Sunday, May 25, 2014

Extruded Mokume Gane ~ Plus!

Back in April, Cynthia Tinapple posted the winners of the Spring Push extrusion contest on Polymer Clay Daily.  The entry by Karen Brueggemann, who won first place, really captured my interest.  I decided to experiment and see what I could come up with.  I had a lot of fun playing around.
 In the process, I discovered, as so often seems the case with mokume gane, that the pieces I was shaving off were as interesting - or more so - than the base I was creating.  Of course, this meant I had to use everything.  The two pendants to the left show both processes.  The left-most pendant is the resultant base after the top layer has been shaved off.  On the right is a piece made from some of  the shavings.  Very different effects, even though the colors are the same.
I thought I'd share the process and some of the end products here in case you'd like to give it a try, too.

The first step is to make a stack of circles of conditioned clay and extrude them into a long, round snake.  I tried using 2 different sizes of circles in the extruder, and preferred the smaller snake.  I really think this aspect is just personal preference.  Then take the snake and, using a hard, flat tile or similar surface, bend, cut, twirl and twist the snake around to make an interesting design.
Make sure there are no gaps in your design. I occasionally used cut pieces of the snake and stood them on end.  These created dots when shaved.  Above right is an example of a snake design.  
The sample below shows the shaved snake design made from the same colors as the example to the right.  When the tops are shaved off, all the various colors from the extrusion process come to light.
The next two sheets - one with yellow background and one with green - show random placement of the shavings from the snake design.  I love how changing the background changes the whole tone.

Here are samples of 2 pendants made from the green and yellow sheets of shavings.  Great effects.

Finally, below are a couple more photos showing shavings on a purple background, the snake design sheet from which the shavings came, and a piece cut from a snake design using a wider circle hole in the extruder.


  1. Dear Kristie
    Thank you for sharing this - what a wonderful technique (I am definitely going to give this a try).
    Best wishes

  2. Thanks Kristie! I played around with this technique after the post on PCD. I like your use of the dots and the different colored backgrounds. Clever

  3. I really appreciate your comments! Hope you enjoy playing around with this technique.

  4. Thank you for this tutorial. Looking forward to spending some time with you -somewhere.... <3