Polymer Clay Projects & Tutorials
Ocean Mokume Gane
NOTE: The projects and tutorials on this page were all created by Laurel Nevans, Polymer Clay Artist. You may feel free to link to this page, but you may not copy or reproduce any part of it without the written permission of Laurel Nevans. Please link to this page, rather than linking to the actual tutorial page. All projects and tutorials on this page are copyrighted © by Laurel Nevans .
I love making Mokume Gane blocks. The patterns, colors, and swirls produced in each block are always unique and fascinating, and often remind me more of cloud formations than the "metallic wood grain" of its namesake.
I invented this technique trying to replicate the swirly seas, similar to how they appear before a storm, when there are streaks of white interspersed among the swirls of blue-green.
This tutorial demonstrates the process of making the Mokume Gane block. Separate tutorials are provided that show how to use the Mokume Gane block. In addition, Ocean Mokume Gane themed pieces are available in our online store
(NOTE: Click on any thumbnail to
|Start with approximately twice as much Premo translucent than Kato translucent.|
|Cut Kato Clay
into 4 pieces of approximately the same size.
Condition each piece of clay.
|Using pasta machine, roll each piece of clay into sheets of approximately the same size/shape/length. Roll each piece to #5. (To save space, you may “layer” the sheets between white paper until you are ready to complete the next steps.)|
| Move one sheet of clay onto
a piece of white paper, laid on your work surface and creased down the
middle. Sprinkle Interference Gold Pearl-Ex over the surface of the clay.
(NOTE: I recommend you don a mask and eye protection while completing
Fold the clay in half. Run the clay back through the pasta machine at #4, inserting the fold into the rollers first. Repeat 6-10 times, until the clay is again well conditioned, holding together, and the powder is incorporated into the clay. Put this sheet aside on a clean sheet of white paper. Pour any left over mica powder on the paper on your work surface back into its container.
|Repeat the above steps, first
with the blue interference powder, and then with the green/blue. Layer
sheets between sheets of white paper or wax paper and set side.
NOTE: I recommend you make the sheets in the order above to minimize having to clean between colors. If a little “cross-contamination” occurs, don’t worry. It won’t matter in the end.)
Clean hands, work surface and pasta machine. (You can put the mask and eye protection away for now too, if you like.)
Cut the two blocks of Premo in half. (Reserve half block) Condition and roll 4 ½ blocks of Premo into sheets of approximately the same size and shape as above. Roll to the #4 setting.
Stack the sheets into layers according to the following order:
|Put a sheet of paper over the stack. Run a roller over the top of the stack to stick the layers together|
|Run your knuckles across the top of the sheet.|
|Cut & stack once more.|
Roll reserved Premo to #4.|
Cover top blue Interference layer of brick w/ layer of Premo.
Press layers together with your hands. Square off loaf. Reserve scraps
Roll small snakes of clay using the following:|
a) Scraps of blue & white clay
b) Scraps reserved from step above
c) Scraps of translucent
Make one snake of translucents, one of opaques, and one of the two marbled together
|Using paintbrush handle and/or other similar objects. Randomly depress caverns into the sheet of clay. Press dents at different levels, never depressing more than about 2/3 of the way through.|
|Here are some of the items I use to make the depressions in my Mokume Gane blocks.|
Pull off little bits of the snake and fill the depressions and dents with
Flip sheet over and do the same on the other side.
|Cut the sheet in half. Stack one half on top of the other. Press together firmly.|
|Cover loaf with sheet of white paper. Roll and square off loaf|
Remove paper and press block firmly to work surface until it sticks.|
Cover with wax paper or white paper to protect from dust. Let sit at least an hour, and preferably over night before slicing.
|To use, shave thin pieces off of the top of the loaf using a tissue blade. These pieces may be laid on a sheet of pearl or translucent clay, or they may be applied directly to objects.|