Saturday, February 18, 2012

Surprise Color and Ghost Image

Several months ago I found a technique that was introduced by Jennifer Patterson in 2003 in the Polymer Cafe magazine.  I missed the article but then found the technique explained in "Making Jewelry From Polymer Clay" by Sophie Arzalier.  Basically, you make nice, even cylinders of several colors of clay that you then wrap in a thin layer of black.  You stack them like a diagonal checkerboard, only with more than two colors and then you mash the stack flat.  Then you impress the stack with a texture sheet or rubber stamp, shave off the raised portions and voila!  My first excursion into this technique resulted in a piece that looked a lot like tooled leather.  I was also gratified to find that the scraps made great earring beads.

My next foray came about as a result of my wish to design a unique pink and gray polymer surface design for my cousin so that I could give her a one of a kind gift and keepsake.  I decided to go with palest pink and a fairly silvery gray and used a lot of pearlized Premo in the color mixes--silver for the gray and pearl for the pink clay.  I also included a fair amount of translucent clay because I like the way that it modifies the texture of the Premo, making it softer and less likely to crumble.  I took my cylinders of the two colors, wrapped them in black, and stacked, impressed and shaved.  The results after baking were quite astonishing.  I wasn't expecting the mica shift ghost images along with the nice color translations, but both effects were there quite distinctively.  The set pictured here is not my cousin's ensemble, but a set that I constructed with the clay that was left over after making her jewelry. 

Next I decided to try a more detailed but more shallow texture sheet just to see what would happen with the pearlized clay.  The result was pretty amazing.  I achieved quite a fool-the-eye ghost texture with the shaved surface of the clay appearing to still have the impressed texture.  I cut out thin layers of heart shapes and then stacked them like a collage for the three focal beads for the necklace pendant and the dangle earrings.  No two of the hearts are exactly alike but they are all made from the same clay and texture stamp, so there is enough continuity to show that they belong together. 

Needless to say, this is only the very hopeful beginning of a much longer exploration into the possibilities of combining these two very rewarding techniques of Hidden Magic and Mica Shift.  Next I may try to add Skinner Blends and Bulls Eye canes just to see what happens there!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I just love the jewelry designed by janice. I think she is just wonderful in her art.Her designs are colourful, chic, trendy and fashionable.
    wedding rings