I love making porcelain jewellery and earrings are quick and easy to make using your off-cuts of clay from other projects, plus they allow you to explore your creative side with lots of different designs.
To make porcelain earrings you’ll need grog clay, a cookie cutter, decorating slip, E6000 glue and earring fittings. After rolling out clay use the cookie cutter to create the shap and leave to dry. Once leather hard apply a small amount of slip and your unique design before leaving overnight. Bisque fire, glaze, dry and then glaze fire. Finish by adding the earring fixtures.
That’s the quick version, now let’s take you step by step through my process. You’ll find my video class on how to make clay earrings at the end of the article so you can see me put this into practice.
Things you’ll need to make earrings
- Clay off-cuts, I used porcelain grog clay from www.valentineclays.co.uk
- Rolling pin
- Cookie cutter, I use a little square but you can use any shape you like
- Decorating slip, I used Scarva Nano ‘Forget me Not’ porcelain decorating slip
- E6000 glue
- Flat pad earring posts and earring scroll backs
- Calico table cloth (optional, prevents sticking)
Making ceramic earrings
Roll your clay to about 3mm thickness. I’ve used off-cuts from a previous project as it helps reduce material wastage but you can use fresh if you’re starting this as a new project.
It helps to use a calico table cloth, this keeps the clay smooth and ensures it doesn’t stick to my table.
Once rolled out grab your shape cutter and press into the clay. Be careful when removing the cutout shape from the cutter, clay can be easily damaged. Make sure you have an even number of shapes cut out if you’re intending on creating pairs of earrings.
Leave drying for around 10 minutes (may need slightly longer if using a larger shape). When the clay is still damp or leather-hard apply a small amount of slip, you’ll see in my video below I’m using coloured slip to create my design.
This is where you add your own artisan flare, stamp your style and make a statement through your unique design. I like to stay simple, picking a single strong colour such as black, blue, gold or green, a strong colour that will stand out from the white background. At this stage there are no templates to follow, the earrings are you canvas on which your individuality is painted.
Once decorated, leave drying at least overnight before putting on a bisque firing.
Preparing for a glaze firing
After bisque firing sand down your earrings, add a glaze. I use 2 layers of Pottery Craft’s transparent glaze, remember you should only glaze the decorative front side and not the backside otherwise it will stick to the kiln shelf.
Leave to dry and then put into a glaze firing.
Attach the earring fixtures
To complete your hand made ceramic earrings you’ll need to add flat pad earring posts. Add a small amount of E6000 glue to the middle of the earring post, press down firmly onto the back of the earring base, hold in place for a few seconds.
Leave to dry overnight and then add earring scroll backs. Prepare to amaze your friends and family with your new creations!
Making earrings without a kiln
I’m lucky enough to have a kiln if you don’t have access to one you can still make earrings by using air drying clay and acrylic paint. Leave them to dry and then apply a transparent gloss and the earring posts and backs.
Once done consider how you’re going to display the final results. If crafted for your own use you can skip this step, but if you’re using this DIY method to create a collection you can sell or give as gifts you should have a look into small boxes so the items can be securely packaged.
Like pendants, a pair of lovingly created earrings make for a beautiful and unique gift. You’re always sure they’ll be the perfect present as you can design them with that special someone in mind