How To Make A

   Graduated Skinner Blend

      written by:  Valerie Hollis       Without Frames





This type of blend is called a "Graduated Skinner Blend" because you can see a distinction between the shades of color as they blend together.  In this case, you can see a graduation as it blends from white-to-gray-to-black.  That graduated effect is created by offsetting the triangles in Step 5.   However, there are many other ways of making blends to produce different effects.  To see how I made a Continuous Skinner Blend - one that blends evenly from one color to the next - please see "How To Make A Continuous Skinner Blend."  (For a side-by-side comparison of the two blends, see this page.)





To make a Graduated Skinner Blend, you will need 2 blocks of polymer clay in contrasting colors, a work surface, a pasta machine, and a tissue blade.






Step 1

Remove clay from package and condition it thoroughly by passing it through the pasta machine.



Step 2

Roll each color of clay into a sheet on the thickest setting of your pasta machine.







Step 3

Place one of the sheets on top of the other.








Step 4

Make a diagonal cut through both sheets of clay.   (Note:  I am creating a very large blend (12 oz.), so I am going to use the right edge of my ruler as a guide for making the cut.)








Step 5

Make the cut slightly inward from each corner.  The idea is to create triangles that are offset, or 'truncated' at either end as shown in the next Step.





Step 6

After making the cut, the sheets should look like this.







Step 7

Separate all four sheets of clay from one another.







Step 8

Stack the sheets, white-on-white and black-on-black.  Line the sheets up along the cut edges.







Step 9

Push the two triangles together to form a rectangle.  Press and smooth your fingers along the seam so that the edges stick to one another. 







Step 10

Trim the uneven edges from the top and bottom.








Step 11

Once trimmed,  the stacked sheets should look like this.  This is what we'll pass through the pasta machine to form a Graduated Skinner Blend.






Step 12

Pass this through the pasta machine on the thickest setting (#1 on an Atlas).






Step 13

Fold the sheet in half and pass it through again in the same direction.  The lines of color should travel up the sheet vertically as you blend.






Step 14

Continue folding and passing, folding and passing.  This picture shows my blend after 3 passes.




Step 15

Here's a picture of the blend after 6 passes...



Step 16

Here's the blend after 8 passes...




Step 17

Here's the blend after 10 passes...




Step 18

Here's the blend after 15 passes.  You will need to fold and pass the blend through the pasta machine about 15 to 25 times until you are satisfied with its appearance.



Step 19

Here's the blend after 18 passes... It's getting there!




Step 20

After approximately 22 passes, this is what my Graduated Skinner Blend looked like!








Once you have created a Graduated Skinner Blend, it can be used in an infinite number of ways to produce an infinite number of effects!  I used this particular blend to create the following:



   How To Make A Shaded Plug




   How To Make A Bull's Eye Plug




  Making A Shaded Jellyroll Cane



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                                                            2004-2007 Valerie Hollis - All rights reserved.