In my last post, I included a couple of photos showing new pieces with metal leaf and alcohol inks. These are new surface techniques for me, and I thought you might be interested in seeing the progression of my experiments which have covered several days.
So, let's go back to where I began. I wanted to try making a couple of polymer cabochons, and I wanted an antiqued and crackled look. I started with a black clay base, layered on gold composite metal leaf (not foil) and then used alcohol inks to color the metal leaf. I used Pinata brand colors, and loved the way they blended as they ran into each other. Since the metal leaf was still exposed, and I wanted to be able to bend the sheets to create crackling, I covered the sheet with a very thin layer of translucent clay. I ran the resulting sheet through the pasta machine a couple of times in different directions until I liked the look of the crackle.
I formed a few cabochon bases, and covered the tops with pieces from the prepared sheet. I baked these, then added a sheet of black clay to the back of the cabochon, and a narrow strip of black clay around the edges to create an outline or bezel look. After these were baked, I sanded a great deal, but found that the color was still clouded by the translucent clay. I decided to try using an acrylic varnish designed for polymer. A few layers made things shine and brought out the colors and the detail. As a last step, buna cording and clasps were added to create necklaces.