While shopping at the craft store the other day, I heard a woman say to her friend, “I think you need help. You need Beads Anonymous.”
I thought it was hilarious, mostly because it meant there were others like me. But then I wondered if I should be offended that people think crafters are addicts, because I over-analyze everything and I don’t want to be judged for my harmless hobby.
Of course, as much as I want to buy half the store every time I go in there, I’m usually pretty good at sticking to my budget, and I’m usually buying things for my business. And things that are on sale. And things for my for-fun projects. At least some of the things are for my business.
But when I’ve had a few extra sales or I don’t have a long list of supplies to restock, I like to get myself something new to try. Sculpey/Polyform has so many fabulous new products for clay and I want to try them all! For now, I collect them one or two at a time. I have a pretty nice accumulation of ball tools, etching tools, cutters (so many cutters!). Some of those are from Makins or other brands, and I also have rubber stamps, handmade molds, and other random stuff I use.
Anyway, my latest sort of “extra” purchase was a set of bezel & cabochon molds. I don’t use a lot of molds cause I like to sculpt things by hand, but the cabochon molds can give a nice uniform shape to a faux stone or some scrap clay covered with cane slices – something uniquely handmade that just needs to be finished. The bezel mold gives it a framed look, which I think can really add a professional touch to something like a simple pendant.
The Sculpey ones are about $10 each. You have to buy the cabochon mold and bezel mold separately, but each one has several different shapes and sizes.
The cabochon mold is really easy to use. The silicon is flexible and doesn’t stick much (you can add water or cornstarch if necessary). The bezel mold is a little trickier when it comes to getting the clay out. I’m sure if you bake it in the mold it’s not a problem, but I wanted to keep working with it first, so it took a little practice to keep it from sticking or distorting.
Another reviewer (on Amazon maybe; I ended up buying mine at A.C. Moore) mentioned that the bezels were a little thick and produced childish-looking jewelry. I had to agree, but I found if you put the two pieces together before baking, you can press in on the sides (with an acrylic block or whatever’s handy) and make it look a little more sleek. I also flattened my cabochons a little because they came out very rounded on the top. Here are a couple I made with some flower cane slices and some faux turquoise. I really like the black background.
So I haven’t tried any other cabochon & bezel molds – I’m curious about the CaBezel molds that Cindy Lietz reviewed on YouTube – but these ones give you some decent options for the price, and it’s not too hard to manipulate the style to fit the look you’re going for.
Hope you found this helpful. It’s kinda my first review, but I’m working on a post about my favorite polymer clay tools and some budget-friendly alternatives. What are your favorite craft store buys? What other items would you like reviewed?