One of my favorite polymer clay techniques is the Skinner blend. It is difficult to imagine what the polymer clay world was like before it! Since its invention by artist Judith Skinner , polymer clay artists such as Sarah Shriver , Donna Kato , Kathleen Dustin , and many others have been using and tweaking this technique to produce remarkable depth, shading and dimension in their work.
Many of my canes start with a Skinner blend. I blend two or more colors just to see what will happen, what cool new color combinations I’ll create. At this point I usually have no idea what my ‘final product’ will be. After I get my blend/blends, I roll up, cut up, and add other elements to the blends and then do some more cutting up, reducing, and reassembling until I get several different cane designs with the same color palette. In the past, this process was very haphazard and hit-or-miss, but now I spend more time thinking through my color choices, and how I will build the cane components. My canework has improved thanks to this more disciplined approach.
The following two canes started as a four color Skinner blend using a fall color palette; a brown made from mixtures of various Fimo Soft brown scraps with copper metallic clay added, Fimo Soft ‘Indian Red’, a mix of Fimo Soft Lemon Yellow and Sunflower Yellow, and a mix of Fimo Soft ‘Sahara’ and white. The blend was reshaped into a rectangular block, black stripes were added, then the block was cut in half on the diagonal…the two halves were used to make 2 different canes. Here are the pictures of the process. Click on the photos to enlarge them. If the enlarged image is too big, click on it again to make it a viewable size. I added an extra lamp to improve the color of the photos, I hope it works !