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Pebble Experiment with free tutorial

Aloha folks, this is the next part of my series of tutorials for using up leftover surface treatments.

Inspired by some of the faux turqoise recipies out there I decided to try using my trimmings to create fantastical geode stones.

Ingredients : surface treatment scraps, acryllic paints, food processor,

first you need some surface treatment trimmings….

Then you need a food processor…..

This was five pounds at a car boot sale (obviously can no longer be used with food)


Plus some translucent in this case

Whizz it up into polymer kibble

Turn it out onto work surface. In this case my usual glass tiles are topped with recycled paper.

Paint all surfaces of the kibble

I wanted to experiment with two colours

Mmmmmm! I think it looks like robot vomit….but hey ho I am known for being peculiar.

Squish the kibble into lumps, compressing it really hard. I tend to dust my hands in cornstarch to make it all stick to me a bit less.

I prefer to cure my beads and things like this in cornflour in cheap metal food containers. Cure as per packet instructions.

Take the cooled cured pieces out and give them a wash in water.

Then sand the out surface off to reveal the internal colours. The paint between the kibble creates this lovely effect.

Et voila!

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial, more are en route eventually, I promise.

Captain Purky


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Mokume Nendo Experiment with free tutorial

Ahoy, I have been meaning to post this tutorial for ages. Unfortunately things are somewhat brassic at Purky towers so I am working two jobs and my time has been consumed by mundanity.

However, this tutorial is a photographic explanation of my attempts to use left over surface treatments to create lovely Mokume Nendo pieces.

Mokume Nendo – wood eye clay – is a technique adapted from the Japanese Mokume Gane – wood eye metal- a method for producing beautiful layered metalwork.

Step 1 condition some translucent clay, here I am using fimo brand and have rolled it to setting 9 on my eberhard faber fimo machine.

When experimenting I prefer to use a cookie cutter to do my mokume nendo, this way its just easier and quicker.

These pieces form the basis of your layered stack.

Take a piece of left over surface treatment, here ink and powder technique.

Begin layering your stack. Do not worry about the gaps.

Keep going until the stack is as high as you wanted. As this is an experiment, this is a pretty small stack.

One primordial mokume nendo stack! Time to get squashing…

Compact the stack to create a united piece. You may find that what is inside affects the unity of the stack. For example as this is an ink and powder piece, the powder natuarally prevents clay adhering to itself. Just keep manipulating the piece until it obeys you.

Continue compressing the stack until it can be rolled through the thickest setting on your clay machine.

Then restack. You can do this as many times as you like but be aware that the finer the strata between layers the more inticate and less bold the mokume patterns will be.

At this point I trim my stack and place the trimmings to one side. Then begin torturing the stack by impressing it with textures. The purpose of this is to cause internal distortions that create the mokume nendo pattern.

While the main stack rested I had a play with the trimmings. Those wooden stamps are chinese seal ‘chops’

This is a ginkyo leaf texture from the discontinued studio by sculpey tool line.

Once the stack has rested, take a tissue blade and finely slice across the top. Imagine you are taking slithers in order to produce a veneer.

Like so.

Apply the slices to a base sheet of polymer clay. Here I am using a slightly muddy piece of white clay.

Use a brayer to ensure your slices are adhered. Then roll the sheet through the clay machine. Be aware that depending on the setting you use, there will be distortions in the sheet of veneer.

Trim the sheet. I would normally back this veneer and turn it into jewellery components but I want the experimental sheet for my archive.

After baking and sanding. Interestingly the inks tinted the translucent which gave the lovely reddish hues. However, the dark polymer also over shadowed the translucent layers. It has an interesting finish and I think with further sanding and buffing something very exciting would ermerge.

The other two experiments prior to sanding

And afterwards. I am not really patient enough to sand these experiments down hard enough to explore the full potential but I will pop them in a box and get round to it eventually.

this is the most intrigueing piece for me, the fine levels of detail in the closely layered textured lines provide the most scope for future pieces.

I have another four tutorials using leftover surface treatments planned. Most of the pictures have been taken its just finding the time to edit them and get the tutorials up.

My apologies for being slow, I hope this inspires you to experiment with Mokume Nendo

Captain Purky


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A Mica tutorial

Ahoy there chaps and chappettes, this is a quickie tutorial for you all.

I used to be very fond of mica powders, these are powdered pigments usually formed from mineral mica. They have a metallic sheen and come in dozens of colours. A few different brands exist.

I use pearlex mostly and have had the same three pots for around four years so they do last rather well with average use.

In a local craft shop – Yandles at Martock I found these beauties!

ยฃ12 for each packet of powders with a spray bottle and blending brush, bargain! I pretty much just splurged on them.

So, first mica lesson.

Condition your clay, this is rolled out on the thickest setting of my clay machine

Then for this version, trim your sheet and apply the powders

When your powders are fully applied blend ๐Ÿ™‚

Pick your stamp

This one is an old favourite, I don’t use it oftenย  now for items I am making to sell, gotten a tad ocd but only using my own textures on commercial items.

However, imprint your stamp/texture plateย  firmly into the mica sheet. It is then ready to use however you want, for the purposes of these three tutorials I trimmed them up into rectangles and cured them.

Part two coming soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Purky love


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A quick extruder tutorial

I feel that I should freely distribute some of my techniques. Why? Well the internet has been kind to me and I feel I should pass that forward.

Here is my take on the now classic extruder cane technique or Klimt Kane (see what I did there?)

Personally I like to work with three or four colours to generate an interesting repeating pattern and enough contrast to ensure the cane has a strong image even when reduced.

These are stacked discs cut using a small kemper cutter that matches the extruder barrel’s diameter.

I use a Makins extruder and frankly it is the best moderately priced tool on the market for the job. The barrel is easy to clean, load and extrude because it uses a screwing motion rather than pressure.

As your cane is extruded it will wibble about everywhere, do not worry about that because we will straighten it all out shortly.

Also, bear in mind that the colour at the end will envelop the entire cane when stacking and extruding. Hurrah for fluid dynamics in arts and crafts!

Show your wobbly sausage who is boss by chopping it into equal lengths and arranging them together. I usually use a square stack and cane formation for ease.

Continue the polymer punishement by squashing the cane to eliminate air bubbles and ensure adhesion.

This is also a quick way to reduce the cane with relatively little distortion.

Ta daa! Une Cane ๐Ÿ™‚ Notice the uneven raw end, but we will be slicing that off shortly.

Reduce and recombine extruded cane elements to your hearts content ๐Ÿ™‚

Then slice the buggers up and use them to create lovely things.

Ta very much folks ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy!

Mwah x