Delightful diversions

There’s nothing better to veer your week off track than a couple of interesting polymer techniques. If you’re facing serious deadlines and chores, stop reading right now.

The first tantalizing tutorial is a bit of Japanese-inspired faux lacquer from Nan Roche. Alison Torres reports from the CFCF event in Maryland that’s in progress this week. Nan briefly describes her method in this short video. (The picture is Alison’s work from Nan’s class.)

Then I happened upon luminous faux mother of pearl from LesEthiopiques. The text on Hélène’s free tutorial is in French accompanied by step-by-step shots of her discoveries. Wouldn’t that be fun to try?

I have deadlines and chores of my own that I’m avoiding. Perhaps if you trot off and try these tricks, I can focus. Sneaky, eh? You try them so I won’t have to.

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  • reply Pam Southernwood ,

    I love Helene’s tutorials – even though my knowledge of French is patchy, her pictures make them easy to follow.

    • reply Cate van Alphen ,

      I’d like to try the two together – metalic engraved pearl.

      • reply Sarah ,

        Neat process!

        • reply Susannah ,

          I thought I would offer this translation for the text on Hélène’s free tutorial. It is rather loosely translated but perhaps not necessary at all for a person who has some experience in working with polymer clays.

          Example 1
          Je prends 1 portion de fimo transparente pour 2 portions de fino nacre. Mais la recette, bien sûr, peut être modifée en fonction de vos goûts. Je pense que n’utiliser que de la nacrée conduit à un effet trop Pailleté qui me semble trop artificiel. Mair encour une fois, ce n’est qu’une question de goût…
          (I use 1 portion of Fimo Transparent Polymer Clay to every 2 portions of Fimo’s Mother-of-Pearl Polymer Clay. Of course, the recipe can be modified according to what you desire. I think that using only the Mother –of-Pearl makes the final effect too artificial in appearance, but, of course, it is simply a question of personal taste…)
          Je conditionne les pâtes… (I condition the clays….)
          Je les mélange….( I mix the clays together….)
          Example 2
          Choisir des poudres de mica de different teints : ici, blue, rouge et nacre…(Choose Mica Powders which have been dyed : here I’ve chosen Blue, Red and Mother-of-Pearl…)
          Déposer acec un pinceau les poudres sur un plaque (1 sur MAP) (Use a brush to ‘paint’ the dry powders on to the flattened surface. (The sheet which has passed through the Pasta Machine).)
          Example 3
          Je termine ici par une bonne couche de blanc nacre ; je le precise car ce n’est guère visible sur la photo… (I finish with a generous layer of white to give it luster ; I specify this because it’s not really visible in the photograph…)
          Je replie en 2 la plaque (poudres à l’intérieur). (I fold the sheet over onto itself, with the powders on the inside).)
          Example 4
          Passer cette plaque dans la MAP une quinzaine de fois en repliant votre plaque toujours dans le même sens comme si vous faisiez un dégradé… (Use the Pasta Machine about 15 times to blend the powders and clays, always being careful to fold-over in the same direction. )
          Example 5
          J’affine ensuit la plaque : je passé progressivement de 1 à 6 sur las MAP. (I use the Pasta Machine to thin the clay progressing from 1 – 6. ‘identified on the machine’s dial’)
          Example 6
          Puis je eplie grossièrement en accordéon ma plaque…(Then I loosely gather the final sheet of clay so that it resembles accordion folds.)
          Je ramène ensuite les extrémités vers le centre (tiens, faudrait proposer ça à Marin L., Ha ! Ha !, trop dre !) pour constituer une sorte de block comportant des plis.)(I squeeze both ends towards the center (necessary in the sea for holding it together. Ha! Ha! Too funny!) making a kind of block from the accordion folds.)
          Example 7
          Un coup de rouleau…(Compress using a roller)
          Et je commence à scalper de morceaus pas trop find puisque l’objectif est the reconstituer un plaque directement exploitable ensuite. Oui, it s’agit ni plus ni moins de la technique du Mokume(And I begin by cutting slices, none too fine, since the object is to reconstitue a useable sheet. Yes, it’s more or less the Mokume technique.)
          Example 8
          Reconstitution d’une plaque aved les morceaux sclaés. (Reassemble the cut slices into a single sheet.)
          Example 9 has no written instructions.
          Example 10
          Un (gros) coup de rouleau….(One firm compression with a roller…)
          Un passage dans la MAP (no1) pour lisser tout cela sans l’étendre trop… Puis la plaque est prête l’emploi.(A final passing through the Pasta Machine set on #1 just to smooth all of pieces out but without extending it too much… The sheet is now ready to be used.)

          • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

            Susannah – How fabulous you are for translating this for us. Your translation is much clearer than Google’s (of course) and very helpful. Merci

            Cynthia

            • reply Randee M Ketzel ,

              So now I’m all hot to try this–the nicest example of faux MOP I’ve seen.
              And Helene is such a stitch, too! The google translation of the page is unintentionally hilarious, or perhaps it is just her modest humor–I applaud her caveat at the bottom where she credits the artist whose name she can’t remember for originating the technique she has refined; Bravo, Helene! And the work is just flat-out stunning.

              • reply Ann Kruglak ,

                Wow, Alison — way to go. That’s a fabulous piece. I bet you’ll make some amazing buttons using that and all your new techniquest from your Cabin Fever experience.

                • reply Priscilla ,

                  Thank you, Cynthia, as always, for posting such interesting techniques that other artists are willing to share with the polymer community! And thank you, Susannah, for the translation. Even though the photos are great, it does help to have the written descriptions.

                  • reply Kay Olson ,

                    Absolutely Fabulous Can’t wait to try this. Thaks for the translation. KO

                    • reply Victoria Field ,

                      Cynthia – Thank you very much for info about new polymer techniques.
                      Susannah – Thanks a lot for translation.

                      • reply Tatiana ,

                        Help me with the strap – neckpiece stick-like ? how is that done? I love it !!

                        • reply Go with the flow « Fulgorine ,

                          […] pendant is based on this free tutorial. There is an English translation within the comments of this Polymer Clay Daily feature but there are step by step pictures so it’s easy to guess. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike […]

                          • reply Silvana Bates ,

                            L love the mother of pearl tut.tried something like this before for my beach beads,but this method looks better! Thanks for tips, and constant inspirations! Silvana Bates

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                            • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

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