I was visiting my brother Tony in 1990 when he showed me a pair of clay earrings he had made. I was so impressed. I never imagined my brother making jewelry, and they were great!
They were so great they inspired me to start making jewelry myself. I started out with Sculpy clay and seed beads. The Sculpy is easy to bend, fold and mold. Once baked in the oven for 10 minutes they become hard and permanent. I used an acrylic glaze and dropped various seed beads in random patterns. I purchased the findings at the various bead stores that are plentiful in the Bay Area, but my favorite is General Bead in San Francisco on 7th and Minna. Also Fire Mountain who has a catalog and once I knew what I wanted was a great resource and the best prices for findings in particular.
I was able to hand roll the beads and I made a Styrofoam tray with tooth picks to hold the beads to bake them so they wouldn’t flatten out on the cookie sheets in the oven.
Once they were baked I’d leave them on the tray to coat them with the glaze and they would by dry enough the next day to assemble.
The center piece and the earrings took a little more work and would generally take an entire evening to roll and curl the pieces and glue them into place.
I would sell the sets for $125 back in 1993.