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Monday, January 23, 2012

Trying Mokume Gane

This is a look I would like to master - but I can see I've got a long way to go.

There are so many levels to this procedure, that you can trip up at any point and ruin the overall effect. Go slowly!

I referred to one of my favorite books for the instructions (Making Polymer Clay Beads by Carol Blackburn - I highly recommend it)

1. Roll out, on a thin setting of the pasta machine, 2 squares of black, 1 each of copper, silver and gold. Lay them separately on a work surface.

2. Recommended stack order: Black / Silver / black / gold / copper

3. Carefully lay silver square on top of black - avoiding air bubbles (!!) (slice air bubbles with your knife). Roll gently with your roller.

4. Next lay other black square on top of silver - so you have black, silver, black and roll again - gently!!!

5. Lay the gold square on top of black and then the copper square - you now have: black, silver, black, gold, copper

6. Roll this stack to reduce it to half the thickness.

7. Use your tissue blade to cut this stack in half. Neaten it up as well.

8. Put one stack on top of the other - in the same order! Roll again to half the thickness.

9. Cut this new stack into two again - and stack them together as before. Reduce the thickness to half as before. Add the two compressed stacks together - all the colors should appear approximately the same thickness.

Do NOT reduce the thickness of the 4 stacks...

You have a total of 4 sets of stacks. Let the stack cool after all the handling.

Next step is where the real fun begins!

Turn the stack on its side - all colors UP....

Use a ripple blade (I have only tried the larger so far) to slice down through the stack - about 1/8 inch thick.

Try to stay focused - you will be overwhelmed at the beauty falling off your ripple blade - but there is even more excitement to come!!! Trust me.

When you have all the slices cut - begin to roll each through your pasta machine at a MEDIUM setting.

If you roll the piece vertically (narrow end down) the piece will come out like this:

If you roll the piece horizontally (wide side down) the piece will come out like this:

Now, as you can see this is a first try at this! You will undoubtedly do better, but I am an abstract artist at heart and I like to just do it. Now I see where I went wrong. I'll improve with practice.

Oh, I can't wait to see what I will do with this Mokume Gane!!!!

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