Learn how to easily create a beautiful Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Pendant. Before I begin let’s find out what Mokume Gane means and how it originated.
Mokume-gane is a Japanese metalworking procedure which produces a mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns, as well as that laminate itself. Mokume gane translates closely to “wood grain metal” or “wood eye metal” and describes the way metal takes on the appearance of natural wood grain. Wikipedia
Using Polymer Clay we can replicate a similar wood grain pattern and create a beautiful Mokume Gane polymer clay pendant.
This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I personally use/have used and trust. Please read my disclaimer for more information.
1. Polymer Clay
I will be using Sculpey Premo UltraMarine Blue, Sculpey III Granny Smith Green, and Sculpey III White
2. Ball Stylus Clay Sculpting Tools
3. Cutting Blades (one straight and one crinkle blade)
4. Acrylic Roller
5. Pasta Machine
To Get Started
More than two colors are preferred for this technique. It’s best to use colors that contrast each other. Using colors that contrast each other will create a more defined pattern in the clay.
Roll each color through the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Cut each color to the same size and stack them on top of each other.
Using the acrylic roller, press and roll the stack to help them adhere to each other. Then cut the stack in half.
Now stack both pieces so the colors alternate. Be sure to not place them having two of the same color together. This will prevent you from being able to create a good pattern later.
Once they are stacked, use the acrylic roller to press them together a bit and then place it in the pasta machine on the thickest setting. Put it through the long way so you are able to lengthen the clay. Trim the edges and cut it in half. Keep the trimmings nearby as we will be using them when we are ready to create the pendants.
Stack both sides, again being sure to alternate the colors.
Roll it and then put it through the pasta machine sideways this time to widen the clay. Cut it in half and stack it for the final time.
Pinch the clay on all four sides to condence it.
Adding the Pattern
Now it’s time to create the pattern in the clay. You are free to do as you wish with this part. Your options are endless as far as what you can do to create the patterns. I’m going to be using my crinkle cutter (I made that name up) first. This will create some fun wavy patterns in the clay. Then I will use several sizes of my ball stylus. I will push the ball stylus into the clay. I’m not pushing so far that I go through the clay, I’m only going about 3/4 of the way through. With the crinkle cutter I did go all the way through.
Once you are satisfied with the pattern it’s time to condense/reduce the clay enough to “close” the gaps/holes.
Now the fun part!
Now we get to slice into the cane to see what mokume gane patterns we can create.
Using a thin blade slice a layer off of the top of the clay and flip it over to see what you have come up with.
Now we have some beautiful mokume gane patterns in our clay. Let’s create a polymer clay pendant with it.
Using the scraps I cut off earlier, I am going to create the back piece for the pendant. This will be the piece I lay the mokume gane clay on.
I will run the scrap through the pasta machine a couple times.
Then I will lay the clay slices on top of the rolled out scrap clay. Using the acrylic roller I even out the clay nicely.
I lay the cling wrap over the clay and position the clay cutter where I want to cut out the pendant.
I’m going to add a small hole to put the faux leather cord through after it’s finished.
If you want to see how I use resin to finish my pendants you can check out my post titled How to Apply UV Resin to a Pendant.
I baked the Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Pendant at 275 degrees for 40 minutes. Follow the manufacturers recommendation for the clay you are using. It may be different than mine.
Once baked I sanded the piece and added the UV Resin. Here is the finished result along with a couple others I created at the same time.
So that’s it! That is how to create a beautiful Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Pendant. As with so many of the techniques, the options are endless as to what you can create. It’s really a lot of fun.
I would love to know what you think about this technique. Have you heard of Mokume Gane before? What colors would you like to see used with this technique? If you could please leave your comments below I would appreciate it.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these pendants or if you would like to see some of my other creations, you can visit my Ebay Store. You can also follow me on Instagram or Pinterest.
I am grateful you are here!
Place the clay in the refrigerator/freezer for a few minutes to cool it off prior to slicing it. This will make it easier to slice without it sticking to the blade.