Tips and Tutorials:
How to make Hitomi's necklace from the Escaflowne series
...Subtitled, How Not To Give Yourself Anthrax
To make a pendant the way I did, you will need these materials:
A large translucent red-pink bead for the 'gem'.
Some gold polymer clay
Gold acrylic paint (it must be acrylic!)
From a jewellery supplier: A long length of gold-coloured chain, about 18 inches
Clasp for the chain (optional - you don't need one as it's long enough to slide straight over your head)
Two or three gold jumprings
A long gold jeweller's pin with a loop at one end (needs to be at least an inch longer than the 'gem'. My method here assumes that your 'gem' is a bead with a hole drilled right through it - otherwise you may have to think of another way)
Tools: Strong glue
Small pliers for working with the chain
The big difficulty with this one is without question finding the bead to use for the 'gem'. It's got to be translucent, and the right shape and colour, and big enough... ooh, I nearly went mad looking for this one.
Eventually I found the one I used; a stained horn bead from the Bead Shop in Covent Garden. It was absolutely beautiful, but it wasn't the right shape - it was completely oval. So I used my mini-drill with its grinding wheel to reshape the bead into the almost-teardrop that it should be. Unfortunately, the damn thing was made of horn, so grinding it produced huge clouds of incredibly fine dust which (since it is undoubtedly imported from Asia) ran a risk of carrying cow anthrax. I had to grind it outside, on a windy day, with a dust mask on. Then I had to sand it smooth and varnish it to make sure it was re-sealed.
I do not recommend this method.
Assuming that you manage to find a bead not so impractical, this is what I did:
If you look closely at a pic of Hitomi's pendant, it's basically the gem, with a gold cone-shaped 'cap' at the top and bottom. I made the two conical 'caps' for the gem out of polymer clay and baked them hard, then painted them gold. Shaping them into cones is fairly easy - just roll them on a flat surface at an angle. You can always cut off the ends with a sharp knife after the clay is baked. The bottom 'cap' I made out of two separate clay cones and glued them together after baking.
The only real engineering issue with this pendant is supporting the weight on the chain - because it's a pendulum and you want to be able to swing it without it breaking. Polymer clay isn't tough enough to take the weight, so I used the jeweller's pin to run down through the middle of the whole pendant to support the weight of the bead.
I drilled a very small hole in the top 'cap' before gluing it to the bead. Then I put the pin down, through the cap and the bead, so that the loop was at the top, and the end of the pin was sticking out through the bottom of the bead. I used pliers to bend the bottom of the pin up and curl it round so that it supported the weight of the bead and couldn't slip back up through the hole. Then I glued the bottom 'cap' over it so you couldn't see what I'd done.
And that's the pendant done! The loop at the top of the pin gives you something to put the chain through, although if it's small you may want put a larger jumpring through it to hang the pendant from. It's important for the swing that the pendant moves easily along the chain.
Just thread the chain through and close it with a clasp or however you choose. I found that my pendulum had an absolutely perfect swing to it, I could have played with it forever...
Click on the thumbnails below to see what I ended up with.
Content and graphics © Jongleur 2004
If you're not in frames, please click here