Intro: Polymer Clay Rainbow Gradient!
It's been a reeeaaaalllyyyyyyy long time since I have posted an 'ible, but I'm back with a hat-trick of rainbow themed projects! I have always had a fascination for colors (come on... I'm an aspiring artist!) and no color combination beats the rainbow theme! And the Rainbow Contest gave my just the right amount of push and inspiration for these projects!
Today, I will be showing you how to make a perfect (If I can humbly say so XD) gradient with polymer clay without a pasta rolling machine! I think gradients look lovely in all colors and the rainbow one looks absolutely enchanting. But I have tried numerous times in vain to get it rolled out properly by hand. The main problem with a rainbow gradient is the number of colors. Most often a smooth gradient arises only between 2-3 of the 7 total colors when you are doing it by hand and so it looks uneven.
The pasta machine renders very nice gradients but the main problems for that are 1) Only professionals have the machines in the first place and 2) If you need a small sheet of gradient, it is easier to do it by hand (my slab is around 1 inch by 1 inch only) instead of by a machine.
But here I have found a fairly simple method of achieving the same result in small scale which I will show you. SO let's go ahead!
Step 1: What You Need
Here is the list of materials you require for this simple but time-taking project:
- Polymer Clay: In the colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet colors. I used clay for the companies Fimo, Premo, Sculpey III and Proto.
- Slab of glass: This is where you will roll out the gradient. You can use any smooth surface for this project.
Baby powder: This prevents the clay from sticking to the surface while rolling and makes it easier to peel off.You can use any brand of fine talcum powder.
X-acto knife: You will use this to do all the cutting works obviously and also to peel the sheet out after every stage. Any sharp and thin bodied knife or blade will also do instead.
- Any smooth tube for rolling: I used the handle of my xacto knife. You can also use a cylindrical pen body or something of similar shape for doing this.
That is all you will need for this project. If you have everything ready, we can proceed!
Step 2: Arranging the Colors
Before we begin to work on the blending, we have to arrange and place the colors in a proper way. So here we go!
- After dusting your work surface with some powder, begin by rolling out the seven colors one by one. The length and breadth of each color in this stage must be fairly equal and must be according the size and length of the gradient shade you require.
- With the knife, cut a slant wedge along the side of the red strip (as shown in the 3rd picture). Then according to that cut, make another along the orange strip and fit it together (like in the 4th picture).
- The other cut along the other side of the orange strip must be in such a way that it forms a 'V'.
- Now alternating between a 'V' and an inverted 'V', join all the other colors. It should look something like the last picture. It is perfectly fine if each cut and all is not exact as in a gradient everything will be merged out anyways!
- Then cut out the sides and make a proper rectangle.
Now for the blending!
Step 3: Gradient Blending
The most important and tiresome step: blending!
- Begin rolling out the rectangle from the last step. Remember to put equal and even pressure through out!
- After you have rolled out the whole rectangle into a sheet once, carefully peel it out and fold it half. The roll again!
- Keep repeating the fold-n-rolling process. The collage shows the different stages of rolling.
- After you have achieved a gradient whose blending seems perfect to you, cut out the sides and give it a neat square/rectangle shape.
Extra tips you may need:
At one point you may feel that the rolled out sheet is spreading too thin. In that case, fold the sheet in half or three fold it and with or fingers gently push the sides of the folded block inside as shown in the 9th and 10th picture.
- Instead of folding in half each and every time, you may want to fold the sides inside and then roll in a few stages. I did this because the center bit of the sheet was rolling out longer than the sides in some cases (I'm not sure why exactly but two possibilities could be 1) my red and violet clay was firmer than the colors in the center and 2) the pressure applied in the center could be more. So to even out the ends and maintain the rectangle you can do this too. (refer11th and 12th pictures)
- To prevent the clay from sticking to your roller and the sheet tearing, you can keep coating the roller with some talcum powder lightly.
Step 4: Your Done!
Congratulations on having completed this project!!!!
If you have got the gradient just as you wanted, BRAAVOOOO!!!!
In case you haven't, don't worry! A lot of my clay has gone into my scrap pile of ugly brown/black clay from failed attempts... but try try try again! Gradients are tricky to make but is definitely worth it!
Thank you guys for reading this 'ible! Another rainbow themed tutorial coming your way!! Till then... See you!