About two weeks ago, my husband and I ventured to Borders for a bit of quiet reading and browsing, not to mention the opportunity to use a Borders gift card we got for Christmas. I of course headed directly for their “Craft” section, where I came across Donna Kato’s book The Art of Polymer Clay: Creative Surface Techniques. I was already familiar with Donna Kato’s work (see my post from earlier this week), as well as her book The Art of Polymer Clay, but I didn’t realize she’d published more specialized technique books as well. So, I purchased it, along with The Art of Polymer Clay: Millefiori Techniques.
Many of the techniques Kato describes in “Creative Surface Techniques” require specialized tools and materials, which, while not too expensive, I don’t keep on hand. However, one option, creating mica shift patterns from chatoyant clays, does not. After perusing the photos in the book and reading the instructions several times, I couldn’t resist the temptation to try it. Thus was born the “Love is the only gold” Wall Plaque.
Metallic polymer clays (what the Sculpey brand calls their “Pearl” clays) are created by adding mica particles to a colored clay base, giving the finished product a shiny, sparkly appearance. (My Golden Poppy Necklace, Madonna and Child Figurine, Golden Holly Ornament, and Faith-Hope-Love Necklace all use metallic / pearl clays for an iridescent surface quality.) By aligning and realigning the mica chips within the clay, polymer clay artists can create intricate color gradations within a single layer of clay.
I’m just getting started with the chatoyant techniques, and I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s possible. However, I love the way the “Love is the only gold” Wall Plaque reflects and glitters, and I can’t wait to try even more projects that take advantage of the unique characteristics of metallic polymer clays.
Close-up detail of the “Love is the only gold” Wall Plaque
The “Love is the only gold” Wall Plaque isn’t yet online in my Etsy shop, although it will be by early next week. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to order one before then.