Sutton Slice Polymer Clay Tips and Techniques

Sutton Slice - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #746: If you’ve ever had trouble doing the Sutton Slice… Or if you’ve never attempted it… I have some must-have tips for you!

In today’s mini tutorial I’m going to show you how to do the Sutton Slice. This 3 dimensional polymer clay technique was developed around 20 years ago by polymer clay artist Pete Sutton.

The first time I saw it done, was around 10 years ago by well known polymer clay artist Lisa Pavelka. It is one of those techniques that is in-the-commons and is done and taught by many people in our niche.

The Sutton Slice is one of those techniques that is simple in theory, but can be tricky to do well. So I thought that I’d share with you my tips and tricks that will make it easier for you.

In the video, I show some examples of the Sutton Slice made into some medallions, used in some necklace designs.

I show you how different the technique looks, when you use a single color vs a Teardrop Blend (Skinner Blend).

I also discuss what kind of stamps and or texture sheets that are the best suited for this technique, as well as the type and softness of the clay that you are using.

The technique itself is demonstrated, and there are tons of tips and pointers to getting great results.

The stamps used in the video were supplied by Tonja Lenderman of Tonja’s Treasures. I have some other stamps and silkscreens from Tonja, that I will be demonstrating in a future video, so stay tuned for that.

Hopefully this video answers any questions or issues you may have had in doing the Sutton Slice Technique. You will need to practice this one a few times. I suggest that you try doing it in a single color on the same colored background, so that you can smush up and try again if you mess up.

Have fun :)

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… How To Do The Sutton Slice – Polymer Clay Technique … the Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Hermine R, 08 August, 2016

    what a neat trick with the alcool! Thank you!

  2. Marie Lilley, 08 August, 2016

    Hi Cindy,
    Really enjoyed the video and loved how you explained why certain stamps wouldn’t work well.

  3. Ginny M, 09 August, 2016

    oooohh! love it! I ordered the molds :) can’t wait to make some thank you again! I tried playing with some of my molds, not so good:) but good practice.

  4. Jeanine J, 12 August, 2016

    Thank you Cindy!!! I have tried the sutton slice before and it was very difficult. You showed me much easier way. All your tips make my clay better.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 12 August, 2016

    So happy that this method of doing the Sutton Slice was successful for you! :)

  6. Cathy Norwood, 12 August, 2016

    Hi Cindy,

    Are you familiar with Magic Transfer Paper from polymerclaytv.com? They have a YouTube video on this product. The transfers have to be printed with a laser printer. I tried a few sheets for a magnet project using Zentangle tiles that I drew, scanned, and shrank to fit the size of the magnets made with white clay. The results were pretty good, and there is supposed to be a “cling” version of this paper, but I haven’t been able to find it. You can use colored pencils to color the transfers before applying them to the raw clay, but I have not tried that yet.

    If you’ve tried this product, I would like to hear your thoughts on it and any tips you might have.

    Thanks,
    Cathy

  7. Cindy Lietz, 12 August, 2016

    Hi Cathy I have heard of it but I haven’t tried it yet. If I do try it, I will definitely share my thoughts on it.

  8. Ken Hamilton, 28 August, 2016

    I had never seen this before, very interesting, thanks a million!!!

  9. Cindy Lietz, 29 August, 2016

    You are welcome Ken! I’m surprized you missed this one… it has been around awhile. Happy to have introduced you to something new after all these years! :)

  10. Chris Creeden, 28 October, 2016

    Love this technique! I tried it but need to do over, oh well, but it was fun to practice! I had trouble scraping if off & some of it didn’t lay right on the background. I used regular Premo clay so not sure if that’s why I had some trouble. I am going shopping for some Souffle clay & will try it with that. Does anyone know what setting for conditioning the clay Cindy used for both the mold & background? She didn’t mention in the video so I used the thickest setting and wondered if that makes a difference or not as to how it works. Any comments would be appreciated!

  11. Cindy Lietz, 01 November, 2016

    Hi Chris you can definitely use Premo but it needs to be fairly fresh so that it will stick to the base clay. Souffle works nicely but most fresh/soft clays will work just as well. And for the thickness of the sheet, that doesn’t need to be precise. It just needs to be thick enough to fill the depth of the stamp/mold you’re pressing the clay into. Practice is the key thing with this technique. Watch the video, then try it. Then watch the video again. You will find things in the video that you missed the first time. Good luck!

  12. Cindy Lietz, 18 February, 2017

    Here is some updated info about the origin of the Sutton Slice Technique, that Lisa Pavelka graciously shared with me. With her permission, I am sharing her recent message to me, so that the info will get indexed in Google for everyone’s benefit.

    .
    Hi Cindy, I’m writing you about an awkward exchange I had with a student in one of my classes. She pulled me aside to accuse me of falsely claiming credit for a technique wasn’t mine. I was teaching some advanced Sutton Slice methods when someone asked me about the origins of the technique.

    The student who pulled me aside and said that she saw your video tutorial on the Sutton Slice and that you said Pete Sutton developed the technique. I very nicely explained to her that was incorrect, and that I am the sole developer of this technique. Nearly 20 years ago, I had introduced my friend Pete to polymer. I showed him some of the cool ways it could be used with texture stamps like the Mica Shift.

    Soon after he got going, he tried a different way to do the Mica Shift that only resulted in his stamp being packed with clay. He asked me how to clean it out and I showed him how to use a piece of scrap clay how to remove it. When I saw a bit of patterning emerge on the surface, a light bulb went off in my head. Having seen the potential for a possible new technique, I spent the next couple of weeks working off and on until I developed a method that gave consistent results; especially larger sheets of clay. I didn’t feel it was necessary to name the technique after myself. I thought the slicing motion used to remove clay from the surface of the stamp and Pete’s last name had a nice ring to it when combines, so I dubbed it the “Sutton Slice,” in tribute to the person who lead me to my discovery.

    Soon after, I debuted the technique on the Carol Duvall Show (HGTV), and at several tradeshows as well as other videos, magazine articles, my books and classes, which I continue to do today. Because the name typically garners questions about its origin, I usually give anywhere from a brief to a full description of how I came up with it. The origins as my being the developer of it are well documented in print and in numerous videos and I assumed it was commonly known in the polymer community that it was a technique I originated. Over the years I have further refined a technique to the one I currently use (which is even easier and offers more consistent results), as well as creating offshoot techniques like my Faux Batik info Textile Effects. Nearly a full chapter is devoted to the history and these techniques in my last book.

    Please understand that I am not upset for being misinformed about who should be credited with its development and I am not expecting you to reshoot the entire tutorial. I would just appreciate it if you could take steps to correct that it is my technique. Perhaps you could re-edit it with an inserted graphic retraction at the point where you mention the techniques origins, or at lest post a comment immediately below your YouTube video that corrects this.

    Please understand that this is not about my ego, but the ramifications to my reputation. The encounter with the misinformed student was quite uncomfortable for both of us, but especially my student. She was very apologetic and relieved that she didn’t call me out in from of class. I assured her I wasn’t angry and that it was water under the bridge. My concern is that this has happened in the past, and that anyone thinking I took credit for someone else’s development makes me a liar. I also have concerns about this continuing to happen in the future, whether someone confronts me about it or not (the latter being worse). My integrity as an artist is of critical importance to me as I’m sure yours is to you.

    I appreciate it if you would take the time to correct this mistake as I also try to give credit where credit is due. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

    Clayfully Yours,
    Lisa Pavelka

  13. Cindy Lietz, 18 February, 2017

    Hi Lisa,

    I am so sorry that happened. The way stuff flies around these days, it is really hard to know who did what when, what is in the ‘commons’ so to speak and who to credit (or not worry about crediting). The internet has turned into the Wild West!

    I thought I had proper research, on who did it, but of course I can see that the information I found was incorrect. I am sorry for that. I’ll talk with Doug (my husband and video guy) about figuring out the best way to fix this for you. I hope you know that I certainly would have given you credit for the technique, had I known you were the originator. I have a great deal of respect for your contribution to the industry and the ideas you have brought to the table. I understand your frustration about this kind of thing and the way the public sees things. I have also had people take credit for things I have created, and have had people accuse me of taking credit for things that weren’t mine or saying I have done things that I have not. It is bad enough here in North America, then add the entire world to the mix, with different languages and ways of thinking and things get out of control!

    It is a bit unfortunate that it is this interaction that has got us chatting together, but it is nice to connect with you anyways. Like I said, I’ll see what I can do to at least make the waters less muddy for everyone.

    Sincerely,
    ~Cindy

  14. Jocelyn C, 18 February, 2017

    WOW.

    Lisa’s fingers must be crippled by the amount of time she spends “defending her ownership” if she contacts everyone and everywhere I’ve seen this method credited to other peeps over the years.

    PS She did NOT invent/perfect this technique historically. As Skinner did not invent her techniques.

    Despite her protests to the contrary, she’s the supreme egotist.

    As ever Cindy, you remain professional, and very very kind.

    xxxooo

  15. Jocelyn C, 18 February, 2017

    PPSS Googling this issue, no where can I find the Sutton Slice technique copyrighted by Lisa…..

    So what’s all the fuss about? Hubris. JMOO

  16. Chrissie F, 19 February, 2017

    Jocelyn, having met Lisa Pavelka I am constrained to tell you that she is not a “supreme egotist”; quite the reverse in fact. Lisa is every bit as professional and very, very kind as is our dear Cindy.

    Please consider that negative remarks of a personal nature may be hurtful. It’s the old Pollyanna thing really. I’m not picking a fight with you but I cannot and will not let an unkind remark be made when I know it to be inaccurate.

    Cheers,
    Chrissie

  17. Jocelyn C, 19 February, 2017

    Chris I also have had the distinct pleasure of both meeting and speaking with Lisa on the phone, and I concur with you, on both occasions, she was lovely.

    However, what happened above was not so lovely. I am honest.

  18. Elfie Shotts, 19 February, 2017

    GOOGLE Search Results
    FREE Polymer Clay Tutorials : Sutton Slice Technique – Lisa Pavelka
    Aug 18, 2013 – Sutton Slice Technique – Lisa Pavelka … copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.

  19. Jocelyn C, 20 February, 2017

    Elfie, thanks for the correction, however the link brings me to a blank page.

  20. Doug Lietz, 20 February, 2017

    Just fixed the link for you gals. It should work now :-)

  21. Elfie Shotts, 20 February, 2017

    Thanks Doug,
    I have not met any one involved with this, however, I dislike the animosity shown here towards any other artist.
    Elfie

  22. Jocelyn C, 20 February, 2017

    Fine with me, Elfie. Just because you are an “artist” doesn’t mean you cannot pull a boner every now and again…..tons of different ways this could have been handled. Her letter to Cindy was inappropriate, in my opinion. And I’m just one of those gals who “calls it as I see it.”

    Think we all need to adjust our big girl panties, yes?

  23. Elfie Shotts, 20 February, 2017

    I think if Cindy felt this was in any way inappropriate she would have said so. I detest being told that I need to adjust my big girl panties,, what if I am going commando?
    Please do not bother responding. I feel this has already gone further than it should have .

  24. Doug Lietz, 20 February, 2017

    Time to agree to disagree on this one. Thanks for sharing, everyone.

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