In this edition of the pcPolyzine Beginner's Corner, we'll share some tips and tricks for using metal leaf with polymer clay!
Adding metal leaf to your polymer clay projects is fun and can create beautiful and dramatic effects that are actually pretty easy to achieve!
Surface: Before baking, place metal leaf on the surface of your clay. You can completely cover the clay, partially cover it, or decide to place bits and pieces over the surface.
Crackle: Place a sheet of metal leaf over your conditioned polymer clay. Run your clay and leaf through a thinner setting of the clay machine to create a cracked effect. The clay will stretch, but the leaf won't allowing for a crackled appearance. You can progressively run your clay through thinner settings or jump right to the thinnest setting—your choice!
Leaf & Texture: Similar to the crackle effect, place your metal leaf on top of an already conditioned piece of clay. Then, place your texture sheet on top of the leaf. You can either roll everything through the clay machine or use an acrylic roller to imprint the texture into the leaf and clay.
Mokume Gane: When using metal leaf in this technique, you can place the leaf between layers of clay or just use the leaf at the top layer before impressing designs into the stacked clay. Once you're happy with the pattern, carefully slice thin layers away to reveal the inside design.
Tinted Leaf: In this technique, you can place a sheet of leaf on your clay and either use it as is or run it through the clay machine to crackle it (see above). Once you're happy with how it looks, use alcohol inks to tint the clay and the leaf. Play with color combinations, translucent clay, and so much more. You can also tint your work after it has been baked!
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