Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stamped Mokume Gane- part1

I wrote this up in 2003 and I thought it might be time to publish it again with the clay I use now, Cernit, the link will take you to my husband's store the Clay Factory.
I will probably have to post this in sections until I figure this whole blogger thing out.

Mokume Gane is a technique that comes from Japanese sword making. It is a method of stacking different colored metals together, stretching and pounding and distorting them to make wood grain or water like images in the cross sections. A lot of Polymer clay people have adopted this technique to make very beautiful patterns in the clay; covering beads, glass, and incorporating the slices into their work. I think that Lindly Haunani made us all aware many years ago of the beauty that could be achieved with this dynamic and easy technique.
It is easy and the random beauty of each slice is something to behold. There are lots of methods of achieving this look but I find this is an easy (Oops!!!!! Did I say that again?), and quick way to make the patterns. I use a common color through out the stack like pearl, gold, translucent, white, black, or silver and a pallet of colors, i.e. the rainbow ones, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. You can also add sheets of clay that have metal leaf added to them or have been painted with different paints, thin washes of Lumiere maybe, or brushed with pearl-ex powders and then coated with a very thin coat of pearl-ex varnish and allowed to dry can be added to the stack too. It is fun to play with and a very easy (oops there it is again) technique to start with, and you will have dynamic results to encourage you to move forward through this addiction. LOL!
For the Mokume you will need:
1-2 ounce block of Pearl, silver, white, black or gold and enough of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple to make the sheets below, probably less than a ¼ block of each color.
I am using Cernit phthalate free clay for this project but other clays will work just as well. Use what floats your boat, OK? I will use what floats mine.
Clay Dedicated Pasta machine
Clay blade
Rubber stamps- These need to be deep, bold, and defined stamps, better to use out line image stamps than shaded image stamps. Howard has something called Stamp Scraps that are perfect for this at the Clay Factory the link will take you there.
Needle tool, paper clip, filigree finding, and screw
Punch cutters by Kemper (these come in sizes from 3/16” to ¾” and several different designs, they are very tiny cookie type cutters with plungers to get the clay out.)
The settings on my pasta machine run this way, #1 being the thickest and #9 being the thinnest.


  1. Mokume gane is a fabulously versatile, forgiving and easy technique. I am always amazed at the wonderful adaptations that different artists have come up with when they have put their particular spin on the concept via adaptations, permutations and "happy accidents".

    Ever since Marie introduced me to the wavy blade it has become an essential tool in my personal tool kit.

    Thank you for the kind words-and I look forward to continueing to read your blog. Lindly Haunani

  2. First of all... Lindy- I haven't heard the word 'permutations' used since high school! What a good word! lol nice!

    And I too love mokume gane. I got a mokume ring last year, and I've tried to do the same with clay, but it's not the same! I got my ring at George Sawyer, and his site is full of pictures to inspire those who are trying to do mokume at home! The site is


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