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These are some postings links and information regarding making Rock Purses compiled by our list members Joanie and Jan. Thanks So Much to all who contributed to help others through this great learning process!!


If you need inspiration..check Joanie's album on the link below

There's some WONDERFUL examples in the rock/purse folder.


Here is a great drawing by Joanie of how you could string your amulet bag.


Joanie was also kind enough to send lots of info to the list..Read everything... there is some conflicting info and you may want to try all of it till you find what works best for you. In particular... some people cover their rocks with foil and dust the foil w\ cornstarch.... some only dust the rock itself. That's what I did, because I wanted a smooth interior. I did have to slit mine in a couple spots to remove the clay... but it worked like a charm! I'm going to patch the slits tonight and begin to play! Also some people poke small holes in the base for air release... some don't. I made the holes for my cords and that did the job.

Here's an URL where Marty is showing us the progress of her own purse project... there'll be new pictures as her project progresses...


You can see another example of one of Kathleen's pieces here..

  This is a great tip for smoothing the baked shell before you begin your final covering...

From: (Lucille J. Schacht) If you have a dremel type tool, you can use a rounded end stone and grind out the lumps to make it smoother.

 Another great tip... for cooling your shell FAST so you can play with it right away! (I tried this and it worked admirably :o} )

From: faun bonewits One of the way to hurry the kooling process is to pop what ever you are working on into cool water and keep adding it to really hurry it along. popit out and dry it off and your are off and running. works ok as long as your armature isn't paper.

  And yet another great tip for marking your shell before cutting it!

From: Jody Bishel I've cut through the clay when the stone was cold and when it was warm. Warm is better if you have a steady hand. The cut edge will be a lot smoother. But since it cuts more easily warm, I have to a lot more careful not to let the blade veer off in the wrong direction. That generally happens if I'm using too much force. I usually put an elastic band around the purse to decide where to cut, and run a pencil along the edge to mark it. An amulet is a great place to start and then work your way up to larger things!

  A neat tip from Jody for making repairs to a rocks imperfections before you cover it...

From: Jody Bishel I cheat-I use two part epoxy clay to fix up rocks that aren't quite perfect. I've never tried the tin foil. Usually a bit of powder on the rock works for me.

  more about that from an old n/g posting

That's how I felt when I found out how Kathleen Dustin was making her forms! Wow, I can build over anything that can take the heat of the oven! Here's a further thought, I found that I could use Pliacre, a two part epoxy clay, to fill and smooth not quite perfect rocks. After it cures, it can be sanded smooth and the oven doesn't hurt it. The next step from there is to make your own custom forms by putting a layer of pliacre over an aluminum foil core. Jody Bishel

 Also an URL for a place you can order Apoxie from... which MIGHT be the same sort thing as the Pliacre...


> From: Karen So far I have only covered a 3" diameter rock with black Premo. I used foil, cut opening and holes before baking and at this very moment I have a cord through the openings to get a feel for where I should go next. I think I'll form a lip inside the purse bottom so the lid will stay in place. I am thinking that I'd like to somehow make the cord part of the outside design.

From: "Jan (JANO)" foil and I powdered the foil, it came off like a good dream. If you have to slit the purse to get if off because of the strange shape, no problem, It will work just fine when it is covered.>>> I did that with my first one...cut the top too high and couldn't slide the lower part off. (it was too narrow at the upper part) I cut the bottom part of the purse in half (front and back separated) and then used more clay to put it back together. :) I did better on the second one.. with getting the cut in the right place so it would come off the rock after baking :)

From: "Marty Woosley" my method is to wait until they cool but remember, I am using sculpy as the base for the purse. It was very easy to cut and if it is covered with foil and I powdered the foil, it came off like a good dream. If you have to slit the purse to get if off because of the strange shape, no problem, It will work just fine when it is covered. Or, like I did, fill in with some sculpy when you fill in your holes and rebake. Now when I rebaked, I did it on the rock so as to not loose the shape.

From: Karen I waited till it cooled to cut it so that I wouldn't chance breaking it. I cut the opening before baking and the cord holes too. I'm using a small rock. I want some experience before I take the time to create a big one.

From: "Jan (JANO)" I've been playing with a couple of small purses that I'm going to make into necklaces. For the first one I did the clay over the foil wrapped rock.. baked and then cut the top off.. got the clay off the rock.. took off the foil etc. On the second one.. I marbled some clay..and didnt' want to lose the effect by filling the tiny holes I had punched on the first (so the clay wouldn't expand while baking)So..I just cut the top of the purse before I baked it..and punched two holes on top..and two on the bottom that I'll use to run the lacing for the necklace. To me this was much easier. The clay cut easier since it wasnt baked..and as I said the original marbeling is preserved too.

From: (Lucille J. Schacht) I saw Jody Bishel's rock purses this afternoon at our guild meeting. Both of hers are hinged. Using two dollhouse hinges next to each other as one long hinge. The inside of one of them is painted with copper Pearl-x mixed with TLS. The outside of one, Jody hand painted a few horses resembling the caves paintings and put a layer of TLS over that. And is polished to a nice shiney finish. For the closers, on one part she has a button shaped like a shell with a textured design on it. and a leather thingamajig coming thru a hole in the bag to tie to the button. I'm not to good at describing things. So this will give you an idea on what it might look like.

From: (Lucille J. Schacht) When Jody Bishel brought her rock purses to the guild meeting, she had her openings like what you want to make yours. Like a short tube bead running vertically on both parts for the cord to run thru. I think it was the purses also besides her vessels that on the inside,she had colored TLS drippled from around the top,I think she also had some Pearl-X. I'll have to ask her to bring it in again since I'm sooooo forgetful.

From: "Marty Woosley" > I am not going to do a hinge. I am going to do a method somewhat like Antoinette, but mine will run on the outside of the purse..Hard to describe but two bead type ornaments on the top and the bottom of the purse parts and then run the cord through both of them so the lid can slide up and down. I need to make a rim for the lid to come down on now. That is the next step. The balance of my purse will be Fimo, Premo etc. That will give the purse strength. Want to put gold leaf on the inside of the purse.



Ok all you purse makers, I will try to translate my notes from Kathleen's Purse class. Think shape-not round.

1. We used foil as the core. But a rock would work.

2. Cover with scrap clay. I think I used Promat (it has been awhile since I tried this and my purse was a complete disaster).

3. Put two sheets of the scrap clay over rock or foil #'s 1 & 4.

4. Use a pin tool to put holes in clay before you bake it the first time. Get all the air bubbles out.

5. Bake.

6. To cover baked clay: Cool & use Powder or corn starch as a release. Cut pattern of purse from clay. Put clay on one side, then the other. You can put a different colored clay on the inside of your clay before you put it on your form. I think she used gold clay as the inside clay.You can use white Sculpey on the outside if you want to decorate with pencils, drawings, etc.

7. Score where you are going to cut lid.

8. I quess you now have to take it off of the form (I am a little hazy about this, so please someone help me) My notes aren't too good here.

9. You may have to reslit side and put it back together. You can use liquid sculpey to adhere the clay.. Smooth the seams.

10. Cut the top.

11. Smooth inside seams.

12 Find something to bake on - so the shape won't change.

13. Bake 45 min.

14, After baking - decorate. Here is where the white Sculpey comes in for decorating. Transparent canes and transparent clays look great over other canes, drawings, transfers, etc

15. Put a rim on inside of bottom: Trim down edge by beveling bottom part of purse. Do not cut just press to bevel. Heat with heat gun to softened then bevel to half the size. This is a little confusing here, but I think what you are doing is getting the lid to fit on the bottom

16. Lid: heat with heat gun and trim a little bit. Add a twisted piece of clay around bottom of the lid. Use liquid sculpey to adhere. You may have to use super glue if you don't have liquid sculpey. I think this lets the lid fit over the bottom.

17. Bake again with the trim.

18. Put tabs on the inside with liquid sculpey. Ok Marty, help me with this. I know they go on the inside, but do they go on before you bake again. I am confused about this. I cannot remember. I quess they are for the handle. I am lost from here as my notes stop.

I hope this helps and doesn't just confuse! Its hard to remember all the details especially since I have not tried to make one since the class. You guys may inspire me to try this again, hopefully with better luck.

  Some old postings from the newgroups...

I've been using Super Sculpey over compact foil as my interior core. Baked and sanded, I have several cores That I've used again and again. Talc is my release agent. The clay sheets are laid on, seams blended,then cut off and seams re-blended prior to baking. The clay must rest prior to cutting and re-blending seams. Sometime multiple cuts, because of undercuts, are necessary (these are re-blended before the entire piece is reassembled. I use fiber fill as an interior support when baking. Conversations with Kathleen Dustin led me to this technique; I'm fairly certain this is how she creates her Ethnic Evening Bags. Katherine Dewey

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