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Basic Polymer Clay Techniques

Skinner Blend Technique

The Skinner Blend has become one of the best tools we have for shading our work with Polymer Clay! It all started out with a very bright lady, Judith Skinner, who is responsible for discovering the Skinner Blend. To those of us who used to cut and mix and measure and cut and mix and measure, we consider her a bit of an angel for all the time she has given back to us for creating instead of mixing!

This Skinner Blend is being done with two packages of PREMO. There are many different ways to use the Skinner Blend, and hopefully I will be cataloging them here as well, sometime down the road, but for now, this is a straight, "nothing fancy" SKINNER BLEND with two colors - one block of Premo Orange and one block of Premo Yellow!

The Skinner Blend can be done with almost any amount of clay. After you learn the technique you can improvise and learn to work with less and less clay at one time! More tips, techniques and ideas for Skinner Blends will be added as I find time!

Picture 1
1. Partially condition two blocks of contrasting clay into equal squares. Setting #1 on the Pasta Machine.
Picture 2
2. Stack both sheets of clay on top of each other keeping the edges as even as possible.
Picture 3
3. Place a ruler or some type of straight edge device from corner to corner on the square.
Picture 4
4. Slice across the diagonal.
Picture 5
5. Seperate the cut slices.
NOTE: This technique can be done with only one of the A/B squares, if you don't need as much shaded clay.
Picture 6
6. Replace one "A" triangle with one "B" triangle. Do the same with the others.
Picture 7
7. Stack these two multi-colored squared on top of each other. A on top of A and B on top of B making sure the triangles are turned the same way.
Picture 8
8. Butt the center cuts together carefully to make sure they don't come apart in the Pasta Machine. Just give them a little squish.
Picture 9
9. Line up the slab of clay on your pasta machine, being very careful to keep it straight. If you have a motor, use it on low until you are very comfortable with this procedure. Setting #1 on the Pasta Machine.
Picture 10
10. Guide the clay out of the pasta machine and lay it flat on your workspace.
Picture 11
11. Fold the slab of clay in half bringing the bottom to the top. Maintaining the "A" side and the "B" side.
Picture 12
12. Do your best to make the corners meet at the top. And watch for trapped air in the fold, you want this fold to go into the pasta machine flay.
Picture 13
13. Flatten the crease at the bottom of the folded slab. If you don't flatten it, it can trap air and you might lose your straight edges.
Picture 14 14. Now, put the folded side back in the pasta machine again, being careful to keep it straight. Setting # 1 on the Pasta Machine./FONT> Picture 15 15. Not much change yet, but you need to continue folding and creasing and putting it in the pasta machine for at least 20 more times.
Picture 16
16. 5 times through and there isn't much change Yet!
Picture 17
17. Don't forget to crease the fold to make sure your edges don't get discombobulated.
Picture 18
18. After 10 times through you can see more of the colors changing.
Picture 19
19. Just keep doing the same thing, keeping it as straight as possible.
Picture 20
20. After 15 times through it keeps getting more and more blended. Keep folding it carefully
Picture 21
21. After 20 times through we have a great blend. In some cases you might need to blend a little bit longer, but you will get the feel of it after you do it a couple times!
Picture 22
22. Now fold it in half again, but this time you want to compare the edges.
Picture 23
23. Slice off any excess clay so that your edges are just about even.
At this point your Skinner Blend is complete, we will continue on the next page making this slab of clay into a Shaded Tube.

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