mica shift madness

I don’t know for sure what everyone else did on the Labor Day weekend.  I suspect grills, chips and dips, family and friends were involved.  Not so in my little household.  Mostly what Dave and I did was look outside at the miserable heat, which was followed by wild storms, say to each other, “Boy am I glad we didn’t go camping,”, and then return our sanding.  We weren’t working on a house project, we were doing our own projects: Dave, who enjoys painting motorcycles and helmets, was working on a minibike for a friend, and I was in the midst of mica shift madness.

As we all know, polymer clay is not found in nature, it is man made.  At some point, someone had the truly wonderful idea to add mica powders to the mix and created pearl polymer clays.  These clays, infused with mica, will sparkle, gleam and give the appearance of being three dimensional when properly conditioned, baked, sanded and buffed.

My blue wave bracelet was made with Premo! blue pearl with a pattern pressed into the wet polymer clay.  If you have never mica shifted, you need to condition your clay with a pasta machine (run the clay thru several times (maybe about ten times)) to align the mica particles and press your pattern into the clay.  Once baked, sand until smooth, sand some more, buff (I use an old pair of jeans), look for flaws, and then sand and buff some more.

These two were made using three color mica shift canes:

I’m finished sanding and buffing and now I’m working on completing all my mica shift pieces.  With any luck, I’ll have them listed soon.  And no more projects that require extensive sanding for a little while!

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5 Responses to mica shift madness

  1. Pingback: Polymer Clay Chit Chat · Polymer Clay | CraftGossip.com

  2. cindy bell says:

    beautiful great job wish i knew how to do that i live in vernon bc and no one i know does any of this and no classes on any of this do you know of a website that i could learn from your work is amazing thank you for showing us your great work cindy

  3. Thank you so much Cindy! I learned how to make the mica shift cuff bracelet from an article by Nancy Pollack in Polymer Cafe Magazine Vol. 4 No. 1 winter 2005/06. (http://www.scottpublications.com/pcmag/single_issues.html). I checked the website and they do have copies of this issue available.
    According to the article, Ms. Pollack got the idea to make these cuffs from seeing Mike Buessler’s “ingot” technique (a variation on a cane). Unfortunately, Mike Buessler is not creating with polymer clay at this time and I was unable to find a site for Nancy Pollack!
    If I find a website with detail I’ll be sure to post it, but right now the back issue looks like your best bet.

  4. Debbie Goodrow says:

    Love that blue mica shift!
    Don’t forget the International Polymer Clay Association (http://www.theipca.org/) is a great place to find other polymer clay artists worldwide, and any local guilds that may exist.

  5. Thank you Debbie! I will definitely check out the International Polymer Clay Association!

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