Clay jewelry became very popular in the early 90s. I had gone to visit my brother Tony in Santa Rosa and he and his wife Sandy were making amazing earrings out of clay, brass and silver beads and a variety of other beads. They even made beads of the clay.
It really intrigued me so of course I went to the local craft store on the way home to pick up a supply of Sculpy clay. The next week, one of my business clients wore a pair of earrings made of clay. She let me take them home so I could copy them and make her a pair in red. They are the ones on the top left.
Then I made them in nearly every color. The white ones were the most popular however.
I also made clay earring by creating a round platform and then taking 1/4″ round pieces, flattening them out to create a leaf effect. After they were baked for 12 minutes at 250 in a regular baking oven, I add pearls, glitter and a coat of varnish. I sold the earrings for $20 a pair.
Much later, about three years or so I began to make necklace, earrings and lapel pin sets. I usually used two colors and would make the beads in various sizes.
These were painstaking sets to make. After baking the set I had made a stand out of Styrofoam and toothpicks. Painting the beads with varnish took a long time. It usually took about a week to make a set.
I would price the sets at $150 and would sell as many custom sets as the pre made sets.