How to Make a Succulent Necklace // Jewelry & Sculpting Tutorial | Stephanie Kilgast | Skillshare

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How to Make a Succulent Necklace // Jewelry & Sculpting Tutorial

teacher avatar Stephanie Kilgast, Contemporary artist.

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Color Mixing


    • 3.

      Necklace Base


    • 4.

      Sculpting Echeveria


    • 5.

      Sculpting Cactus


    • 6.

      Sculpting "Rose"


    • 7.

      Sculpting Sedum


    • 8.

      Necklace Composition


    • 9.

      Necklace Back Composition


    • 10.

      Finishing Touches


    • 11.

      Adding the Chain


    • 12.

      Final Words


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About This Class

This class is a great project for all levels, even people who never sculpted before.
It is a great way to start sculpting, as succulents are the easiest plants to make from clay.

You are also going to learn how to deal with colors and play around with composition as you go. I'm going to guide you through my own creative process, from finding the right reference pictures online or in books, deciding on colors, composition and how to sculpt a few different types of corals and sponges. The class is organized as following:

1. Introduction
2. Color Mixing
3. Necklace Base
4.1. Sculpting : Echeveria
4.2. Sculpting : Cactus
4.3. Sculpting : Rose-Shaped succulent
4.4. Sculpting : Sedum
5. Necklace Composition
6. Necklace Back Composition
6. Finishing Touches
7. Adding the Chain
8. Final Words

// M u s i c

Instrumental music by Amarante, Addict, Little Heart, Elapsed Euphoria, Clairvoyance, The Antagonist, Enchanting the Enchanter

Chris Zabriskie : Oxygen Garden

Music by Three Chain Links Out of Phase, Gaining Traction

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Stephanie Kilgast

Contemporary artist.


Inspired by natural forms, Stéphanie Kilgast’s artwork is an ode to nature and its current biodiversity. Plants, mushrooms, insects and other animals encounter in a vibrant swirl of colors under her brush or sculpting tools.

Since 2017, in her series “Discarded Objects”, she grows colorful organic sculptures on human-made objects, celebrating the beauty of nature in a dialogue with humanity, questioning the lost balance between human activities and nature.
Her work has a cheerful post apocalyptic feel to it, a reassuring reminder that nature has the capacity to grow back, if we only let it.

She built her reputation and her sculpting skills around hyperrealistic miniature food sculptures. Her wo... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello. I am Stephanie, and I am an artist. I do sculptural work and I primarily work with polymer clay, which is my medium of choice. I really like how versatile it is and how colorful it is. Today, I'm going to share with you how to make a succulent necklace. Now, if you have sculpting skills, making jewelry is a great way to earn some money. So today I'm going to show you just how to turn your skills into something wearable. 2. Color Mixing: A few notes on column mixing. When working on the sculpture, what I like to do is to prepare the colors upfront. I will mix different shades of colors that I'm interested in. Then when I sculpt, I don't have to worry to mix the colors. I just take what I need. Now, these colors I have mixed using mainly yellow, blue and ocher and also white and black. I always mix my green from blue and yellow. However, yellow is a very weak pigments, so when you are going to make screen from blue and yellow, what you need to do is to use a lot of yellow and just a tiny bit of blue. A good rule of thumb would be for 10 part of yellow, one part of blue and you're going to get a nice screen. Something like that. If you want some teal colors, I would suggest at least that's what I always do, is to prepare your blue, make some green and then mix the blue and the green to get some teal. If you are going to try to get teal color from blue and yellow, it's going to be a little bit more complicated to get the right shading. Now, for muted colors like these here, I just added some ocher and this is champagne, but champagne basically is very light ocher. If you have white and other bits of ocher that will work just as fine. Yes, I think that's pretty much it about color mixing for this project. I decided since we are going to make circle lens to stay in the greens and blue and teal, I prepared these. Of course, you can use whatever color you have, whatever mixes you have at home. Don't feel obligated to use these colors if you hate these colors. If you love orange and reds, go for that. 3. Necklace Base: Now what we are going to do first is the basis of the necklace. I decided to go with this shade of green because I don't really like it and you're not going to see it that much, so it doesn't matter. But it's still green, so it's not going to be shocking if it's not fully covered. Although that is the idea; to fully cover it. Now what I am going to do is to cut out a loose triangle. However, I want it a little bit less edgy. So I'm just going to round it up. Right now it's not quite symmetrical so I'm just going to readjust it. This is going be the base and you are going to use some wire. This is brass wire. I'm simply going to cut it to size and what we're going to do is to place the wire inside the clay. We're going to bake everything together. Here what I'm doing is I am going to add after the chain. I'm going to use brass chain, that's why I use brass wire. However, if you are going to use silver chain, then use silver wire and try to at least have the same wire. I decided on a triangle shape. You can make whatever shape you would like. However, you need to make sure that the wire comes out on the top side. So if you want to make a [inaudible] shape that is more like a square or a rectangle, you need to have this on top. Otherwise, when worn, the necklace will flip. 4. Sculpting Echeveria: Lands are basically fat flowers, so what we are going to do now is to make a gradient from one color to another I picked these three shades, and you just draw out three snakes. Using a blade, you are going to cut out slices, of the same thickness that way you're going to have peeves that have the same thickness. I cut out seven, and this is going to be the outside circle. We are starting the outside, and then we roll out each and every leaf into a tiny ball like this. What you are going to do next is to pinch one side, and then between your thumb and index, you're rolling the ball of clay until you have a drop like this, and then you just push it down and you smooth it out like that with your finger. You then then repeat the process for all the leaves. I am now changing colors for the second round of leaves, about the same thickness, and the same technique. At this stage you might find it easier to use a tool to place the clay onto the first round. What I do is to fill in the gap in the middle by adding just some little clay, and I push it down with a bowl and a tool. I then change colors. This time I'm going to have my snake a little bit thinner than before. I might also not be able to use many leaves. The next round is going to be slightly different. I am going to make half leaves. I'm cutting out around the same slices. I am then cutting them again in halves. For the last one I'm using one half, and what I do is to pinch both ends, and using a spatula tool I'll just take it, fold it in two and put in the middle, like so. As I finish I'll just, put up all the first rounds of leaves, and this is it. 5. Sculpting Cactus: Now the next one I want to do is cacti. So what I do is start with a ball of clay, I picked green. Then you want to divide the ball into equal parts. Then you are going to pinch all parts, so they stick out like that. Don't worry too much if it's not perfect as we are going to finish it off with some tools. Now, using a metallic tool, you just are going to push everything and reshape the cacti so it doesn't look like a piece of marsh. Here I am smoothing everything else. That's pretty much it. 6. Sculpting "Rose": Now for this one we are going to make, something that looks like a sea cruise. I'm going to use some, a sheet of clay, I decided to go with blue, and around cutter. First, we're going to cut out circles of play, push them down with your finger, brush your finger over all this, so your finger prints are not too present. Then what's going to happen, we are going to roll the petals, so the first one is just going to be like a tube like so. Then we are going to add up, and is cut out some excess, and you can place this on your necklace. 7. Sculpting Sedum: Now, the last one is going to be just a bunch of rounds leaves put together. You simply roll them into tiny beans. Then you vaguely attempt to make a flower out of them. This is a good filler at the end to make your necklace. This one looks a lot more natural if the leaves are not quite the same size, no shape. 8. Necklace Composition: I'd like to prebake the succulents. That way I can add some color on the point ends. Of course, you can add the white paint afterwards. But I find that it's much easier to prebake them, and add some paint and then compose your necklace or sculpture. This would also make lovely earrings. For the cacti, I'd like to add some white on the edge just to give it a little bit more interest. Fisher to brush the liquid clay onto the base and then add the baked succulent one-by-one. It's tricky. Once you're happy with the composition, you can bake. 9. Necklace Back Composition: After baking, turn it around and you are going to make the back. First brush some liquid clay. Then add the clay, I opted for green. Cut out the access. You may want to push the clay neatly onto the back. Add bits of clay everywhere to smooth the back out, and then give the back some texture. Now is also a good time to sign your piece. You can also play around with patterns. Once you rest enough time you work on something only you will see you can bake again. This time, bake on this side and make sure to use some paper. That way, if there are any air bubbles they are going to be trapped underneath the succulent. 10. Finishing Touches: At the end, I'd like to add a little bit more paint just to add some interest. Once the paint is dry, I will apply a layer of liquid clay on top and this will ensure that everything is sealed nicely. It will work like a varnish, but you don't have to test this one because know polymer clay on polymer clay will work. Then you just bake again. 11. Adding the Chain: After baking, you can lightly varnish it to add some shine. Cut the brass chain or the chain you're going to use to the desired length and then add it to the necklace with some jump rings. 12. Final Words: Thank you so much for watching. Don't miss my other classes with which you could make other types of jewelry, like with the corals, the crystals, the flowers, and even the mushrooms. I really hope you enjoyed this class and be sure to share your project with the class. I really love to see what you come up with. Thank you so much for watching and I hope to see you in my next class on skill share.