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Archive for the ‘mokume gane’ Category

I think I need some sort of post title generator, I have the most boring titles. 

On Monday night I decided to make some midnight blue mokume gane.  mokume gane pendants 4I still need to drill or add bails to the squares, but I’ll leave them as cabochons for now.mokume gane pendants 2I had been waiting to get some smaller bails for these hearts, I really like the red one.

large dk blue donut3 This donut is my favorite from this batch, it is 2 inches across and so pretty I am thinking about putting a large bail on instead of wrapping it with the cord.  This photo does not do it justice, the layering is so difficult to capture with a camera!

Don’t forget that if you would like to make you own there is a photo tutorial here on my blog.  If you would rather have me make them for you, some of the pieces shown here are available in my etsy store, I also accept custom orders.

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I’ve been thinking about what else I can put mokume gane clay on. Pretty much anything oven safe will work. I thought a glass votive holder would be interesting.
I used a heavy, thick glass holder to make sure the sanding process would be easy. It is really pretty when lit, it gives off a soft violet glow and you can see the flecks of gold leaf on the inside. This is my new favorite mokume gane covered item, but I still really like the donut pendants. I think I’m going to make a couple more of these and I also want to try some more tins. I just need to find the perfect shape!

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I have a serious back log of pendants to sand! I have been trying to get 6 to 12 sanded a day to catch up. Here’s what I’ve done so far.

These are all mokume gane all nicely sanded and buffed, just waiting to be drilled. I am saving these for the fall craft shows I will be attending.

These are made from slices of automatically wrapped canes (bullseye canes). I really like the “retro” feel of these.

Here are the backs, I just used the leftover clay to make marbled sheets for the backs to make the pendants double sided.

And this is my masterpiece, a Balinese filigree ornament. I really enjoy this technique, although it is very time consuming. My crafting ADD kicks in and I just have to fill every gap! I have already started another ornament and I have several more pendants waiting to be baked.

I love polymer clay.

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I have been making a lot of Mokume Gane polymer clay this week. I have made batches of red, black, fuchsia, purple, blue, and teal and also a few bezels for resin and now I have quite a back log to sand. The sanding takes the most time and can be tedious.
I do most of my sanding while watching T.V. and as you can see I reuse meat containers to keep everything separate and for my icky sanding water. I start off with sanding sponges in coarse, medium and fine and then progress to finer sand papers (320 through 2000). Once everything has been sanded I buff them with my dremel tool and a muslin wheel. I will be listing a select few of these in my etsy shop as I finish them, but the majority of them will be saved for the fall craft shows I’m doing.

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Mokume gane is my favorite technique in polymer clay, this time I took more photos so I could share the process with you. Here’s what you’ll need to make your own sheet of mokume gane clay.

  • 1 – 2 oz. block of translucent polymer clay (I use sculpty premo)
  • 1 – 2 oz. block of color of your choice (I think rich, dark colors look best, but it’s your choice)
  • gold or silver leaf
  • pasta machine
  • tissue blade
  • acrylic roller
  • TLS (transparent liquid scuplty)
  • wet/dry sand paper in a selection of grits (I start with 100 and work up to 2000)

Divide the transparent clay into 4 equal pieces and divide the red (or your color of choice) in half and set 1 piece aside (you can use this for another project), divide the remaining piece in half, divide one of those pieces in half again and again, and again. Basically the pieces you need are 1/2 (of the half block), 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16, see the picture to get an idea what I’m talking about. From left to right we’ll call these shade 1, shade 2, shade 3, and shade 4. Condition and combine the translucent and red clay in your pasta machine, you’ll end up with 4 various shades of red. It’s hard to see in the picture, but the darkest shade is on the left. Using your pasta machine make each ball into a thick sheet (I use the 7 or 8 setting on my Atlas machine). Next, cut each sheet into similar sizes (like the size of a playing card) and start stacking…a sheet of shade 1, a sheet of gold leaf, a sheet of shade 2, a sheet of gold leaf, a sheet of shade 3, a sheet of gold leaf, a sheet of shade 4, a sheet of gold leaf, repeat this again and finish with a sheet of shade 1. I use my fingers to place to gold leaf onto the clay and to smooth it down. Everything does not need to be perfect, the sheets of clay do not have to match up perfectly and the gold leaf does not have to be perfectly applied!Now that the stack is complete use your fingers to poke into the clay, what this does is break up the gold leaf and make the layers uneven. After smooshing the clay I roll it smooth with my acrylic roller and then comes the fun. Take your tissue blade and use it to slice off random pieces.

You’ll end up with multiple odd shaped pieces and one flat piece that is the base of the stack. When I cover an ornament I use the pieces. I run them through my pasta machine on the thickest setting to make them uniform and use liquid sculpty to adhere them to the glass ornament. Keeping the clay as smooth as possible it very important and will make sanding easier. I usually wear gloves to prevent finger print and repeatedly go over everything with my acrylic roller.

This is everything that I was able to make from this batch. I have the ornament sitting on polyester batting to keep it from rolling around and everything else it laid directly on a glazed ceramic tile to bake. Bake according to the instructions on you clay, these were baked at 275 for 3o minutes.

After baking allow them to cool thoroughly and then the sanding begins. Always wet sand polymer clay to prevent the dust from getting everywhere. I have dry sanded and been very sorry…the dust gets everywhere and also irritates my throat (that can’t be good). Wet/dry sandpaper can be found in the automotive department of “box” stores and hardware stores. I like to start with 100 grit and really work everything over, getting out all the lump and bumps and any finger prints (if I didn’t wear gloves), then I progress to 220, 310, 400, 800, 1000, 2000. I use these grits because it’s what I have on hand, you may use what ever works best for you. Sanding is essential for this technique, it really brings out the layers and makes the clay “pop”.
After sanding I buff my pieces with a muslin wheel using my dremel tool and then finish with an acrylic sealer. It usually takes me two days to complete a batch of mokume gane, but the results are well worth it! If you have any questions about this technique, please don’t hesitate to ask and good luck making your own or if you prefer, check out my etsy store to purchase some mokume gane.

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I’m going to say that this is my first sale, even though it looks like it is my third(the first was to a personal acquaintance and the second was a trade).
My Mokume Gane Ornament will be on it’s way to California tomorrow. I’m so excited!!!

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Mokume gane is one of my favorite polymer clay techniques. It is a time intensive procedure, but the finished product is spectacular, with a lot of depth and shimmer.

I started off mixing varying amounts of black clay with translucent clay to get these four shades. The clay is then made into thin sheets by running it through a pasta machine, then it is stacked by alternating clay with silver leaf. The slab is then smooshed (technical term) and poked and then rolled flat and sliced with a tissue blade. The slices can then be applied to any oven safe material.Here’s everything fresh from the oven. It looks good, but it’s not finished yet. I hand sand each piece starting with 200 grit and working up to 2000 grit. Then I buff each piece to a glass like sheen. The sanding and buffing is what really brings out the depth of the layers of translucent clay. This pendant is about the size of a domino and opens to a secret compartment.This is a sleek and modern donut pendant.And this is an upcycled mint tin and is a little over 3 inches wide.
For more detailed instructions for working with polymer clay I highly recommend The Glass Attic.

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