Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Time to vote again in the PCAGOE monthly challenge. Our theme this month is "Faux Mokume Gane."

Mokume gane is an ancient Japanese metalsmithing technique which artists in other mediums, including polymer clay, have adapted. The term Mokume gane literally means woodgrain metal or eye of the wood metal, and refers to the elaborate woodgrain patterns which can be created with the technique.

There are many ways to achieve the look of mokume gane in clay. The traditional method is to stack different colors of clay and/or translucent clay and foils, compress the stack, emboss it with a patterned texture sheet, then shave horizontally the raised areas of the stack to reveal the different colors and patterns. It requires a light, but steady hand. If you shave too deeply, you will ruin the pattern. If the cut is too shallow, you won't reveal all of the color bands.

Some artists stack the colored layers and then use a ripple blade to slice vertically, revealing wavy patterns in the clay.

My entry (number 3) was made by stacking green, red, copper metallic clays, along with black and transparent. Also used in the stack was some copper leaf sheets. After it was stacked, flattened and stacked again several times, I stamped it with an intricate star ornament stamp. I then carefully shaved off the raised areas with my razor. I cut in around the outline of the ornament and then baked it. After it was baked I sanded it in 5 grits of wet/dry sand paper and then buffed it to a high shine.
Voting is open until midnight Dec. 7th by going to http://www.pcagoechallenge.blogspot.com . You can win one of these great prizes just for voting. My donation was the purple and lavender kaleidoscope beaded bracelet in the bottom left corner.