Hinged Clay Bracelets

Hinged Clay BraceletsHinged Clay Bracelets
By: Gloria Uhler
Reviewed by: Dana Byerwalter, Editor,

Learn "new ways to link polymer clay bracelet parts" with Gloria Uhler's new book, Hinged Clay Bracelets! This stunning collection features 25 projects with step-by-step instructions and photos. Take your clay jewelry making to an entirely new level! The ideas featured in this collection are as innovative as they are beautiful.

In her introductory letter, Gloria explains that the use of "hinged" in the book's title not only covers actual hinges used for clay bracelets but also a variety of new ideas for linking polymer clay bracelet parts. The book launches with all basic information you'll need to know about working with polymer clay. A list of Things to Remember, What to Expect, and Bare Minimum Tools cover such ground as "always condition clay before working on your project", "follow manufacturer's suggested time and temperature for curing clay", "work on bakers plastic or parchment paper whenever possible", among many more important suggestions. I really love her section on Bare Minimum Tools. Gloria tells us not to be discouraged by long supply lists! You can go far with a simple craft knife and acrylic roller.

Fundamentals will teach you such skills as how to achieve custom bracelet forms, create your own texture stamps, and use a variety of tools. Once you've read through the Fundamentals, you're ready to begin making Hinged Clay Bracelets!

The bracelets are organized by hardware type: Wire, Chain & Jump Rings, Hardware Hinges, Spring Hinges, Clay Connections, Cord, Magnets, and Hooks, Loops, & Snaps make up the categories in this collection. I love the very first project in the Wire category, Gold Wire Lifesavers (p. 24). The clay beads really do resemble the Life Saver candies! The colors are beautiful mixed together to form the beads, and I love the suggestion at the end of the tutorial for what to do with scraps. If you have leftovers of pretty clay, Gloria teaches you how you can make a cover for a business card case!

The Copper Front Mount Hinge (p. 38) is a stunning bracelet found in the Hardware Hinges category. The look of the hinges on the outside of the bracelet is just beautiful, and the copper clay paired with these hinges gives the bracelet a touch of steampunk whimsy which I absolutely adore. This category has bracelets with hinges front mounted as well as embedded. Choose your preference and distinct style!

There are so many beautiful bracelets I want to talk about within the scope of this review. The Front Mount Barrel Bead Hinge (p. 42) features glitter in the clay which looks so pretty, and the Simple Spring Hinge (p. 50) is gorgeous and earthy with its navy, gold, and white clays that come together and look almost like stone.

One feature permeates every bracelet in this book, and that is the professional-level quality. As I page through the book, I am astonished not only by the designs themselves but also the tutorials used to make these beautiful bracelets! Learn how to make a gorgeous new piece of jewelry that looks store bought. The folks you meet in your day-to-day interactions will be amazed when you tell them "I made that!" using the tutorials in Hinged Clay Bracelets.

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