The Skinner blend  

The polymer clay community will forever be in debt to Judith Skinner for giving us the Skinner Blend technique. I use it almost every day. There are many descriptions of the process, both online and in text, and much more to say about it than I will say here. 

Everyone seems to have a slightly different approach. When I teach classes, I always begin with a review of the Skinner Blend, and no one ever complains. There seems to be some confusion about it, no matter where I go. This is one of my own variations. It produces a narrow blended sheet. I find this useful for many things, and as you will see, you can easily make a wider blend from this one.

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This is the blend described on this page.  Keep it in mind as you go through the following steps....I chose these colors for visibility on the screen more than anything else.

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Begin with two sheets of clay you want to blend.  These are approximately 6" x 2".

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Stack the two sheets on top of one another, and cut both diagonally with a sharp blade. For this example, I cut corner to corner. The graduation of color will extend from edge to edge.

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Your two sheets should look like this after the cut.

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Separate the triangular pieces and rearrange them like this.  Don't worry about bonding the clay, just get the arrangement right.

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Now, reassemble the triangles EXACTLY like this. That dark triangle placed on top of the bottom two should make an 'X' through the middle.  The advantage of using this method is that it will hold all the pieces together, and you will get a larger (longer) blended sheet.  The copper colored sheet will go in next.

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After reassembling the four triangles, the sheets should look like this.  Press or roll them to bond all the clay.

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Here is another view of the stack.  Make SURE it looks like this: DIFFERENT colored edges on the ends, SAME colors on the sides.

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Now put the assembled sheets through the pasta machine, narrow end first.   I am using the handle of a palette knife to keep the sheet the same width throughout the process. Pass it through the pasta machine and fold it over on itself   lengthwise. Run it through and fold repeatedly  until the blend is as complete as you want it, always narrow end in first.

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If you did everything right, here is that final blend again.  Keeping it narrow makes it perfect for leaf impressions, or any other use where you want the blend to show on a small piece.... 

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....And you can ALWAYS make it wider by turning the narrow sheet horizontal, and stretching it to any width you like.