The mad scientist is at it again. I love experimenting with unexpected materials and using them in unique ways. This piece combines a “snakeskin pattern veneer” polymer clay technique with real shed snakeskin for a pendant that gives a whole new meaning to the word unique!
- premo! Sculpey®
- Oven Bake Clay
- Oven Bake Clay
- Clay roller
- Clay blade
- Real shed snakeskin (The benefits of having two sons who love to collect wierd things and bring them home as gifts for mom! I’ve had this snakeskin for years waiting for the right project!)
- Graduated size circle cutters
- Needle tool
- Aluminum foil
- Black cording
- Create a Skinner Blend with black and white clay. This is a well known polymer clay technique, developed by Judith Skinner, and there are several fabulous tutorials available with more detail, but these photos and brief description will show you the basic steps (forgive my contaminated clay – I used scrap for this process as I knew I would be overlaying it with the snakeskin which would hide any imperfections….)
- Roll black and white clay in clay machine on setting #1.
- Cut a long narrow triangle from each color. Lay them next to each other with points at opposite ends as shown.
- Use hand roller to gently roll over pieces and begin process of melding them together, then roll it through the clay machine again on setting #1.
- Fold in half lengthwise as shown (important!) Roll through the machine again with the folded edge going into the machine first (this helps avoid bubbles).
- Fold in half again the same way and roll. Continue the process and you will see the blend begin to appear. The more you roll it, the wider the graduated blend will be.
- Once you’ve achieved the desired blend, roll it progressively through the clay machine to setting #5. Roll sheets of white and black clay to setting #5.
- For the purpose of this project, I wanted a larger amount of white and a larger amount of black on the inside and outside of my “cane” so I used additional sheets of clay to achieve that effect.
- Use clay blades to cut strips about 3/4” wide with darkest shade on one side and lightest on the opposite end. Cut strips of black and white rolled clay the same width.
- Coil several white strips over each other until you received the desired size center of the cane, then add several blended strips, then several black.
- Gently compress the clay into a tubular cane about 1 1/2” – 2” in diameter.
- Begin slicing the cane into sections about 1/4” thick. Use your hands to manipulate the slices into a somewhat diamond shape, then begin placing them together to form a pattern.
- Use the hand roller to begin compressing the pieces into a sheet. The goal is a thin sheet of clay with an irregular “snakeskin” type pattern.
- Begin placing pieces of snake skin over the clay and gently rolling with hand roller to embed the skin into the clay.
- Use scrap clay to create a disc about 1/4” thick in the desired size. Use a circle cutter about 1/2” wider than cutter used to create disc to cut a circle from the clay snakeskin. Place the snakesin circle over the scrap clay disc and fold the edges down and over the edges of the disc.
- Roll black clay to about 1/4” thick. Hand cut a pear shape large enough to serve as a backing for the snakeskin disc. Use crumpled aluminum foil to texture the black clay. Place the snakesin disc over the black and fold the top down over the disc as shown. Carefully make a hole through the folded section and the backing.
- Bake according to manufacturer instructions. Let cool completely.
- Carefully trim away any snakeskin that is not adhered to the clay. Apply JudiKins Diamond Glaze over the snakeskin disc to seal the snakeskin to the disc. Let dry.
- Add black cording and create sliding knot closure.
- I used part of the remaining “snakeskin veneer” to create additional pieces using the same basic techniques. I saved my remaining “snakeskin veneer” by placing it on to parchment paper for storage.
Designed by Cindi McGee