Millepunti bead necklace
Millefiori, a ‘thousand flowers’, is a technique already familiar from the Italian art of glass making.
Here, you can try your hand at ‘millepunti’, i.e. a ‘thousand polka dots’. The method used is the same: you take a long pattern cane and cuts lots of thin slices off it, all identical in design. This is how this colourful thick-beaded necklace is created. Whether one kind of bead or lots of different ones: It’s up to you to decide just how colourful your millepunti necklace is going to be.
Shape one strip of green FIMO soft into a sausage, approx. 1 cm in diameter. Then, using the acrylic roller, roll two strips of white FIMO soft into a sheet, cut the edges straight and wrap it around the green sausage. Make sure that the edges meet exactly. The white FIMO must not overlap, otherwise the pattern will be distorted.
Roll out a thick sheet using half a block of plum and wrap it around the green-and-white sausage. Once again, take care that there is no overlapping! Now, using your hand, roll the pattern cane so that it gets thinner and longer. This makes the diameter of the cane smaller without changing the pattern.
Divide the long cane into four pieces of equal length and place them together. Press firmly and then, starting in the middle and moving towards the outer edges, roll again to create a thinner and longer cane.
If you divide the FIMO for the uni-coloured bead bases up into portions before you start shaping them, you’ll get nice, uniform sizes. You could, for example, divide half a block of FIMO up into eight half strips – this will give you eight equal-sized beads.
Once again, place four equally long pieces together and shape to a cane. You don’t need to reduce the diameter as much now as the ‘millepunti’ pattern is finished. If you like, you can now go on to make more, different-coloured pattern canes.
Using the flexible blade, cut slices off the cane, making them as thin as you can. Position them closely together on a ball of uni-coloured FIMO and press on firmly. Now, roll the entire ball gently in your hand until the joins between the individual slices can no longer be seen. Using a needle, carefully make a hole through the bead and place in the oven to harden (e.g. by suspending the needle with the bead over a glass or cup) at 110 °C for half an hour.
Allow the finished beads to cool down before adding a thin coat of gloss varnish. This gives them an attractive, shiny finish. Once they’re dry, you can string them onto the necklace and add the clasp.
If you place the beads on a toothpick to varnish them, your fingers will stay clean and dry!
What you need
smooth work surface (glass or ceramic), thin darning needles, small black glass beads, necklace with clasp, crimp beads (if desired), craft pliers
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