Just Barrettes Blog

Barrettes and jewelry crafts


You can see the patterns that you create in the block of clay by doing the distorting and stacking in the blue and purple blocks.  The red block has not been sliced yet but I am sure that I will find really nice patterns in it as well.


Once I figure out what background color to use, I condition that clay and roll it medium thin.  (I use setting 3 on my Atlas, with 1 being the thickest.)  I then carefully slice thin layers of clay off of the block.  I do the slicing across the top of the block to get the most interesting patterns.  If you want to slice the block of the sides you will get patterns that look like layers of sand.  If there is  a slice that I am not happy with, I can change the look by placing another slice over top of it.


One thing to remember when picking the background color is if you have used translucent clay, that color will be seen through the slices. 

I then reform the block and press it thinner.  I do this all by hand or with tiles but never send the clay through the pasta machine.  I then do the distorting and reforming the block a few more times.  Until I think that there is enough interesting patterns inside.mgblock5.jpg

This are my current blocks of Mokume Gane.  The red one is the one that I just took pictures of the steps for my blog.  The purple is on that I did just because I like purples.  I did use metal leaf in that block.  The blue and silver has translucent and no metal leaf.  I have been making beads and barrettes out of it.  I haven’t sliced into the red block.  I try to let the clay rest before making thin slices.


This is the technique that I use the most to make mokume gane blocks out of polymer clay.  Once I figure out what colors I want to use; I start conditioning the blocks of clay.  I will use four to six different colors for each block.  Sometimes I will also add metal leaf between a few of the layers to add sparkle.  I also use a lot of translucent colors.  Once all of the clay is conditioned I stack it in many layers of different thickness.  I try to place the colors in an order that looks pleasing.  This is what is ends up looking like when all the layers are together.


I then use something the distort the clay.  I will use the handle of a paintbrush or some of my clay shaping tools.  I vary the depth of the holes.  The clay then looks like this.mgblock2.jpg

Then I slice the clay in half and stack it back together keeping the layers in the same order.


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