Monday, September 15, 2008

Mokume Gane: RESULTS

First try, without a pasta roller - probably not technically mokume gane, as it's only 3 color layers:
The pressing of clay, one layer into another, worked fine, although my results remind me a lot of Tony the Tiger and Chicklets.

Second try, still without a pasta roller, I just messed with the clay from the above experiment:
I pressed more into the clay, got more mottled results, but now there's no defined pattern, it's just blotchy. 

Colors used for these beads: black, white, sweet potato (Sculpey III).

Third try, with a pasta roller:
These are a mess. I ran it through the pasta roller too many times (I don't even remember how many), and muddied the colors too much. Totally unrecognizable as mokume gane (as I've seen it!), I am calling these my "mess beads" because they are.

Colors used: translucent (not sufficiently conditioned first), black, yellow, sweet potato (Sculpey III)

Things I have learned:
1. I have nothing particularly suitable for photographing beads that keep them from rolling and are a good neutral background (hence the bubblewrap).
2. The pins that come with Amaco's bead baking rack are too small to make a reasonable bead hole (IMO).
3. I make my base beads (the beads that all the above colored clay was appliqu├ęd onto) way too big.
4. I have a heavy hand when it comes to slicing "thin layers."
5. Yellow and black really do make green if you mush it together enough times.
6. Careful attention should be paid to how many times things go through the pasta roller.
7. Translucent clay isn't nearly as easy to work with as the colored stuff.
8. I'd feel really wasteful from all of this learning, if I had paid for the clay I'd learned with. (I got it for nothing when a business closed.)
9. According to my new oven thermometer, my oven runs hot about 30 degrees.

I bought today Making Polymer Clay Beads, by Carol Blackburn, making use of the store coupon from Hobby Lobby. Of the books I looked at, I liked the breadth of techniques and the detail illustrated in photos for each one. I really love the look of mokume gane, and I will learn to do it properly!

1 comment:

PolymerClayTutor said...

Great post! You learned a lot through the process of making beads. I wouldn't worry about making the beads too big. Large beads are really popular right now.

The thing I like about the bead wires being small is that you can drill them out if you need them bigger. It is always easier to make a bead hole bigger... but near impossible to make it smaller! ~Cindy Lietz