Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flying Snake Necklace & Favorite Tools Day 5

My kids have been making fun of me for years for saving  those colored  mesh bags made of plastic... you know, the ones that held onions, garlic, cherry tomatoes or other fresh veggies..... I knew if I held on to them long enough a use would turn up.... sure enough, I started playing with clay and needed something for snake skin.  Ah Ha, I thought.... and dug out my stash of bags.

Click on the photos for a closer look.

Here are sample textures that I made with the bags.

Close up of the diamond samples

Close up of the oval samples

Different textures can be made with the same piece of bag.... either scrunch it up a bit or stretch it out.

I conditioned the clay and ran it though the #1 setting on the pasta machine.  I spritzed the clay with water, wrapped the mesh around the clay so the pattern is on both sides. and put it though the pasta machine, still on #1.  This one has a fun pattern.

Gently remove the mesh to reveal the pattern.

Stretch the mesh to get a whole new look.

Two patterns from the white mesh bag.... one design is a little larger.

Go for a whole new look by using several layers of the mesh bag.... like this.

Next I used the yellow bag... trying for something different  I scrunched up the sides and left the center in a double layer

I spritzed the clay with water and ran it through the pasta machine

After removing the mesh I used my oval cutter and made a couple samples leaving part of the design smooth

I was on a roll so I scrunched up the purple bag put it over a sheet of clay and ran it through pasta machine

here's how it looks after removing the mesh

The red mesh was still attached to the end paper... I wanted to see how it would look if I used it "as is"

here is the result

The green bag wasn't cooperating when I tried putting it though the pasta machine so I used my brayer to roll the design into the clay.

Not crazy about this one....

These are nice textures to use for the backs of pendants or bracelet tiles.... saves on sanding.

Well that's it for the mesh bags.  Hope you find it useful.

I went through all my photos and found the  "Flying Snake" that I textured with a mesh bag. I made it into a necklace, the lady who bought it emailed me not long ago to let me know she gets lots of compliments every time she  wears it.

Edited to add the Finished Necklace

Lots of photos today, I hope I didn't overdo it.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Your flying snake necklace is amazing. Skin DOES look like snake skin. Plastic mesh bags imprints could have so many uses. Thanks so much for sharing your creative texturing ideas.

  2. Update: BJ, I make a collection of red rock Sedona beads from PC with a bit of real Sedona red rock dust in the matrix. I've been using a very coarse sandpaper to texture them. Today, after reading your wonderful blog post on texturing with plastic mesh bags I tried first texturizing the beads with a mesh bag folded over many times into a small square and then followed that with my usual coarse sandpaper. The result was a very appealing and a bit more complex stone texture than I had previously been able to get. Thanks for sharing your info on your creative tools!

  3. You are very welcome Anita, I am pleased as punch that you found the mesh bag info useful. I would love to see photos of your red rock Sedona beads and I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your 25 "favorites".

  4. What a great idea - off to look for things in bags :)

  5. Thanks for great idea. I always throw the bags. I will change this rule.