Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Latest polymer clay - Mokume Gane

I thought I would share my latest polymer clay experiments with you.  I have been investigating a technique called Mokume Gane (Mo-koo-may Gar-nay) which is from Japanese metalworking, where layers of metal are sliced through to create patterns. The same technique works really well in polymer clay.  I made a stack of purples and pinks, with a bit of silver polymer too and then impressed patterns into it.  I then sliced through the stack, creating the shavings you can see above.
 I then placed pieces together onto a base and created these pendants.
 I loved the swirly patterns - they reminded me of a machine at the fair where you could drizzle paint into a cylinder and centrifugal force would create a pattern.  Alternatively, they do resemble 1960s psychedelia too!
 For my next experiment, I used translucent clay, some tinted with purple, and glitter and foil and pearl clay.  Here's the stack I created with impressed patterns and some infills of pearl clay too.
These are the slices, ready to be put together.
 The finished result - quite subtle but I really like it. You can see the foil shining through the layers underneath.  I made some tube beads which I think will look like glass once they are sanded and varnished.
 I used the translucent clay with a tint of blue and some black, pearl clay and foil, for these.  I am really pleased with how they turned out too.
I have also decorated the backs, which I like almost as much as the fronts!
I used a fantastic book for techniques and inspiration - 'How to make Polymer Clay beads' by Carol Blackburn, which had lots of photos and very helpful advice.  I am constantly amazed by the versatility of polymer clay and particularly enjoyed using this technique.  I can see I shall be re-visiting this one!
I forgot to add that these are completely one of a kind - I couldn't replicate the patterns, even if I wanted to.  Isn't it great that no-one else in the whole world has pendants exactly the same as these?

22 comments:

  1. They look lovely and so unique. Thanks for sharing this technique - I'll pop off and add it to my increasing list of things I want to try. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda. It is a fantastic technique which gives lovely results. The only vital thing you need is a sharp blade for cutting the slices - mine was a little blunter than I would like and it did distort the patterns occasionally. Give it a try - it's fun!
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  2. Wow Ellie these are fantastic designs! Yes, I love the fact that they are really 'one of a kind'. They do look very 60s retro-a pendant like this would be brilliant with a 60s dress! Gorgeous colours too. Alison xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alison. I love that they can't be replicated too. I do need to sand and then varnish them, but then I can wear them!
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  3. Wow Ellie, your pieces are amazing - how clever you are! The purples and pinks really grabbed me .. .. .. and then you showed the turquoise .. .. .. they are all sooooo beautiful! Perfectly unique too! Well done you! Wishing you happy times,
    Joy xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joy. You always leave such lovely, encouraging comments! I was so pleased with the way these turned out. I really enjoy trying new techniques - sometimes they work and I really enjoy them, sometimes they don't work. It's fun to find out.
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, m. I was really pleased with them too. Now I have a whole world of colour combinations to explore...
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  5. My immediate thought when first looking was 'Red Cabbage' that's what it looks like to me, I like it.
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Briony. Hmm, red cabbage? I can see what you mean, especially when you are looking at the slices. Glad you like it though!
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mii. I really enjoyed trying this technique and was so thrilled with the end result. Now I just need to finish them and then I shall wear them.
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  7. don't they look great! I didn't realise this was mokume gane, I've actually done this! It was in a book about making impressions in polymer clay and I had a go. I thought it was called the Sutton Slice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wendy. I think the Sutton Slice is when you place the clay over a stamp, press it in and then cut the clay off level with the stamp. You then apply a background piece and lift the piece away from the stamp. I have tried this technique and found monochrome was very effective. I think there is an example which I posted about somewhere!
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  8. Love the turqoise one very much!! I've never heard of this technique before but the result is amazing. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Onellyantie. The technique is quite simple but does give the most incredible results. I hope you enjoy trying it out - I am going to continue experimenting with it too.
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  9. You are so very inventive, I admire all the things that you do. These new pieces really appeal, colourwise too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Toffeeapple. I was delighted with how these turned out and am planning more in different colour ways. It is a really lovely technique.
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  10. Wowsers! Completely love these. MUST get another clay play date organised soon. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Cordelia. I am so pleased with these pieces. I need to get them sanded and varnished too. Lots more experimenting with this technique to come, I feel! Another polymer clay play date sounds good to me!
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete
  11. So pretty Ellie! You have lots of fun with the polymer, don't you!
    Love, Mirjam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mirjam. Yes, I definitely have a lot of fun with polymer clay - there is so much that can be done with it. I have neglected the felt making though, which I feel a bit guilty about. I shall return to it though...
      Best wishes
      Ellie

      Delete