It took 8 months of solid research, effort and trying but it is now here! Spurred on by my obsession with JKRowling's series and encouraged by many to "further the cause", I have created the Harry Potter Miniature Book Bead Collection. Frankly, I just wanted something to do, while waiting for the last movie to come out (ahh, some months from now, gulp!).
Sculpted entirely out of polymer clay, each pendant-sized book pays homage to all current titles in the Harry Potter saga, including Beedle, Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch thru the Ages. Polymer clay is a very interesting medium to work with. It is resilient, flexible and forgiving. I knew that I wanted details to show, so I opted for pendant- NOT charm-sized books. Shaping books from clay was a lot of fun! (It was a great way to relieve stress at the time. As in "Why has my copy of Beedle (UK ed) not arrived yet?" Punch. Splat. Blob. Punch. Enough said.) I digress.
Getting the image onto the clay was another matter. I had dreamed of immortalizing JKR's beautiful book covers into pendants. Fell in love with both US and UK editions. Not a stranger to image transfer techniques, I knew that this was going to be a challenge: getting double-sided images onto a book form. Following suggestions from fellow clay artisans, I tried a number of things, but none were full proof. Sometimes it worked. Most of the time it didn't. Just like Edison, I found 3000+ ways of how NOT to transfer an image onto clay:
In the end, it took a combination of chemistry, physics, baking, persistence and lots of patience to pull it off. The result: the Harry Potter Miniature Book Bead Collection:
The symbolic blocking of the US editions by Mary Grand Pre contrasted well with the scenic imagery of the UK book covers. I vacillated between the two, unable to decide which one I liked best. The final product reflects my indecision, as you end up with both US/UK book covers front/back.
Relief and detail on the mini books is evident here:
It is essential that the image be sealed and a protective finish applied. Both glossy and matte finishes are available. This process takes several days to complete as each coat must be allowed to dry naturally.
Once I had the Book Beads, the possibilities were endless! As I write this, my mind is still reeling with ideas I can't wait to try out. Got any suggestions? I'm all ears. In the mean time, enjoy my Harry Potter Gallery crafted out of these polymer clay miniature books at my Etsy Store: Just Charming!