Polymer Clay Creations

This spring, I began working with polymer clay again after a hiatus of 7-8 years.  I started out with simple projects…just trying to remember the basic techniques.  It was so rewarding and enjoyable!

After working for a few months, I decided that I really needed to get outside of my comfort zone and challenge myself.  Therefore, I decided to create a custom color blend that I hated…and to see if I could make anything beautiful come from it.   I decided that my least favorite color in the world was a pale metallic mint green.  Therefore, I mixed up a batch and got started.  I had victories and successes.  In fact…I had to mix up several new batches of the color so that I could keep exploring with it.

The blend was simple:  I took a quarter block (approximately 1 oz) of pearl Premo…and I added a pea sized (large pea, not that baby pea stuff) of flourescent green Premo.  (Note…I am working out of my old supply of pounds and pounds of old formula Premo…I haven’t really experimented with the new formula that came out a few years ago.  So all of my colors & blends come from the old formula.).

Here is the hideous color in question:

The original mint green blend…not sure if you can see its “metallic” nature.

I stared at the color for a long time and tried to consider what other colors would mix well with it.  I really hit a wall there.  I didn’t think that ANYTHING would go well with it.   Finally, I decided to embrace that roadblock and work only with this color for my first project.  I took a pea-sized ball of this clay and mixed it with an ounce of bleached translucent clay.   I rolled the blend out very thin (6 or 7 on my Atlas pasta machine) and cut it into squares.  Then I made a mokume gane stack utilizing only that color clay.  I covered half those squares with silver leafing, and the other half with various shades of Posh Impressions Inkabilities (Colors used:  Metallic Blue, Metallic Charcoal, Metallic Silver, and White Pearl).   I stacked the layers and distressed them using various tools.

The results were amazing (perhaps the best results I got with all of my experiments with this color).  Here are a few items that I made using this mokume gane blend (with a base layer of white):

First Mint Mokume Gane Creations

After this, I felt like it was possible to make something interesting with this color.  So I decided to go a bit crazy.  I mixed up another mokume gane using the mint clay with layers of a custom cranberry color and an almost coral pink.  (These two colors are also well outside of my comfort zone.   Sadly…I was experimenting as I mixed them and didn’t record the recipe as I made it — this often happens when I’m in a really creative zone.  :frowny face: ).  I also utilized the Inkabilities metallic ink as well as silver leafing.   I didn’t like the result as much, but I still consider them to be successes:

Second Mokume Gane Creations – super pink!

After this, I felt like it would be better without the lighter shade of pink.  So I did a mokume gane stack with just the cranberry color and the mint green.  I also utilized the Inkabilities metallic ink as well as silver leafing.  This caused a very dynamic contrast between the two colors.

An almost cranberry color mixed with the metallic mint green.

The next experiment came completely by accident.  I was creating a base sheet from scrap clay for another project.  I grabbed a handful of scrap and blended it into a sheet.  Quite by accident, the sheet turned into a pale shade of blue.  I looked at it and said “That would be PERFECT with the mint green).  Sadly, I could probably never create that color again if I tried to do it on purpose!   I decided to mix a nice dark shade of blue to go with it.  So I took my Premo Navy blue, and mixed it with a block from that pale blue (didn’t record the recipe since the light shade was an accident) and got a nice shade of dark blue (much lighter than the Premo navy, which is almost black).  I did a mokume gane with silver leafing and it turned out amazing:

Mint green with pale blue and a nice dark blue.

After laying all my creations side by side, I decided that the cranberry and mint mixture (#3 above) would have looked a lot better with a lighter shade of the cranberry.  So I took half the cranberry and mixed it equally with pearl.  Then I used the original shade of cranberry, the lighter shade, and the mint green in a mokume gane stack with silver leafing.  It turned out super!

So while I wasn’t thrilled with the pink & cranberry (#2 & #3 above), they were an important part of the process that led to these amazing pieces.

I can say that I have now dominated a color that I think is hideous…and it definitely helped my creativity to blossom.

Here’s a pic of all of the mokume gane stacks that I created as a part of this process:

Five Mokume Gane Stacks utilizing the hideous metallic mint green.

 

After completing this, I asked my son what should be the basis for my next challenge.  He was making himself a drink with our Sodastream (an awesome gadget!), so he walked in and showed me his orange soda.    He was joking, but I took it seriously.  That’s another color WAY outside of my comfort zone.

So I’ve mixed up a batch of it (two parts old formula Premo orange to one part flourescent pink)…and it awaits me.  I will let you see the successes and failures of this challenge as well!

Comments (5)

  1. Shelby said on 25-07-2012

    Maybe its just me, but I love the original mint color! These all turned out very lovely though, I especially like the silver leafing added in. Good luck with that orange, now thats a color I hate!

    • Shannon said on 25-07-2012

      The great thing is that everyone likes different color combinations…I’m sure there are people out there who hate purple, whereas I have to be careful not to indulge my purple passion too often. :)

  2. gilladian said on 25-07-2012

    I’m one of those anti-purple people, but I think your green is splendid! I’ve discovered that I’m a sort of pastel-earth-tones kind of person. I would hate your orange, too, though I love sherbet and salmon oranges. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

  3. Cara Jane said on 02-08-2012

    Wow you wouldn’t know they all had the same colour in – amazing how it changes next to other colours. The mokume gane looks great. Have fun with that orange – not my colour either

  4. Jackie said on 17-08-2012

    You’re so brave! When I try ugly colors they stay ugly, but your stacks are really great! Nice work and I’m so happy you’re “back”. :)

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