. Thank you for sharing it with us, and congratulations on your work being chosen for exhibition!

    Cindy, to say you must be proud of Willow would be an understatement! She obviously has not only talent, but the determined work ethic required to produce such a complex and balanced creation. I look forward to seeing this video and learning your tricks for making these bold “statement” art pieces.

  3. pollyanna, 02 February, 2012

    This looks intriquing……love the pendants. Congrats to Willow on her special art piece. Nicely done.

  4. Cherie, 02 February, 2012

    Congratulations Willow for the beautiful piece of art sculpture! You have put so much of thought and love into that piece. Cindy and Doug, you must be so proud of her. So excited for the tutorial tomorrow!

  5. Elaine Faulks, 02 February, 2012

    Wow! Willow
    Loved your faux-wood love spoon, so beautiful and very clever. Your Mom must be very proud especially having it displayed at the Surrey Museum Gallery. You surely must have Celtic blood pulsing through your veins.

    In Wales (where I was born) the guys still give love-spoons to their girls, which is a very welsh tradition, long may it continue. (Must get back up to Wales soon to visit my sister)

    Perhaps in this modern day, using modern materials (polymer clay) us girls can craft these wonderful spoons to give to our guys. (I was never much good at wood carving) but roll on Friday and thanks Cindy.

    I love all things Celtic as it’s part of my heritage too. I walked into a charity shop earlier today and right at the back was a lovely duck-egg blue glazed trinket box. I HAD to have it because of the design on the lid and round the sides………Yep it was celtic knots… spooky!

    Later, when I switched on my laptop and saw the preview for Friday……Cindy…will you STOP reading my mind (ONLY JOKING) as I have had celtic thoughts all through January, your examples are magical……………………………cheers xx

  6. Tantesherry, 02 February, 2012

    Oh My Willow your piece is Awesome. Wow !!!

    it’s pretty cool that you are going to do a whole month of related projects –and also cool that you told us in advance –not that I don’t totally enjoy sneak peak Thursday mind you :)

    well for the rest of my clay time today I’m making more valintine hearts to give away –like the red one I posted on your fb page last week

    a big T Y for all you guys do for us :D

  7. Catalina, 02 February, 2012

    Elaine, you are right! Cindy is always “reading” our minds! I guess you can say she really pays attention to us :) Just like a good friend should! {{{hugs}}}}

    Willow did a fantastic job! Great craftsmanship and excellent design! This tute sounds very inviting and can’t wait till tomorrow!!

    P.S. Cindy, are you sure she is only 15? She is very advanced for her age. But, look who her teacher is! The apple dosen’t fall far from the tree.

  8. Michelle A, 02 February, 2012

    Oh my gosh Willow, that’s beautiful!! btw I love your pictures too…sure would love to see some tips on how to take some great pics of my jewelry…hint hint hint, lol. I’ve been bugin’ your mom about it for weeks now ;o) Anyhow, nice job and I can’t wait to see this tut – as always.

  9. pattw35, 02 February, 2012

    How inspiring! A Celtic love knot spoon……………I’m scotch/Irish,,,,,,,even our dog has a celtic name -Connor. So this is right down my alley !

    Willow – you amaze us !! What a beautiful keep sake. How proud you must be to be included in the museum display !!! It really does look like wood – good job . Very professional work. Polymer clay is a chameleon . You can copy so many types of wood,stone,gems, etc. This is the perfect product………………..

    Cindy – thanks for the upcoming month. February will be so much fun, can’t wait. The teaser is just that. Hope Friday hurries up…………

  10. Peggy, 02 February, 2012

    What a wonderful rewarding proud moment for Mom and Dad. I am looking so forward to the month of February. Thank you Lietz Family.

  11. Ken Hamilton, 02 February, 2012

    The spoon is stunning Willow, you certainly have inherited your mom and dad’s artistic abilities!!!!
    Keep up the great work, you have so much talent.

  12. Dixie Ann, 02 February, 2012

    Almost midnight but had to check the blog and wow Willow your spoon is fabulous. What a terrific job you did. Am really excited about this months projects. Love anything Celtic so will be making this one for my niece.

  13. Rebecca Chisenhall, 02 February, 2012

    That spoon, Willow, is simply astounding in it’s beauty and execution! Good job, and congratulations on the museum display! I know you are so excited and proud, along with Mom and Dad, of course! Cindy, these Celtic knots are so lovely; I am itching to get started on some! Yay for Fridays!

  14. Lesley Symons, 03 February, 2012

    I can only say wow! … that spoon is a real achievement! Beautifully crafted – what a talented family you are1 Very inspiring indeed.

  15. Kathy G, 03 February, 2012

    Love the tute! Isn’t it wonderful to see our children be creative! It’s one of the proudest moments of my life too. Great job, Willow! Keep creating!

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  16. Brenda M, 03 February, 2012

    Love,love,love the spoon! Willow you done an amazing job on it. @Cindy, Will you be showing how to make the larger knots? I love those!

  17. Cindy Lietz, 05 February, 2012

    Hi Brenda, nice to see you! Haven’t see you around these parts for awhile. Keeping busy? As far as the larger knots go, I won’t be showing any this time around, because it is much harder to add the faux wood veneers to the complicated knots and it may be too frustrating for folks. That being said, I may do some more advanced designs in the future, once everyone has this one ‘under their belt’.

    You are pretty skilled though (and adventurous) , so there is no reason you couldn’t try something more advanced on your own, once you learn the basics.That goes for any of the intermediate/advanced members here.

    The cord love knot video above should give you some ideas. With the more complex designs, it is more a matter of taking your time and working with it, until you get it right.

    Willow was able to do her spoon on her own at school with some technical advice from me here. (Her teacher has never worked with polymer so he was amazed at the process.) The project did take her a couple months to do though. So what I am saying is, once you watch all the tutorials, I think you should be able to take the idea further. I am looking forward to seeing what you can do!

  18. Brenda M, 06 February, 2012

    Sorry I haven’t been around much. I have been feeling ill for months it seems. I am still not 100% yet and I know I probably will never be with my condition. The Dr.s are finally working out the kinks, and I am hoping to get back to my old self again.

    I might venture into making one or two items a month, but nothing like I was doing before.

    I do pop in on the weekends and see what all is happening ;)

  19. Jocelyn, 06 February, 2012

    So sorry to hear this, sweet. You will be in my prayers. Hope you feel better soon.

  20. Catalina, 06 February, 2012

    Oh, Brenda, I hope you feel better soon. I finally feel “normal” since I got a 2nd opinion and new meds! I hope you are back to normal soon {{{{hugs}}}}

  21. Cherie, 07 February, 2012

    So sorry you are not feeling good. Get a second opinion Brenda. Weill keep you in my prayers.


  22. Bonnie Kreger, 03 February, 2012

    Willow, your spoon is incredible. You are very talented. Congratulations. Hope to see more of your work.

  23. Peggy B, 03 February, 2012

    Way to go Willow. Your spoon told a story like no other. You have the imagination of a true artist. You tell you stories not through words but through creations with your hands from your mind. I love what you you did with the polymer clay the story behind the spoon. AWESOME!!!

    Cindy The tutorial was great, love the Celtic knot and I can’t wait to see more. Feb. is going to be a lovely month.

    Then of course we can’t forget Doug. None of this would be possible without Doug. Thank you for this fantastic filming week after week.


    Wow Willow you have grown up to be a Awesome artist just like your Mom. Your artistic design and the way you told the story of your family heritage was remarkable. You are like this beautiful flower bud opening and all eyes are on you watching and waiting to hear and see another full amazing piece of

    Cindy Super Tute love every bit of it and can’t wait for the rest of this month.

    Then there is Doug who does the wonderful finish work. Without you none of this would work our for anyone. Thank you Doug.

    Thank you Leitz Family
    Uuuuuuggggggggs, to all

  24. Lawrence, 03 February, 2012

    Congratulations Willow on such a brilliantly conceived project as the love spoon. The symbols on the spoon and your explanation of them is great. I’m sorry I missed that particular exhibition at the museum.
    Cindy and Doug, thanks for another great video. Another clay I don’t have so off to Michaels.
    Cindy was the braided cord Kumihimo? It certainly looks like it and is gorgeous. I just completed a kumihimo bracelet for myself (no polymer) but the possibilities are certainly there.

  25. Cindy Lietz, 05 February, 2012

    Hi Lawrence! I told Willow that since you live close to here, you may have gone to see her exhibit if you would of known before it ended and she said, “Why didn’t you tell him?” I think you would have enjoyed it, though her’s was the only polymer clay piece there.

    You are right about that cord being Kumihimo. I just picked up one of those discs and have been playing around with the technique. I think they are wonderfully complimentary to the polymer jewelry that we make. Plus it is a fun and relaxing thing you can do in front of the TV when you’re tired.

    Love the endless possibilities for sizes, patterns and use of materials with Kumihimo braid making. I also love how you can set it down and come back to it at anytime. It is much like polymer in that respect.

    Don’t like some of the fiddly bits, when it comes to finishing them though, so am coming up with simpler ways to deal that. Once I have ‘nailed’ it (or at least improved it a bit) I will definitely share.

    Happy to see you liked my necklace. Thanks! I would love to see your bracelet. Bet it is cool!

  26. Lawrence, 11 February, 2012

    Hi Cindy:
    I posted a couple of photos of my kumihimo bracelet on our Guild website.

  27. Michelle C, 03 February, 2012

    Hi Cindy,

    Congrats to your daughter on her showpiece. It’s lovely and something so symbolic and heartfelt as that will be an enduring piece for the whole of her life. Wonderful.

  28. Jocelyn, 03 February, 2012

    Willow, I know you are shy, but just a brief appearance on video would be wonderful some time soon.

    Art in a juried museum at 15. Pretty outstanding. Kudos to you.

    Love the Celtic Knot though it will take a couple of viewings to make it look like your model. I was very good at making several that appeared in the “this doesn’t quite cut it” section, lol.

    Challenges are good for me. I will persevere.

  29. DJ, 03 February, 2012

    Wow, what a treat – Willow what a lovely, thoughtful piece you’ve created! Cindy, you and Doug must be so proud of Willow and Fisher, such inspiring and creative ideas. They both seem a lot older in the way they express themselves…it’s really great that we can glimpse and share in their projects too!

    Still amazed and inspired with all our fabulous projects as well, (faves are the mirror heart, rose ear wires, Christmas spider, pirate cane, L.O.S. tips AND the stunning color recipes). The upcoming projects in stages sounds exciting too…really looking forward to that!! It’s coming, thinking of how to piece and design finished things together, help in that direction is greatly appreciated. Haven’t posted much on the blog lately, but check in regularly (even if it’s brief…I have A LOT of catching up to do though). It’s amazing our community here, love seeing the positive input and support from so many.

  30. Willow Lietz, 06 February, 2012

    Thank You everybody it’s very uplifting to see all the kind comments :)

  31. Catalina, 06 February, 2012

    You are welcome, Willow. Keep up the great work!

  32. Hope M, 07 February, 2012

    Loved this tutorial! So many ways to incorporate it into different designs. And so simple! I just made one “steampunk” style!! Would have posted it to FB but I can’t seem to get there today. ??

    Willow! Your piece is amazing. Great work!

    Thanks so much for these fantabulous tutorials!

  33. Lisa Whitham, 11 February, 2012

    I would love to see your Steampunk Celtic Knot!! Have you been able to post it to facebook yet?
    If you want, please friend request me at facebook. I love having other members of our clay community here as friends there too! We can share our clay creations and help each other out when we have clay questions. :)

    Clay On,
    ~Lisa :)

  34. Hope M, 11 February, 2012

    Lisa, Yay! Would be thrilled to show ya and friend ya too. There’s a pic up on Cindy’s page. See ya in a few!

  35. Hope Martin, 11 February, 2012

    Okay. I THINK I found you. There were lots of “you”. LOL!

  36. Jocelyn C, 14 February, 2012

    I love this Celtic heart, and all the variations done by members. Thanks so much for sharing your pics.

    I finally got one to look good! It’s been warmer this winter, and what a great therapy doing this cane.

    Next I’m going to try the new Shiver palette to make one. Those colors are perfect to imitate aged metal. Mokume gane?

  37. Roberta Benik, 17 February, 2017

    I was trying to watch some of the tutorials, but keep getting the message “Sorry, because of its privacy settings, this video cannot be shown here.”

    I rec’d the message on the following videos: 045, 046, 047, 048, 049, 052. However, there may be more – I didn’t check them all.

    Do you know why this might be happening? Can you fix it?

    Thank you,
    Roberta Benik

  38. Doug Lietz, 17 February, 2017

    All fixed Roberta. Sorry for the inconvenience :-)

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