Polymer Clay Mokume Gane Tutorial
Posted on July 12, 2011 in Tutorials by Katie Oskin
Polymer Clay Tutorial:
Skill Level: Basic Knowledge of Polymer Clay
Minimum Supplies Needed: Basic Supplies & 1 Cup of Coffee
Time to make 1 Mokume Gane Loaf: Approximately 45 minutes
This is a great polymer clay tutorial that has many uses. Mokume gane can be used in beads, projects, jewelry, covering, and even as a background for textured and embossed pieces. Mokume gane is versatile and offers hundreds of color combinations, color palettes, and unique design patters, that you can not simply plan. Thanks for join us for this polymer clay tutorial. Read our other polymer clay tutorials here.
These are the basic supplies you will need:
Blades, needle tools, ball tipped tools, and other tools to indent your clay, as well as a piece of cardstock or other paper to work on, and a pasta machine.
And don’t forget the most important: a cup of coffee.
Next choose 4 colors of clay.
You will need 1/4 a block of each color you choose.
Make sure at least ONE is a metallic clay.
You will be adding glitter, embossing powders, and metallic leaf to some of the clays.
Also grab ONE full block of translucent clay.
Next condition all your clay and keep them separate.
You can do this however you like, with your hands, cutting it into pieces, running through a pasta machine, banging on it with your roller…whatever works for you.
If you are using a pasta machine, run it through the pasta machine on the largest setting.
Next, pick what you’re going to use to accent your clay.
This will give to mokume gane a nice texture and a surprise with every slice!
(For the block you’ll see me make here, I used copper leaf, and 2 different glitters.)
Next put your leafing on your Transparent clay only.
You’ll notice the pieces on the right hand side are almost completely covered with foil.
These two pieces are covered front AND back.
The two pieces on the left are covered (lightly) on one side only.
Next choose 2 of your clays to add glitters to.
For this I chose pink & orange.
I added regular sparkle glitter to the orange clay and pink glitter to the pink clay.
Your conditioned clays with their inclusions and additives are now ready.
Run them through the pasta machine at the 5th largest setting.
Now stack your clays in any pattern you wish.
I usually stack one sided leafed transparent, color, 2 sided leafed transparent,
color, 2 sided leafed transparent, color, & one sided transparent.
This will make the beginning of your loaf.
This is now an 8 layered loaf.
Now use your roller and flatten the loaf.
You’re going to put it through your pasta machine at the largest setting, so flatten it by hand as much as you can.
It will be really long and flat after running it through the pasta machine.
Now cut the loaf in half (just eyeball it, no need to be exact).
Here’s the important part….stack it the EXACT same way!
Do NOT turn the loaf over.
Now you have a 16 layer loaf.
Continue to roll our your new loaf of clay.
Cut in half and stack the SAME WAY again.
Now you have 32 layers!
Roll the 32 layers again to flatten….
Then cut in half again & restack.
Now you have 64 layers of clay!
Again, roll the clay.
This constant rolling locks the layers together and gets the air bubbles out.
Check out your hard work!
64 layers of colorful, wonderful, yumminess!
Now squish and mold into a block with your hands.
Constant pressure and rolling to create a thick block, or loaf.
Your loaf should now be seamless with no funny ends sticking out.
Now take that loaf, pick a side, and poke it!
Use whatever you have.
Do some things deeply and some things only part way, while others should remain shallow.
Here’s what I did to my loaf.
But…you’re not finished yet.
Now slice through it!
Do it shallow, halfway, deep, whatever!
Use whatever blades you have, crinkle, flexible, straight, whatever.
Now you’re going to push it back into a “healed” loaf.
Use your hands and push, push, push.
The clay should be very soft by this point and push easily.
Remember you can’t mess this up, so just push!
Here’s what my loaf looked like after I “healed” the impressions that I made on it.
Now roll over it again to seal it and take out the majority of the air bubbles.
Here’s my healed and rolled loaf.
NOW TURN THE BLOCK OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE & DO THE WHOLE THING AGAIN!
Poke your holes and get some stress relief…
Use your blades to relieve even more stress…
Now push it all back together and heal the loaf!
Push until it won’t heal any longer.
Now roll over the top to flatten the loaf, continuing to heal it and get out any extraneous air bubbles.
This is VERY important,
Turn the clay so that you can see the “grain” of the loaf you’ve created.
Use your flexible blade and slice the same direction as the “grain” of the clay.
Slice as thin a sheet as possible.
Here’s the first pattern that was revealed in our loaf.
As you cut, you will reveal new treasures, hidden secrets, and really cool designs in your loaf.
Use your Mokume Gane to decorate pens, your tools, make jewelry and beads, whatever your heart desires.
Here’s some of the recent Mokume Gane loafs that we have made.
Notice how each and every block is different?!
This is the really neat part to Mokume Gane.
I’ve really fallen in love with Mokume Gane and can’t wait to explore all of its possibilities!
Here’s one of the items we created with the Mokume Gane loaf
we showed you how to make above:
***Please know that there are MANY ways to make Mokume Gane from polymer clay. This is the method that I prefer because of it’s intricate waves, ridges, and patterns so this is the method I choose to use for this polymer clay tutorial.***
Thanks for joining me today,