02 October 2014

Faux Peruvian seed beads

The markets and shops in Peru were full of a wide variety of locally made jewellery. One type of jewellery that caught my eye were items made from a type of seed known as huayruro. These seeds are red in colour with a patch of black covering about a third of the surface, and jewellery made with them is said to bring good luck.

I bought a silver pendant containing huayruros at Pisac market, but I thought it would be fun to try making my own faux huayruro seeds so I could make some more jewellery to match!

1. Mix orange and red clay. I started with the quantities shown here, but needed to add a lot more orange. So if I was doing it again I'd start with orange and add a little red at a time. Compare it to photos of huayruro seeds online until you have the right colour.

2. Roll the clay out and cut into pieces. I didn't worry too much about getting them exactly the same size, as I wanted to mimic the natural variation of the seeds.

3.  Roll the red clay into balls, and make a ball of black clay of about 1/3 of that size. Flatten the black clay slightly and press it onto the red ball. Roll this until smooth.

4. Thread the beads onto wire and suspend them over a baking tray. Bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.

5. Add a light coat of varnish to the beads while they are still on the wire. 

Come back tomorrow to see what I made with these beads! 

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