POLYMER CLAY MOKUME-GANE TUTORIAL No. 1

I’ve been exploring lots of new techniques with polymer clay over the last few months and I promise I will write a few more simple tutorials to show you how to create some of my favourites.  

This one creates the faux technique Mokume-Gane which is known for its distinctive layered look. There are 2 techniques I favour, here is the first a simple technique if you want to create the effect but don’t have many colours of clay. I found this technique thanks to Pink Lily, here is the link HERE if you would like to take a look.  Also, using the inks allows you to experiment with colour, you will see below how they change!  They also change again once you have baked your clay.

I apologise now for some of the photographs, the natural lighting in our British Autumn/Winter  is rubbish! 

Technique No. 1 ~ Mokume-Gane created with Alcohol Inks

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (34)

Materials

Translucent Polymer Clay (whichever brand you prefer, however, I use Fimo Soft)

White Polymer clay

3- 4 colours of Alcohol Inks of your choice (I use Tim Holtz Adirondack inks)

Gold/Silver foil/leaf metal

Cling film or something similar

Pasta Machine and Roller for rolling out the clay

Cutting blade

Method

1. Take about 20g (or approx a third of a 50g block depending how much you want to make) of the translucent clay and soften and roll into a flattened sausage and then put through the pasta machine on a medium setting (No. 3), don’t worry about neatening the ends.

2. Using the alcohol inks draw horizontal lines across the clay, try not to let the lines touch or the colours will bleed into each other as they don’t always mix well together and tend to turn a muddy brown, however, you might like this affect. (I used alcohol inks; Meadow, Purple Twilight, Sunset Orange and Red Pepper)

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (6)

3.  Allow to dry or if you are impatient like me, blot with a paper towel.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (7)

4.  Once dry, fold the clay over lengthwise, so the colours are on the inside and then put through the pasta machine, keep on a medium setting (No. 3).  Fold and repeat this 3-4 times.

5.  Now cover one side with the leaf metal.

6.  Then you need to roll this up as tight as possible with the leaf metal on the inside.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (13)

7.  Ensuring that the clay is still warm or it will break and crack, fold this round into a donut shape, make sure the ends meld together well.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (14)

8. Now squash it down but not too heavily, ie. don’t flatten it, onto your surface, making sure the melded ends are on the bottom.

9.  Taking your sharp blade cut thin slices (approx 3mm thick) from the top.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (17)

10.  Pass each of these separately through your pasta machine (no. 4), this will crack the leaf metal. Leave to one side.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (19)

11.  Take the white clay and roll/put through a pasta machine (No. 1) so it is quite thick.  You now need to place the slices of clay on top of this ensuring there are no gaps.

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (21)

12.  Once you have done this, cover with good quality cling film or something similar, press down with the end of the roller and then roll to smooth out, then pass this through your pasta machine (No. 1) to ensure it is all the same thickness.  Remove the cling film.

13. Now you can make your beads. pendants or whatever you want. 🙂 I’ve used a 3.5cm round cutter here to create some circle beads.

14.  Once you have created all your beads or shapes (make sure you put holes in them), bake as per your clay instructions and then allow to cool.  You will see that the colours have changed and become more vibrant.  You can now leave them as they are or finish them with gloss varnish or liquid gel.

TIP: I baked my circles on an old light bulb to create a slightly domed bead, place the circles on the light bulb and press down gently to ensure no gaps then gently press down around the edges. 

Polymer Clay faux Mokume-Gane (34)

And, here’s a simple necklace I made with them.

P1140247

I hope you found this tutorial useful, if you have any questions or something is not clear enough, then please comment below.  My next post will be Technique No. 2.

Linda x

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15 thoughts on “POLYMER CLAY MOKUME-GANE TUTORIAL No. 1

  1. would you credit and link Sandrine Arevalo (Pinklily) on this technique? She posted a free tutorial a couple of years ago.

    • Thank you for the reminder, I do normally credit someone but in this instance I totally forgot as I have been using the technique for quite a while. I have now amended my post and included the original link to the Pink Lily Blog. Lx

    • Thank you for the reminder and pointing out my error, I do normally credit someone but in this instance I totally forgot as I have been using the technique for quite a while. I have now amended my post and included the original link to the Pink Lily Blog. Lx

    • Hi, it was a while before I bought myself a pasta machine, you can manage fine with an acrylic (craft) rolling pin, it does take more effort but it works fine. Also, the first pasta machine I bought was from ebay, I didn’t pay that much for it and I was also lucky enough to buy a good quality one very cheaply from a charity shop, you just have to be patient. Good luck.

  2. Pingback: Mokume Gane Variants – Polymer Clay

  3. Pingback: Mokume Gane Variants | It's Handmade

  4. What a very nice person you are to share your lovely technique. I really appreciate it and I applaud your generosity. You could easily charge for this tutorial.

    • Thank you, but I can’t take credit for the original technique as this was done by Pinky Lily which was in French, whom I mentioned and credited at the beginning of my post. I just re-created it in English so it was easier to follow. x

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