May 192017

ff controlling blend width cover (1)

In the interest of full disclosure I feel obligated to let you all know that I bought the 7/8-inch dowel I use in the video at least a year ago, maybe more. It has been quietly leaning in a corner of my studio all that time. Occasionally I would look at it and say, “Oh yeah, I should mark that and bring it down the basement and cut it up….”

…. but I never did. I don’t know why. My husband taught me how to safely use his chop saw, and I’ve used it many times before. In fact, I kind of like using it, as it makes me feel rather powerful!

Anyhow, the dowel got taken out of its corner when I cleaned the carpets in my studio and hubby offered to cut it up for me. So I quickly marked it and gave it to him. He cut the pieces and even sanded the ends for me. (Maybe that’s why I was putting it off? I hate sanding, and knew it would need to be done as well. Hmmmm….. funny thing, the subconscious mind.)

So, I was thrilled when I sat down to experiment with my new tools and found how wonderfully they work. Thrilled, and truly annoyed with myself for putting it off for so long, lol.  

All that babble to say, if you use Skinner blends at all, you NEED to make yourself the simple tools I show in the video. 🙂

One thing I didn’t mention in the video is that the end of the dowel next to the clay in the machine will get clay smeared on it. When you are done just lay a baby wipe on the table and scrub the end of the dowel over it and it will be clean and ready for next time.

skinner blend limiters in canning jar

Oh, and here’s how I decided to store them to keep ’em corralled and from rolling all about. All five fit nicely in a half-pint canning jar. The smallest two are stacked on each other. 

There isn’t really much of a supply list to go with this project, but here are a few things you might find helpful:

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Watch the How To Control the Width of Polymer Clay Blends-Friday Findings Tutorial at YouTube.

Jul 242015

ff-skinner blend

In today’s video I show you a basic and very helpful polymer clay technique. It’s called the Skinner blend and it’s a wonderful way to get shadings of different colors. In the video I go from blue to yellow and my cane turns out to go from dark green to light green.

skinner blends

In this photo you can see some beautiful canes going from a rainbow of colors each to white. Using white and putting it in the center gives that lovely look of glowing light.

(My apologies that I cannot properly attribute this photo. It’s from an empty Etsy store, BySusi. I tried contacting the owner but had no reply. If you know her please let me know so that I can properly credit this photo. it’s a wonderful example of Skinner blends.)

kaleidoscope cane tutorial

(This photo is also one where I could not contact the author. It’s by Almu on Flickr. Again, if you know her or are her please contact me so I can give proper credit for this wonderful tutorial.)

As you can see by the photo in the upper left this very complex looking cane starts with just a Skinner block, like I will teach you to make, and two bull’s-eye canes, one going from light to dark and the other going from dark to light.

Each is wrapped in black and then reshaped into different shapes and sizes and when you get done at the end you have a gorgeous kaleidoscope of color.

By the way, here are links to the free online classes I mention in the video:

  • my classes at CraftArtEdu (one free)
  • all free classes at CraftArtEdu
  • sign up for their newsletter to receive regular coupons and sales – I’ve never paid full price for a class 🙂

I hope you enjoy this technique and have fun applying it to your polymer clay projects. Be watching on Monday for a jewelry project using a polymer clay Skinner blend.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

You can watch the Friday Findings-Polymer Clay Skinner Blend Tutorial over at YouTube.