How do you like your mokume gane?

Julie Picarello reveals her mokume gane tricks online on PolymerClayDaily.com

California’s Julie Picarello is famous for her mokume gane in soothing mellow palettes. She haunts hardware stores for obscure metal tools and gizmos repurposed to make surprisingly pleasant abstract paintings in clay.

How do you like your mokume gane? Scratched, half-toned, custom cut, reversed, quilted, landscaped? 

The organizers of the August 7-8 weekend online event decided to take a deep dive into a single technique. From its Japanese roots in metal to today’s homegrown varieties.

Shaving slivers off a Mokume Gane block reveals layers of unpredictable and fascinating beauty and a world of endless possibility. How do they do that?

This is the last week to sign up for a look at Mokume Gane approaches from seven polymer experts. 

Putting it all together

Assembling a global view on PolymerClayDaily.com

Puzzle night has always been a hit at an annual gathering in the mountains that’s been going on for 20+ years. Though we’re online this year, the puzzle was still a huge hit orchestrated by North Carolina’s Julie Eakes.

Each player created a 3″x3″ polymer tile based on the line drawing that Julie sent via e-mail. Anything light on her black and white clue drawing must be a light value, darks must be dark. We had no clue about the theme or the color scheme.

Julie secured permission to use Thomas Wimberly’s poignant and powerful Global Forefront sketch. We submitted jpeg photos of our square tiles to Julie via email.

She based this ingenious group project on the im-a-puzzle.com site which meant that Julie had to upload our 30 files to them. Today we each tried to solve and assemble the puzzle virtually on our computer screens. Usually, we elbow and jostle as we crowd around a table to figure what goes where. We missed the cheek-to-cheek jostling but the laughter and competition were undiminished.

Now, each of us must mail our actual tile to the puzzle winner. It felt liberating to have creative good times. Click on the photo to see if you can pick out any artist just by her style.

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