Colours of Tasmania

Polymer Techniques

Mokume Ganè

Layered stack of colours Slicing through the stack Using layers to create a vennier A necklacee

Mokume Ganè is a Japanese technique for working layers of different colours of metals. With polymer the layers of coloured clays are rolled out in a sequence of light against dark and then cut, stacked and compressed. A pasta machine is used to roll out the polymer sheets in pairs. These sheets are then cut and layered into a stack. This stack is further compressed and then textured using a variety of tools. The characteristic abstract patterns are seen when the stack is sliced.These slices are rolled out into thinner sections to be used for a veneer.

These images show uncured sections made from this tehnique using a stack of red, black, white and silver clays that will become a bracelet. All of my pieces are textured on the reverse side and later decorated with mica powder so that they are reversible.

Silver Leaf

This has to be my favourite technique. Black clay is rolled out on a thick setting on the pasta machine and then silver leaf is applied. The slice is then rolled again several times in different directions to create the crackle in the silver leaf. Sometimes I will texture the slice at this stage before adding alcohol ink to colour the leaf. When shaped and cut into beads or pendants they are covered with resin to protect the leaf and create a high gloss shine on the piece.

Applying metal leaf Applying metal leaf Alcohol ink earrings

Silk Screening

This is a technique in which silk screens are used to create an image on the polymer. I like to use a quality metallic acrylic paint over black clay. Silk screened items


Layering uses a variety of slices of Millefiori Cane and foils to create a collaged appearance. These veneers are then overlaid with very thin slices of a cane made from layers of white and translucent polymer called a ghost cane.

I like to wrap these veeners around waste clay to create bulky beads, which because they are made of polymer are suprisingly lightweight for their size.

Layered bead 1 Layered bead 2

Lentil beads and Millifiori Beads

These are techniques that use the polymer clay in different ways. Lentil beads are named after the shape. These can be made with amazing swirls in them. The Millifiori technique uses the clay in a process called caning that allows you to create pattern or images within the a block of clay that can then be sliced or manipulated to create beads.

Lentil bead necklace Milliflori necklace
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