Polymer Clay Mokume Gane Tutorial
Welcome back for another great month of the Pavelka Project! This month we a doing a technique based project that uses a favorite technique of many, Mokume Gane.
At the request of many, I have been trying to keep my tutorials extremely basic to allow you a jumping off point. Please note that Lisa’s tutorials in her book are highly detailed and offer many variations. In addition, any of the technique based projects we do can be adapted to many different types of claying from jewelry making, sculpture, organic components and so many more. Lisa & I put this project together so that people could grow in their love of clay and maybe learn a few new things along the way. Yes, there are many artists in our group who have skills of a master clayer, there are also those who just picked up their first block of clay last month. Be patient. Be encouraging. And NEVER give up!
- Book Being Used: The Complete Book of Polymer Clay by Lisa Pavelka
- Project Page: 72-79 and following
- Project: Mokume Gane Techniques
- Project Due Date: Sept. 30, 2015
Multiple variations of the Mokume Gane technique are presented in Lisa’s book. I also have an in-depth “64 Layer” Mokume Gane tutorial here on the website in addition to the one you will find below.
- The Complete Book of Polymer Clay
- Your choice of polymer clay
- Flexible Tissue Blade
- Pasta Machine
- Transluscent Liquid Clay
- Texturing Stamp
- Bic Pens
- Wet / Dry Sandpaper
- *Salt scrub to clean your hands (Get my recipe HERE)
Polymer Clay Mokume Gane Tutorial Using Scrap Clay
Coming up with project for scrap clay is one of my favorite things to do. Why? Because no matter what kind of clay creations you make, there is always scrap. Sure, you can wad it up and use it for bead cores, but what if you could salvage a big chunk of it? Enough to make several projects too? Sounds good to me.
- Gather bits pieces and chunks of scrap clay.
- Using your pasta machine, marble the clay gently on the 3rd thickest setting.
- NOTE: Do NOT pass it though the pasta machine more the 3 times or your layers will be too fine.
- Tip: Using “lookat” blend technique helps here.
- Fold the clay in third, without cutting the sheet, lay the clay on top of itself.
- Secure the layers gently with an acrylic rod.
- Use the stamp of your choice and press it deeply onto the surface of the clay.
- Using a thin, flexible tissue blade, follow the steps in Lisa’s book to slice very thin sheets off your stack of clay.
- Slice sheets until there is no stack remaining.
Polymer Clay Pen Tutorial: Using the Mokume Gane Slices to Cover a Pen
First, let me tell you that there are two ways to do this. The first is to take all your Mokume Gane slices and place them on a background to wrap around the pen. That will work and if you want to do it that way, go ahead. However, here’s why I don’t:
- I like a thin layer of clay on my pen, not an overly thick layer.
- I like to maintain the integrity of the “cool parts” of my Mokume Gane.
- I don’t like seeing the “edge” of a trimmed Mokume Gane sheet running down the length of my pen.
For all those big reason (and a few others) I choose to place my Mokume Gane slices directly on the surface of my pen. By doing this I can not only maintain the integrity of the “cool parts,” but I can also control the thickness of the clay around the pen.
- Remove the ink well and nib from your pen.
- Cover your pen with a layer of TLS.
- TIP: Don’t use too much or the clay will just slide around the surface of the pen … not good!
- Begin draping & gently wrapping your slices all over your pen.
- When you are done adding slices, there will be “high spots” and “low spots.”
- Carefully use your blade to remove some of the “high spots” and place them in the “low spots” of the pen.
- NOTE: Remember that when you do this you will reveal a new Mokume Gane pattern underneath.
- Using your hand, gently roll the pen back & forth on your work surface.
- Do this slowly of the clay will become uneven.
- All you are doing by rolling is smoothing out the seams and pressing the clay to not come off of the pen.
- Once that is done, bake your pen for 45 minutes, covered in foil, at the recommended temperature.
- Once your pens have cooled, sand them using 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper.
- Once you are done sanding with the wet/dry sandpaper, sand them using micro mesh and buff with blue jeans when finished.
- Insert the pen nib back into the pen and use them with pride or give them away.
More FREE Polymer Clay Mokume Gane Tutorials
& Polymer Clay Pen Tutorials:
I have made many scrap clay tutorials and if this is something you are interested in, CLICK HERE. I have done several different polymer clay pen tutorials as well. Why? Because I’m addicted to polymer clay pens. CLICK HERE to see the polymer clay pen tutorials.
The Pavelka Project
The Pavelka Project is done in conjunction with Lisa Pavelka. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read the FAQS here.