Fimo tutorial: skinner blend spiral cane

Here is an example of earrings I made with two skinner blend spiral canes. Of course I forgot to take pictures while making the canes...

Anyway, I made a few trifles yesterday, including new blue flowers. I made their centres with a skinner blend spiral cane (and only have a very bad picture of it). 
I love using this type of canes for flowers, easy to make and use and often quite good-looking!
To make this cane, the first thing to prepare is a skinner blend (what a surprise). Here I only used two colours as I didn’t want my flower to be too much multi-coloured. 

Cut the skinner blend and place it on top of a plain clay sheet (black for me) of the same thickness. This clay sheet will be the spiral in our cane, choose its colours carefully. 
Be careful, bubbles may appear (as usual… and I have some, whoopsy) between the two layers. Remove them by rubbing from the centre towards the edges.
Once the two layers are stuck together (don’t press too hard or they will mix), roll the resulting sheet, reduce and here is your cane. Enjoy!

Fimo tutorial: skinner blend

One of the most famous polymer clay techniques is probably the skinner blend.
However, that’s not always so simple to obtain a nice and smooth skinner blend with fimo clay.

First, choose the colours you want for your skinner blend. Most of the time we use 3 (or 4). 

Using only two colours will require a bit longer to obtain a smooth shading (excepted if they are really close colours). Of course, the closer the colours, the more your skinner blend is likely to look natural and nice. Contrasting colours may be used for a more “psychedelic” or joyful aspect.

Once your colours are chosen, cut your different clays into equal triangular pieces - here I only chose 2 colors, if you use 3 or more, your pieces will be two equal triangles for the sides and one or two other triangle(s) for the middle colors):
(You can have a look at this website to see what your colours should look like at the beginning if you use 3 of them)

These shapes will help colours blend together (but not too much, we don’t want a big piece of ugly plain clay, do we?). Stick the different pieces together to obtain a rectangular thick clay sheet.
Than use your pasta machine (thickest setting) to flatten the sheet. Clay pieces have to be “perpendicular” to your pasta machine (or, if you use a rolling pin, you have to roll in that direction). 

Bend the sheet and flatten it again (fold first in the pasta machine). And again, and again and again… until the colours have mixed. 


Fimo tutorial: polymer clay mosaic

I don’t have much time to create at the moment… so let’s recycle my old pictures. Maybe they’ll give ideas to some!
Anyway, here is a very simple « exercise » with fimo clay I love to do sometimes. One of the most simple techniques with a great result, most of the time. However, you need to have a polymer clay extruder (and if you don’t, you need to think about buying one ‘cause it’s one of the handiest tools you’ll find!)

Take old clay leftovers (make sure they are nice together even if you have just retrieved them from the very bottom of your fimo drawer where they were put way from 3 years) or new colours and use your clay extruder (see: here for how to make nice beads with a polymer clay extruder) with the square disc (well, the disc that makes square polymer strings, at least).

Then cut very thin slices of the coloured square string (take them from different places of the string so that they show different patterns) and stick them to a flat clay sheet. 
Your "mosaic sheet" can then be used to make a nice simple pendant, a beautiful background for some creations... whatever you want. Just cut it with your blade or a cookie cutter and you're done.


Fimo tutorial: patterned clay sheets

Here is a quick tutorial to make patterned fimo sheets. These sheets can then be cut with cookie cutters, for example, to make shapes or lentils. Here is how it may look:

 Making this is very simple. And totally logical and instinctive (but I’m still writing a tutorial, I love that). Here is what you have to do:

. choosing a colour for your sheet (this will be the “background” of our patterns) and flattening matching clay with a rolling pin. Keep in mind your sheet will have to be flattened again to insert the patterns so don’t make it too flat at first!
. cutting slices from the cane you want to use for the patterns. You can use a cutter, razor blade or “fimo blades” sold  in DIY shops. The slices have to be as thin as possible. The thicker they are, the more they will “spread” on the background colour.

. arranging the slices on your background . Better let some space between them as they are likely to spread a little, as stated earlier.
. placing cling film on the clay sheet and using a rolling pin to integrate the patterns inside the background. Roll from left to right once and from top to bottom once… or the other way round, up to you, but anyway don’t always roll in the same direction as it’ll deform the patterns.
 (No comments about the silver powder tube I used as a rolling pin, I had lost the real one)

. Keep on using the rolling pin until the patterns are totally incorporated into the background (you can check that by moving your clay sheet in the light, you shouldn’t see any line between background and patterns). You can also use a pasta machine. Still the same, roll once in one direction, once in another not to deform the patterns.
Here we are, no demarcation line between our background and patterns! The only thing we have to do now is decide how to use the patterned sheet J


Fimo tutorial: “Starry Night cane” by Donna Kato

I already talked about Donna Kato’s book the art of polymer clay millefiori techniques added to my collection a moment ago. Here is my first try of a Starry Night cane and a short tutorial:

By the way, Starry Night is… this:

Yes, Van Gogh’s painting. And that’s true that the canes do look like it…  
(picture taken from the book The art of polymer clay Millefiori techniques: Projects and inspiration for creative canework, by Donna Kato)

Starry Night canes are very simple to make and have the huge advantage of using old ugly fimo canes or simple clay leftovers (if you never fail to make beautiful canes!). However be careful not to use too ugly or unmatching leftovers, colours have to be nice together. Let’s try to find old clay and hidden canes at the bottom of a few drawers. Here we go:
Well, I’ll realise later there is too much blue and not enough white clay. But, anyway, this is a nice start.
We have to tear all of the clay we found into little pieces. You can use a blender or – if you only have one blender for food and don’t want to use it with polymer clay, her… like me actually – you can use scissors, a razor blade (careful with this one), your fingers or a hyperactive cat (provided you have one).
Then, use your rolling pin (if the clay sticks to it, place cling film between them). As I didn’t use a blender, my “little” pieces are not so little.
Then, use your pasta machine (you can keep on with the rolling pin if you don’t have one), using the thickest setting. Cut the resulting sheet in two and stick the two parts together. Be careful, the sides of the clay sheet have different patterns, one is more like lines and the other more like broken lines (try it, you’ll see I’m not crazy!), stick the right sides together. And do that again (the whole rolling – cutting – sticking thing) until you have a nice result. Here is what I got:
As I told earlier, not enough contrasting colours (white). But for a first try, let’s say it’s fine. Here we go, have a nice Monday… and enjoy your week!