Let's Make Sandwiches!
by Dianne Cook

Take a polyholic and a mixed media freak, what do you get? Someone who is crazy over inclusion sandwiches! Including materials in polymer clay can yield some very unique and interesting effects. Please enjoy this short potpourri of inclusions!

Picture 1 has some easy to do 'natural beads'. Dry some of your garden flowers and crush the mixture. I use 'my friend's garden inclusion paks'.

The blue beads pictured are made from Fimo #00 and crushed blue lobelia.

The yellow gold beads are made from Fimo #00 and marigolds including the stems.

The pale mauve beads are made with crushed rose petals.

The last bead pictured is made from one of my favorite mixtures: Make a snake of each of the following: Twist the snakes together into one snake. Fold the snake and twist until you get a look that you like.

Beads are fun, but you may like to use inclusions in clay sheets to veneer items like vases, frames, and pens. One problem is making a smooth even finish when including sometimes 'lumpy' inclusions.

A super solution to a case of the 'lumpys' is a sheet of Fimo #014 rolled at #7 on the pasta machine.

You actually sandwich the inclusions between this sheet and the base clay sheet. It is simply the best!! It smooths the surface of the piece, captures the inclusions under it, and, best of all, it cures clear when rolled very thin.

Once the item is sanded and buffed, you can see the inclusions clearly.

Examples of this technique are the pens that I have made for my 'low-cost, high volume item' for my holiday open house. These pens are truly fun to make and also terrific for stuffing family 'Christmas stockings' or for giving as a Hanukah gift.

The basic tools and supplies necessary for veneering pens are seen here in Picture 4.

For the basic instructions on veneering pens, I highly recommend Elizabeth's lesson at www.thepolyparrot.com.

Elizabeth's lesson is full of helpful hints, as is her entire website.

Picture 5 shows the various inclusions that I used for my pens. Note: I keep my skinner blends in plugs in a cloudy embroidery boxes as suggested by Donna Kato.

To sandwich inclusions, you want your base sheet (bottom sheet) to be rolled at a #4 on the pasta machine. Lay it flat and add your choice of inclusions. In Picture 6, I used silver Ultra Effects and gold Diamondz. Both are from Suze Weinburg's collection and are popular with stampers and papermakers.

After adding the inclusions, I sliced some transparent canes very thinly and added them.

After getting the design that I wanted, I conditioned and rolled Fimo #014 to a #7 on the pasta machine. I placed this sheet on top and then rolled all layers at a #3, turned it 1/4 and rolled at a #4.

If necessary, you can turn and roll it at #5. A #5 sheet makes a very thin pen. If you prefer a thicker pen, begin with a base sheet rolled at #3 and when all layers are together, begin rolling at a #2 on the pasta machine.

Following are a couple other examples. Picture 7 shows leftover clay cut from an inclusion sandwich, mixed together then rolled for a base sheet. I have added curliques with a couple of Sakura gelly roller pens.

Another fun technique is to take a thin sheet of Fimo #014 and spread glitter over it, then cut out shapes. Apply the shapes right side up to the base sheet of your inclusion sandwich.

Finally, here are some of my sanded and buffed pens! Fun!

Have a clayfilled month!


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