Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mica Challenge!

It totally slipped my mind to post about this, mainly because I was so busy this past weekend getting out my third edition of the PCAGOE's Newsletter. If you haven't subscribed yet, do so now, it's free and informative. I try to get at least one tutorial in each month and this month we have two! To subscribe just go here and look on the right side and sign up, you can opt out anytime you like.
Now to the subject at hand. This Months Challenge at PCAGOE was the technique called Mica Shift. Certain Polymer clays are formulated a bit differently and have translucent tints to them and lots of mica particles. Something really cool happens when you run the clay through a pasta machine in the same direction two dozen times or so.

The mica particles all line up their 'faces' the shiny part, and it becomes many shades brighter. But when the particles are moved onto their sides, you see that side of them which is dark. So when you take a piece of clay that has all the particle lined up and it is nice and shiny and you press something into it, a stamp, leaf, or even a scribing tool, it moves the particles onto their sides, only where you pressed in, and a design is left. Then you have to carefully 'shave' off the raised portion, until it is level and smooth. But you haven't taken away the design, it miraculously remains in the clay, like a hologram.

This technique takes some patience and hard work. I have only tried this myself a few times and then move on to other avenues of PC exploration. But since there was a challenge, and I had a bit of time on the day it was due.................................I figured, I would try to make a piece and enter , what could a loose? So I did. Actually I had wanted to try some experiments with some inks that I say in the latest PC magazine, even though I didn't have the colors they did, I wanted to try anyway. So I figured to do a kind of yin yang piece. The mica shift is shiny, and smooth, and you know my pieces usually have lots of texture. So I did half the mica, shiny and smooth and the other half is deeply textures and colorful, with only a bit of shine to it.

The other one you see in the top picture is my second candidate but it needed too much sanding to finish it in time. It was done in a copper /gold mix whereas the other was straight gold. So I entered the Yin Yang one, ran outside about 7pm and too some quick pictures ( I liked how it came out, will have to do that more often, if it ever stops raining! ).

So here is the Challenge, go and read about them in this slideshow too!

While you are over at the PCAGOE blogsite, be sure to check out the newest listings of what is in the Mother's Day Basket giveaway and follow the directions to enter to win!


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