Polymer Clay 101: Making Holes and Drilling into Clay
Photography: Johnny Miller
Source: Martha Stewart
After baking, thick clay shapes require the power of a drill or rotary tool to make the holes that transform them into beads. A Dremel drill with a fine bit does the job well.
300 Series variable-speed rotary tool, by Dremel
628 7-piece drill-bit set, by Dremel
Dremel drill bit with a 1/16-inch bit
Position a bead, wide side down, on top of a thick wooden block or peice of scrap wood to protect the dril bit (and your work surface) when it breaks all the way through the clay.
Drill straight down vertically, starting halfway between the top and bottom of the bead's sloped side and piercing the bottom of the bead; work slowly with light pressure to avoid cracking the clay.