What Else To Do With Skinner Blends

  Tri-Color Blend, Ikat Canes, and Holographic Weave

     written by:  Valerie Hollis                                 Without Frames




Approximately 6 oz. of polymer clay in 3 contrasting colors, work surface, pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic brayer, ruler, needle tool, toothpick, sandpaper, soft cloth


What You Should Know...


Let's Begin!


Part I:  Making a Tri-Color Skinner Blend


Step 1

We're going to make a tri-color Skinner Blend.  The first thing you'll need to do is choose your colors.  I chose to make mine a Gray-White-Black blend and I'll accomplish that by mixing 1 part white, 1 part black, and 2 parts translucent to make Gray;  2 parts white and 2 parts translucent to make White; and 2 parts black and 2 parts translucent to make Black.  I chose to mix with translucent because it makes a good filler and adds a little more depth to the overall appearance of the finished design.  The idea, however, is to choose any three contrasting colors of your choice.



Step 2

Thoroughly condition and mix all colors.  Roll each sheet out on the thickest setting of the pasta machine (#1 on an Atlas).  The lightest color will go in the middle of the blend




Step 3

Place the black sheet on top of the gray sheet.






Step 4

Cut through the sheets to form 2 triangles.  Make the cut slightly inward from each corner, as shown in the next picture.






Step 5

Once you've made the cut, separate all 4 pieces of clay from each other.







Step 6

Stack the the black sheets together and the gray sheets together by lining up the cut edges.







Step 7

Place the black and gray stacks on top of the white sheet as shown.  Do this to determine where to make the cuts on the white sheet to form a triangle.







Step 8

Cut the white sheet along the lines of the black and gray stacks.








Step 9

After cutting the white sheet, remove the black and gray stacks .  The white sheet should look something like this.







Step 10

Stack the white pieces together, lining it up along the cuts.  You may have to do some trimming.  The idea is to have a white triangle stack that is 2 sheets thick.  Don't be overly concerned if it doesn't fit together perfectly or if you have some overlapping.





Step 11

Fit the three triangles together to form a rectangle. 







Step 12

Push them together so that the edges stick.  Smush and rub along the seams to accomplish this.  Here you can see the flip-side of the sheet.






Step 13

Trim the top and bottom edges, creating a straight edge to put through the pasta machine.  You may also need to trim the black and gray edges to fit the blend through the width of the pasta machine.







Step 14

Here's what we'll be working with.  Get ready to blend!







Step 15

Set your pasta machine to thickest setting (#1 on an Atlas).  Place one of the tri-color edges of your blend along the rollers and roll it through.






Step 16

After the first pass, fold the sheet in half and pass it through again in the same direction. 

(Note: If you place your blend through the pasta machine folded-edge-first, it will help to eliminate air pockets.  However, I always put my blends through opposite-end-first because I find I have more control over the blend, resulting in a neater, more usable piece.  I can then eliminate air pockets on the final sheet by rolling it through the pasta machine on a thinner setting.)






Step 17

Continue folding and passing, folding and passing...   This is what the blend will look like after approximately 3 passes...







Step 18

Here's the blend after approximately 12 passes.







Step 19

And here's the blend after approximately 18 passes.  The sheet will usually be fully blended in 15-25 passes.






Step 20

After 20 passes, the blend should look something like this...





Part II:  Making the Plug

Back to  Education


                                                            2004-2007 Valerie Hollis - All rights reserved.