Saturday, 7 July 2012

TUTORIAL PART 2 - How To Make A Perfect Manual Skinner Blend In Polymer Clay Without A Pasta Machine

PART ONE - Preparations
PART TWO - Creating A Stepped Gradient
PART THREE - Making Your Skinner Blend Perfect

Creating A Stepped Gradient


Here comes the important part. We are creating a colour gradation.

We will need to divide our colourful rectangle into equal strips. I used a metal ruler for this, but instead of putting marks on the clay, I put them right on the ruler. Also, make sure you cut the right way, which means - at the short side of the rectangle.
Trust me, it is a very bad idea to feel lazy at this step! ;) The idea is - the more strips you will have now, the better and more even your blending will be at the end. And the less rolling you will need later on! So save your time on boring rolling - have fun with mixing colours! (:


To prove the fact that the more strips will create better blend at the end, I made 2 rectangles:
one is 22 strips of 2mm each (on the left), and the other one is 13 strips of 4mm each (on the right).


Let's mix each strip of clay to create a stepped gradient.

Take a strip from rectangle, one by one. Roll each strip in your hands into small and cute clay balls, making sure you mixing all the colour bits in them.


Yay! A colour mischief! (:


Further blend effect can be seen at this step already:

TOP LINE (13 strips) - very rough colour gradation with "jumps".
BOTTOM LINE (22 strips) - nice and smooth colour gradation.


Roll up your clay balls into long sausages! (:
We are going to build our colourful rectangles back.

TIP: If you wish to have an ideal rectangle, use this little trick of mine: draw yourself a helping line on a paper and use it as a template.


Here comes our pretty rectangles with finished colour gradation in them. As you can see, the first one has more smooth and even gradient than a second one.


Now, it is important to stick all the sausages nicely to each other, while they are still soft and well conditioned. Unfortunately, I waited a bit too long while taking photos for the tutorial, so I had to condition the clay again. The problem with this: if the sausages would not be conditioned enough, they will not stick to each other, which may cause "cracks" between the colours later on.


Press the sausages nicely to each other, then roll them up carefully, using an acrylic roller.


After 4 rolls of each clay rectangle, I had these results.
The left sheet is the 22 strips one, and the right one is 13 strips one.

The one on the right is very "jumpy", especially on the sides.
The 22 strips one looks good, but still not ideal.


So, here comes the Part 3, where I will show you my very own unusual way of creating smooth and even blend. The third part coming up in a couple of days!

Here is a little preview of what we are going to create! (:

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Friday, 15 June 2012

TUTORIAL PART 1 - How To Make A Perfect Manual Skinner Blend In Polymer Clay Without A Pasta Machine

That's right! No need for a pasta machine! In this tutorial I'll show you that it is possible to create an amazing Skinner Blend (Color Gradient) in polymer clay by hand.

Believe it or not... but the final result will look like this!

PART ONE - Preparations
PART TWO - Creating A Stepped Gradient
PART THREE - Making Your Skinner Blend Perfect

While the length of the tutorial greatly increased, I decided to split it into 3 parts.
The first part is more general, and teaches how to prepare your clay for a skinner blend technique. You always need to do that with or without a pasta machine.

So, ready to start making skinner blend magic without a pasta machine? (: The second part of the tutorial will explain how to create a stepped gradient! This is an amazing technique I found only on two websites, one was in English and one was in Russian.

The third part is the most important. It shows my own unusual way of transforming the stepped gradient with "jumps" into a nice and smooth skinner blend.



We will start with 3 blocks of Sculpey clay. I chose 2 colours that are close to each other and will definitely blend nice and smooth, and a contrasting deep red colour which will reveal any uneven blending that may appear.


a.  For my tutorial I used about 1/5 or 1/4 of each block, but you can use as much or as less as you wish. Just make sure you use about the same amount of each colour.
b.  Condition your clay... Sit on it! (:  Then, when it's soft enough, roll the clay into equal sheets.
c.  To make it easier for myself, I then stack my sheets of clay on top of each other.

TIP: Make sure the sheets are not warm and soft, or they will stick to each other. Either leave them separated for a while or put them in a freezer for about 5 minutes.


Have a look at STEP 2 again.
Mark a rectangular shape on the top sheet of clay with a tissue blade, and cut all 3 sheets at once.

TIP: If you find that easier, you can make a card template for this.


Slice your stacked clay rectangles as shown.

TIP #1: If your wish to have more of the middle colour in your gradient - you can slice from corner to corner.
TIP #2: Once you master this slicing, make sure to try corner to corner one, or make your rectangles longer and do uneven slicing with many colours in it, like so:

Imagery from this tutorial


Separate your sliced pieces.
Now, lets play puzzle! Grab all the pieces and put them together as needed. (:


The second part coming up in a couple of days!
Here is a little preview of what we are going to create! (:

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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

TUTORIAL SNEAK PEEK - Manual Skinner Blend

That's right! No need for a pasta machine! In this tutorial I'll show you that it is possible to create an amazing Skinner Blend (Color Gradient) in polymer clay by hand.

Believe it or not... but the final result will look like this!

by the way,
I know there is already a well-know technique to create Skinner Blend by hand, which was shown on The Crafts channel on YouTube. Mine is going to be very different and much more interesting and fun! No boring rolling all the time! (:

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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

ARTICLE - Pasta Machine. An Essential Must-Have Tool or A Nice To Have, But Not Necessary?

pasta mashine

I keep reading that pasta machines are absolutely essential for working with clay. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that may stop you from buying one.

Good Pasta Machines can be quite Expensive

It is definitely possible to find a pasta machine that would be more affordable, though perhaps you should not expect high-quality materials in it (for example, cheap pasta machines may have plastic handles that keep falling off, or bad-quality gears inside).

You absolutely cannot use it both for Claywork and
in the Kitchen

Polymer clay is safe while in your hands, but should never come into contact with food or your mouth! Speaking of pasta machines, it is very hard (if possible) to fully clean clay plasticizer and clay particles from a pasta machine. That means, if you need another pasta machine in your kitchen, you will have to buy two of them..

Clay can be Hard  (especially unconditioned one)

Unfortunately, polymer clay can damage your pasta machine. Large pieces of clay may break the proper roller's alignment, if forced. And softer clay may stick to pasta machine rollers.
Cheap pasta machines would simply not be able to stand up to a lot of hard use. While unconditioned clay can be very hard, you always need to remember to work it by hand before putting it into a pasta machine.

Finally, if Clay is your Hobby, not a Business…

Of course, it depends on how much time you spend on working with clay. If you do not need your sheets of clay to be exactly the same, love touching the clay and play with it a lot, and do not mind spending a bit more time on achieving amazing effects, you may not even need a pasta machine!

So, what are those things a Pasta Machine Can Do
that You can’t?

I challenge you to ask yourself! In my future articles and tutorials I will show you how to do a lot of things manually, such as A Perfect Skinner Blend Technique without a pasta machine!

Паста Машина. Насущная Необходимость или Приятное Дополнение?

pasta mashine
Часто приходится слышать о том, что паста-машина - обязательный атрибут каждого мастера по пластике. Но, к сожалению, существует целый ряд причин, которые могут удержать вас от покупки.

Паста-Машины могут быть весьма недешевы

Конечно, найти недорогую паста-машину можно, но в таком случае вряд ли стоит ожидать в ней материалы высокого качества (дешевые паста-машины, к примеру, могут иметь пластиковые ручки, имеющие тендецию постоянно отпадать, или плохой внутренний механизм).

Та же Паста-Машина не должна использоваться
и на Кухне, и при работе с Глиной

Полимерная глина безопасна в руках, но никогда не должна контактировать с пищей или полостью рта! Возвращаясь к паста-машинам: полностью очистить микрочастички глины и содержащийся в ней пластификатор с паста-машины очень трудно (если вообще возможно). Это означает, что если вы используете паста-машину еще и в работе на кухне, то в таком случае, вам потребуется приобрести уже две из них...

Глина может оказаться Слишком Твердой
(особенно недостаточно кондиционированная)

К сожалению, полимерная глина может и нанести вред вашей паста-машине. Слишком большие куски неразмятой пластики могут сбить положение роликов или сместить зубья шестеренок. Если же пластика окажется слишком мягкой, она может прилипнуть к роликам паста-машины.
Механизм дешевых паста-машин не способен выдержать слишком высокие нагрузки. Поэтому необходимо взять за привычку как следует разминать глину руками, прежде чем помещать ее в паста-машину.

Наконец, если Пластика для вас - Хобби,
а не Работа...

Конечно, все зависит от количества времени, проводимого с пластикой. Если вам не требуются пласты глины идеальной толщины, вы получаете удовольствие от самого процесса лепки, любите прикасаться к глине и держать ее в руках, и совершенно не против иногда потратить чуточку больше времени на получение того или иного эффекта... тогда возможно вам вовсе и не понадобится паста-машина!

Так что же такого может сделать Паста-Машина,
чего не сможете сделать Вы?

Я предлагаю вам проверить это самим! В своих будущих статьях и уроках я покажу вам, как сделать множество замечательных вещей самостоятельно и без использования паста-машины. Например, потрясающую технику Плавного Перехода Цвета (Skinner Blend)!

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Monday, 26 March 2012

Hello (:

Welcome to the  ClaWorld

image source:

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