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Author Topic: Skinner Blends  (Read 5905 times)

Peter

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Skinner Blends
« on: April 14, 2011, 01:11:32 PM »
Ok, time to confess that I am less successful than I would like to be at Skinner Blends, they tend to get distorted at the ends as I am rolling they clay and end up looking like a smiley face. Any hints or tips to improve my technique and get them looking like the fancy ones that I see in all the books?

(or at least decently graduated)....

ejralph

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2011, 03:29:11 PM »
Keep an eye on Making Jewellery mag, as I have a tute on Skinner Blends coming up in the next issue I think

My tips would be:

Try to work to the full width of the pasta machine. Use enough clay, at least half a small block of each colour and finally - don't expect to not get some raggedy edges. So long as the bulk of the blend is right, some trimming away is par for the course I think.

Emma
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Silverleaf Shiny Stuff

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2011, 04:51:02 PM »
It's totally possible to make small skinner blends, I've done tiny ones with less than 1/4 block total and even smaller, but there's a trick to it. It's really hard to explain in words, but I'll have a go...

Basically you kind of very gently push the edges of the sheet towards each other as they go through the rollers, as if you're trying to make it narrower. This stops it spreading out too much so you don't end up with something really wide and very short.

You can also roll the sheet up instead of folding it so you have a log with one colour at one end and one at the other, and un-reduce it, if that makes sense, by pushing the ends in and fattening it up. Then flatten with a roller so you can get it back in the pasta machine. You'll have to pop loads of air bubbles and your blend might look a little less neat at first, but it works. Try a roll after maybe every 5 folds.

Also as a general tip, fold and roll a few more times than you think you'll need to. It's easy to give up too soon if it doesn't look like it's going right.

Hazel

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2011, 04:55:58 PM »
I'm going to confess something here - I make tiny Skinner blends with scraps of clay in the same way I make ordinary Skinner blends(usually to test out colour combos), but most information says that this isn't feasible...I feel like I'm missing something ???

Silverleaf Shiny Stuff

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 05:18:54 PM »
I hear you Hazel, I usually want narrower blends anyway. Using a massive full-width blend for small beads means you can hardly even tell there's a blend going on.

ejralph

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 05:32:56 PM »
Its totally possible to make blends any shape and size you like.

It is just a lot easier to make bigger blends and work to the width of the PM, that is all.

If I am making a smaller blend, I will either do an Overlap blend instead or do what Anna suggested and use a paintbrush handle to hold against the clay and stop it from widening.

Mostly though I will just make bigger blends. It's not like it doesnt all get used.

Oh and I totally echo Anna's advice about always running it through a few more times than you think you need to, especially if the clay ends up photographed. Not sure about digital cameras, but certainly when we were doing the book photos the old film camera really did show up banding on blends that looked absolutely perfect to the naked eye!

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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shelleym

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 05:39:38 PM »
I don't seem to have problems with narrow skinner blends. I make a little mark on my pasta machine the width I want the blend to be. I have used a marker pen but that can sometimes leave marks on the clay, but a tiny bit of masking tape is better. Just a visual line. THen I use the end of a paint brush at that point every time the clay goes through the machine, that way I try to be consistent with the width. Remove the tape afterwards.

Shelley

ejralph

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011, 05:40:33 PM »
snap Shelley with the paintbrush handle!

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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shelleym

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 05:42:26 PM »
snap Shelley with the paintbrush handle!

Emma

That's cos great minds think alike!
Shelley

Hazel

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2011, 10:42:06 PM »

Oh and I totally echo Anna's advice about always running it through a few more times than you think you need to, especially if the clay ends up photographed. Not sure about digital cameras, but certainly when we were doing the book photos the old film camera really did show up banding on blends that looked absolutely perfect to the naked eye!

Emma

Polymer clay and the macro camera setting are natural enemies - every cat hair, piece of dust and tiny mark practically have a blinking arrow pointing to them :D

Silverleaf Shiny Stuff

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2011, 10:45:23 PM »
Don't talk to me about pet hairs! I only have a Labrador but her hair gets EVERYWHERE. My rabbit is the worst though, little fine floaty hairs that stick to everything.

Hazel

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Re: Skinner Blends
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2011, 10:49:07 PM »
Don't talk to me about pet hairs! I only have a Labrador but her hair gets EVERYWHERE. My rabbit is the worst though, little fine floaty hairs that stick to everything.

Hee, I hear ya. It's those tiny hairs that float in the air for ages, until they finally descend on your nice clear photography set-up that get me!