BEACH BEADS • Debbie Crothers

Debbie Crothers is a polymer clay artist from Geraldton in Western Australia. She’s been creating and teaching with polymer clay for about 13 years and has travelled extensively sharing her love of polymer clay. Debbie has been actively involved with the organisation and running of a number of community arts projects and has volunteered her time to assist a range of local and international arts organisations. Experimenting and exploring unique surface designs is an exciting addiction for Debbie and one in which she happily shares with the polymer clay community.

"Living by the ocean provides a never ending supply of inspiration – from the shape of shells and the colour of the sand to the myriad of incredible colours the water itself can be. I’m never lost for inspiration when I think of the amazing coastal life I live. The individual beads that make up this necklace have all been inspired by the ocean in some way. Stunning necklaces don’t have to be complex or difficult to make – they can simply be a selection of beautifully made beads… each a work of art in itself. Let me show you how, you too, can make incredible beads."


a selection of green and blue clay, plus white and silver glitters, pasta machine

acrylic sheet, tissue blade

smoothing tool, baking paper

scrap paper, texture tools

baby powder and soft brush

skewers, sea salt (both chunky and crushed)

ball stylus tool, small circle cutters

small hand drill

wet and dry sandpaper

cording and a selection of beads

Note: Debbie's Atlas Pasta machine has #1 as its thickest setting. You can adjust your clay thickness accordingly.


Choose a selection of coloured clay and make sure to have a combination of light and dark – I added silver glitter clay to my stash also. Condition and run these through a medium setting on the pasta machine. Tear off small bits of each colour and place on your work surface to form the shape of a rectangle. Roll over with your acrylic rod and run through #3 on the pasta machine.


Break this roughly into 4 pieces and stack on top of each other. Run this through the pasta machine again on #3 setting.


Fold this sheet of clay in half and in half again. Shape roughly into a rectangular block and cut a slice to reveal the patterning inside.


Create a very narrow skinner blend no wider than 5 cm and run through #3 setting on your pasta machine. Back this with a coloured sheet also run through #3 setting. Trim the clay and run this through the pasta machine on #3 setting.


Cut the length of skinner blend in half and stack matching colour to colour or alternatively turn it around – this will create a different look. Run this through the pasta machine on #3 setting. Repeat this process 3 more times.