Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Mica magic!

I bought Donna Kato's lovely book Polymer Clay: Creative Surface Effects a while back and one of the techniques in there is something called mica shift. I've just had a first play with it to make a pendant.

Some of you have probably heard me say before that one of the things that first drew me to Cornish Heritage Farms was the backgrounder stamps. Woodgrain has long been a particular favourite. You should have heard the squeals of excitement when Liz told the DT what was in store for the All Things Considered line of stamps - scaled down backgrounders! And to make it even better, woodgrain is in the first release, way hay! The smaller scale means they're perfect for things like jewellery projects as well as ATC stamping.

So, back to mica shifting. Metallic or pearl polymer clays contain mica particles. Some bright clayer worked out that if you condition the clay so that all the particles line up and then disturb them by pressing into the clay you can get a pattern that looks 3D even though it's completely smooth to the touch. I thought woodgrain would be the perfect pattern for experimenting with!

After running your clay over and over through a pasta machine (at least twenty times) you press a rubber stamp firmly into the surface. Then use a clay blade to gently slice away the raised portions of the clay. You can then flatten further with a roller but I confess I forgot to do that so I relied on sanding after the piece was baked to get the surface really smooth.

I thought this came out pretty well for a first attempt and I'll certainly be having another go with this technique.

Stamps (Cornish Heritage Farms) :
Country Charm Textures (All Things Considered line)

Sculpey Premo polymer clay (Copper and black)
Cookie cutter and clay blade
Rubber cord

Thanks for stopping by!


Effie said...

Looks like a really interesting technique..I must give it a go.......I have the book and the clay......somewhere!

Scrappy~Sarah said...

interesting. beautiful piece there, one day I will play with clay lol

itsallrosi said...

this is beautiful, Joanne!

Caroline said...

Gorgeous Joanne, and an interesting technique...x

Anonymous said...

thats an incredible effect youve achieved there...I now 'need' this book!

Unknown said...

Having re-discovered your post the forum I just had to come and pay a visit - wonderful technique

Beautiful pendant

Carol Plume said...

wow Joanne that necklace is gorgeous - the effect is really striking..

Just been catching up with your blog - loving those inchie cards.

Hope that your Mum had a fab birthday.

Take care, xx

Sid said...

Fantastic, you succeeded where I unfortunately failed !! This piece is fab, must persevere and have another go soon !

Janice said...

That's brilliant Joanne. I love my wood grain backgrounder too.

Loulabelle said...

This is great, I love the effect you have created. Well done!

Valonda L. said...

Oh my goodness!!! That is so far beyond cool. What a fabulous technique, and you did an amazing job using it to it's advantage. LOVE this!!!