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Mokume Gane Beads In Copper, Black And Cream

Copper Colored Polymer Clay Mokume Gane Beads

In this Mokume gane tutorial, you will not use the shavings, (doesn't mean that you can't :))but the shaved sheet. This will give you a little more control on how the pattern is going to look when it is applied to the bead cores. The pattern can be made deliberately or randomly. In this tutorial I use only one shape cutter but the pattern made with it is quite random.

The sheet is made of only three contrasting colors. One of them is Copper, which contains mica. It gives the beads a metallic sheen which is beautiful when put together with black.

So, are you ready to begin? OK! Here we go...

What you need to make these beads:

  • Fimo effect: Copper
  • Fimo Soft : Black, White, Caramel
  • Tissue blade
  • Round shape cutter

Step 1:
First you have to make the cream color. Condition White and Caramel, and run them through on a medium setting on your pasta machine.

Use a round shape cutter and cut out several pieces of each color. Mix 1 part white with 1/8 Caramel. Cutting the Caramel colored rounds in 8 parts, make it easy to mix the colors accurately.

Step 2:
Condition the colors and run them through on the thinnest setting on your pasta machine. Stack Copper and Cream and run them through the pasta machine again on the thinnest setting.

Cut the sheet in two, and put one on top of the other. Apply the black sheet on top.

Step 3:
Use a round shape cutter and make lots of impressions in the sheet in an overlapping pattern. Press the cutter well into the sheet, but not so deep that you cut all the way through.

Step 4:
Start shaving the stack carefully. Shave until you have only thin lines of the black left. The thinner you can get them, the better. It is very easy to cut to deep and cut it away instead, so be careful as you get deeper in the stack. Stop when you have a nice pattern of copper and cream with thin black lines.

If you plan on working on more than one project, save the shavings. If not use them for scrap clay.

Step 5:
If your Mokume gane sheet is bumpy, put a thin paper on top, and carefully flatten it with an acrylic roller. Cut the edges around the sheet so that they are smooth.

Step 6:
Condition some scrap clay and make a log. Wrap it in black clay and roll it to the wanted thickness. Mark every 1 1/2 cm. Cut off each piece and close the ends so that you have a black bead.

Cut the Mokume gane sheet in triangles and apply one triangle on each bead. Try to expel trapped air. Roll the beads smooth on your work surface or in your hand, and slide them onto a bamboo rod. Use a baby wipe to wipe off fingerprint and impurities. Cure the beads and leave to cool.

When cold, use the finish treatment that you are most happy with. If you want very glossy beads, you can glaze them with liquid polymer clay .

And, that was it. You have just made some lovely Mokume gane beads. Well done! :)

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Snake Mokume gane 
Use the following colors: Copper, black, white, cognac, olive green, yellow. Mix 1 part white and 1/8 cognac. Mix 1 part olive and 1 part white Mix …

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