Monday, August 1, 2011

In search of opalescence

I have been on a polymer clay quest for the past month and a half now to see just what kinds of effects could be obtained using metal leaf and alcohol inks with polymer clay.  I am also experimenting with embossing powders and acrylic iridescent medium.  This has been a wild ride.  The first batch of clay reminded me a lot of ocean waves and some very interesting jewelry resulted from the beads made from the first batch of clay.  I worked in blues and greens, because I wanted to use the clay to make jewelry for my cousin and two of her daughters who all love blue.

The jewelry all came out differently and quite interesting.  I experimented with using black clay, white clay and translucent as a background just to see how many different looks I could get.  Once we got back from our trip, I still had a lot of clay left over and decided to try some more ideas.  I had been wanting to do mixed media using metal stampings and polymer clay, so I got to work on some nice big open work flowers.  I had been meaning to try a bracelet with some of these so I decided to curve the metal on a bracelet mandrel and backfill with some of the alcohol ink/silver leaf mix.  I added iridescent embossing powder and iridescent acrylic medium and liquid polymer just for fun.
Next, I decided to backfill some brass pegasus charms that I had been anxious to make into some jewelry.  This time I only added liquid polymer for a slightly less iridescent look.  The blues and greens looked great against the brass.

My next idea was to use gold clay as the background and to be a little less happy with the alcohol ink, since some of my clay came out too dark and obliterated the silver leaf.  I also switched to variegated green and gold leaf just for fun.  This time I decided to backfill some stamped brass scarab beetles that were just begging to be a charm bracelet.  I also covered the leaf and ink surface with a very thin layer of translucent polymer clay.  The end result is a little reminiscent of mosaics and I believe it goes beautifully with the scarabs.

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