Free Shipping | Australia: orders over $85 AUD | NZ, USA & Asia: orders over $100 AUD | Rest of the world: orders over $120 AUD

Closing down sale - 45% off. Use coupon code "ClayLadyDownunder45%"

Exploring the Art of Hollow Beads: A Journey of Creativity and Collaboration

Set of 3 Blue Polymer Clay Hollow Beads

Gill Scott |

Last year marked the beginning of my experimentation with hollow beads, a venture that unfolded as a delightful odyssey of creativity and craftsmanship. The unique twist? I utilised various materials as cores, aiming to remove them post-baking, opening a realm of possibilities for intriguing designs.

Among the materials tested were sugar, polystyrene, cotton/paper balls, alfoil (tin foil), and several others that slip my mind at this moment. Each material brought its own set of merits and demerits to the crafting table. Sugar, though effective, proved sticky and delicate in handling. Polystyrene emerged as a strong contender, but concerns loomed over its safety when baked beneath a layer of clay. Cotton balls, while effective, lacked the perfection of a perfectly round bead. Alfoil, on the other hand, presented challenges in core removal post-baking, earning it the title of my least favourite.  My favourite so far being the cotton/paper bead cores.

The beads, thanks to their hollow cores, exuded a lightweight charm that complemented their simplistic design. Following each bake, I delicately removed the cores, affixed eyelets to each end, and gave them a gentle polish with renaissance wax.

As my collection of beads grew, so did the intrigue of their potential. Enter a serendipitous meeting with a beading friend specializing in kumihimo beaded necklaces, and the spark of collaboration was lit. We envisioned a workshop fusing the unique hollow beads with intricately woven kumi necklaces. Simultaneously, I felt the urge to share the art of crafting these hollow beads with others.

In November 2023, I embarked on my first virtual hollow bead workshop via Zoom, a venture facilitated by the online booking platform, ClassBento. Participants could secure their spots, with or without a kit. Those opting for the kit found everything they needed to create polymer clay hollow beads during the workshop.

The positive feedback from the inaugural workshop was heartening, paving the way for another session this weekend, once again conducted via Zoom and drawing considerable attendance. Considering the warm reception, I am already contemplating a series of hollow bead workshops this year. Stay tuned by joining my mailing list and following me on social media for upcoming dates — a journey into the fascinating world of hollow beads awaits!