Mar 072017
 

mokume gane cabochons cover

If there’s one thing polymer clayers love to do, it’s to see how well they can imitate other techniques and materials. In fact, there are entire books on imitative techniques such as Polymer Clay Gemstones: The Art of Deception and The Polymer Clay Artist’s Guide: A Directory of Mixes, Colors, Textures, Faux Finishes and Surface Effects.

mokume gane

One of the most approachable imitative techniques is that of mokume gane, which is a Japanese metalworking technique with quite beautiful results. Above is a screenshot of an image search for mokume gane. Yup, those are all metal. So many lovely things to be made!

Doing polymer clay mokume gane is really quite simple, and even if you only use a small amount of clay you can get lots of material for covering things.

blue green mokume gane

Here’s some mokume gane I made several years ago. I used it to cover pens for Christmas gifts for guys. (They were a big hit!) Even though I made at least a dozen pens I still have this chunk of lovely striated blue, green, silver and white to use in other projects.

In the mokume gane project I show in today’s video I use a very definite pattern but you can just do it randomly. One artist who has done some beautiful things with this technique is Julie Picarello. You can check out her book, Patterns in Polymer and see all the different variations she’s come up with.

Tools and Materials:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the Mokume Gane Cabochons-Polymer Clay Tutorial video at YouTube.

Dec 172013
 

So, Sunday night, I decided that just had to come up with a small handmade gift for each of the guys in my life.

Of course, the inner conversation went something like, “What!  Are you nuts?  It’s ten days until Christmas!”  Then, “Oh, I know, just something small… multiplied by at least seven, of course.”  And, “Argh. You do this every year.”

Sensible me had won out, and I’d dismissed the idea completely.  Until I came across the idea to make polymer clay covered pens.  Loves-to-make-last-minute-gifts me said, “Yay, whoop whoop!”

2013-12-18-woyww-mokume-gane-pens

And here are the results.  I made a mokume gane* loaf of polymer clay out of scrap blues, greens, silver and pearl white. I then put slices onto gray scrap clay and ran it through the pasta machine. This spread out the pattern a bit and is what I covered my pens with. (Click on the pics for a closer look.)

2013-12-18-woyww-mokume-gane-pens-close-up

The pens were surprisingly easy to cover, and each only needs a 1″ x 5.5″ piece of clay, so I had way more than enough to do my 10 pens.

I’m not so sure about the holders.  I may redo them in solid colors, or skip ’em altogether.

I seriously doubt that any of the guys in my life actually read this blog, but if you do, I’M SORRY.  Now you know what you’re getting.  😉

* Wondering what the heck is “mokume gane”?  It’s a  Japanese metalworking technique in which layers of metal are fused together and manipulated to create patterns that look like wood grain.  The phrase“mokume gane” means “wood-eye metal” in Japanese. Polymer clay artists mimic this process by layering sheets of polymer clay together, distorting them, and slicing sheets from the stack to reveal fascinating patterns.

If you’d like to see the process, here’s a YouTube video showing how to make gorgeous mokume gane pendants.

Happy creating!

P.S.  Wondering why I bothered to post a photo of my workdesk?  Cuz it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  Check out this fun weekly blog hop and see what other creative folks are doing over at Julia’s.

P.P.S  All you U.K. deskers may be gratified to know that Chris Dann made good on her promise to send a Christmas pudding all the way across the pond to my house. Hubby & I loved it!  Thanks, Chris, for fostering cultural awareness. 🙂