Over Under Over Under

Before I begin my blog post about my latest happenings with polymer clay, I am so excited to share some fantastic news.  Today, I made reservations to attend Vogue Knitting Destination getaway in September at The Falls Inn and Spa in Ontario, Canada. “Vogue Knitters will get an inside look at the famous Koigu dye house to explore and experience all things Koigu.”  Moving on…

Falls Inn and Spa

In a February 1995 issue of Bead & Button, Lindly Haunani demonstrated her version of Mokume Gane.  In my polymer clay past life, this article was one of the first examples of combining layers of silver leaf with translucent clay along with very small amounts of colored clay mixed in to enable the cracking of the silver leaf to show through.  Thin slices were used to make collages on a base of transparent clay.

polymer clay buttons

Here are a few of my vintage polymer clay buttons using Lindly Haunani’s technique.

The realm of possibilities has grown by leaps and bounds in the world of polymer clay, alcohol inks are being used in conjunction with metal leaf and translucent clay. The discussion below briefly describes my experience with leaf and ink dye.

Metal Leaf and Alcholic Dyes

After the alcohol ink dried, the variegated copper leaf was sandwiched between layers of translucent clay and incorporated into sheets of colored polymer clay.  Tools were used to imprint the stack.

Metal Leaf and Alcohol Dyes 2_1

Slices of structural elements were applied to a piece of polymer clay before curing.

Foil and Alcohol Inks_1

On a textured backing piece of polymer clay, elements were woven and processed.

Foil and Alcohol Inks 2_1

Slicing elements from the Mokume Gane block reveals an interesting  pattern. Building with additional structural elements constructs a unique piece of architecture illuminating the subtle effect created by the use of metallic leaf and ink dye.

Layer Upon Layer

Before I blog about my latest polymer clay project, I’d like to mention three inspiring polymer clay books added to my collection.  Polymer Clay Surface Design Recipes, by Ellen Marshall, explores 100 mixed-media techniques plus project ideas.  Julie Picarello’s, Patterns in Polymer Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques, provides recipes for successful color palettes, her polymer imprint technique based on the art of mokume gane and jewelry construction.  Polymer Clay Global Perspectives compiled by Cynthia Tinapple, discusses emerging ideas and techniques from 125 international artists. I find all three books inspiring, exciting and educational.

Layer Upon Layer visually documents the use of alcohol inks, translucent and opaque clay.

Layer Upon Layer #3_1

The top left image shows ink applied to the translucent clay.  The lower left and right images are examples of the inked translucent clay after drying placed on top of a sheet of opaque clay.

Layer Upon Layer #2

The movement of the dye and cracking of the translucent clay, presented an opportunity for design.  By taking advantage of the design on the surface, I added a dimension of interest by building a picture.

Layer Upon Layer_1

Through the use of cutouts and a backing piece of clay, another dimension of mystery unfolds as the eye looks into the piece.

Are these two pieces destined to become utilitarian objects?  Perhaps I’ll admire them for awhile.