Last weekend, my mother-in-law came to visit for Easter, bringing with her a few belated gifts for my birthday. In her package of goodies was Debbie Jackson’s book “Polymer Clay Jewelry.” While flipping through the pages of that book, I happened across an exquisite mokume gane button Jackson created as a demonstration piece. This particular mokume gane button was made from stacked solid-colored sheets of clay. I have often read about the mokume gane technique, but I’ve only ever seen instructions for creating mokume gane projects using mica shift (for information about one of my earlier mica shift projects, view this blog post). Not until reading Jackson’s book did I encounter the mokume gane technique with contrasting colors of clay. I was immediately intrigued and had to try it.
The basic process of mokume gane involves creating layers of clay, either of various colors or of aligned mica chips within the clay. A pattern of some sort is then impressed into the clay, and the raised portions are carefully sliced off, revealing the inner layers while maintaining the top layer in the portions that have been depressed.
Photos of my first attempts at mokume gane are below. (Click any of the photos to view a larger image.) I’m quite pleased with the outcomes, and I definitely will be experimenting with it further in the coming weeks.
Cross Wall Hanging
A closeup of the Cross Wall Hanging
Barrette made with the mokume gane technique
A closeup of the barrette
A simple but elegant brooch
Two small pendants, which I will hang on a simple black cord