Crackled Ink Technique with a Side Dish of Mokume Gane [Spotlight]

Polymer Clay Projects “My daughters loved it – they said it was cool and funky.” ~Cheryl-H

These “Spot” features are for you guys to display your accomplishments and share stories of inspiration. The projects are based on techniques learned from articles here at the blog, as well as from tutorials at the Polymer Clay Video Library. My hope is for these “Show and Tell” features to help everyone get to know each other a bit better, thanks to this wonderfully artistic medium of polymer clay. And… there’s prizes too!

Crackled Gold Leaf and Molume Gane Polymer Clay Projects by Cheryl Hodges

Hi Cindy – I’ve decided to submit a couple of jewelry pieces made with the techniques from your videos. I’d love to receive comments and ideas to improve. The first time I made clay beads before signing up with a membership to your videos, I just took some clay rolled it into beads, baked and buffed them a bit. I had absolutely no idea of the whole process. I made a necklace and it looked alright but when I look at it now compared to the beads I submitted to the recent bead giveaway contest, gosh – what a difference!

The first project photos are of the crackled ink gold leaf technique. The colors turned out really nice, although in the centre of the doughnut, I think the translucent layer did not quite get to the edge. There is a sliver of the base layer without the translucent. I need to buff it up some more too. Is there anything I could do to make that right??

The second set of photos is the mokume gane technique. I used the colors I had and I thought purple and fuchsia go together well and so do purple and orange.  I added silver leaf and black and some translucent to fill up the holes and it turned out completely different. My daughters loved it – they said it was cool and funky. I added the alexandrite crystals (I might change up those crystals though as they mostly look violet but sometimes look more blue), to the necklace along with a silver bead which had a texture similar to the flecks of silverleaf in the heart.

This week I hope to do some faux bone as I have a necklace in mind – I’m going to mix it up with some glass beads.

Thanks once again for the amazing tutorials.  I just soak in all the teaching and ideas.


If you are interested in sharing pictures of your polymer clay projects with the community, please follow these 2 simple steps:

1) Email several of your photos to me as attachments. My email address is shown in the “From” line of the weekly Polymer Clay Newsletter that gets sent out each and every Friday morning.

2) Include a description and/or story about your pieces, being sure to reference the tutorial(s) or blog article(s) that provided at least some level of inspiration for your work.

Don’t be shy. Everyone is VERY friendly here.

In the comment section below, please do compliment each other; Offer encouragement; Ask questions about the techniques used; And in general… be social. This is your community! It’s up to you to make it a fun and supportive place to hang out. All of you are amazing and it’s wonderful to have everyone here!

I hope working with clay is like riding a bike because I think it has been over a month now since I have been able to work on my clay. I’m going through some serious clay withdrawal. Uuuuuuuugggggggggggs! ~Peggy-B

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

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  1. Jill, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl H., these beads are beautiful! The colors are perfect. I would buy these if I came across them at a store.

  2. Cara, 31 March, 2010

    I love those crackled Ink pieces. I agree with your daughters!

  3. Ritzs, 31 March, 2010

    gorgeous work well done Cheryl

  4. Elizabeth S., 31 March, 2010

    Beautiful! As always, whether the pieces shown are from Cindy or one of my “classmates”, visiting this site inspires me to try to go higher and work harder in mastering this polymer clay art form. All the pieces shown at this blog are gorgeous, but the mokume gane ones are sending me back to try the technique again, one I sort of put aside because I have never really liked my outcomes.

  5. Linda K., 31 March, 2010

    @Cheryl: WOW! These beads are beautiful and your Mokume Gane is spectacular. It is Mokume Gane that seduced me into working with polymer clay in the first place, although my MG results have not thrilled me. Looking at your photos has me itching to try again.

  6. Maria, 31 March, 2010

    Beautiful job Cheryl!
    I have written about this before and I still can’t get it right. When I do this technique, the colors are dazzling and bright for a few minutes. Then they dry up and there is practically no color left! What am I doing wrong?

  7. Cindy Lietz, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl I agree with everyone’s comments, your work is really lovely! In regards to fixing the lack of translucent around the hole, you could use a small amount of Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS) or Bake and Bond to fill the space. Then sand and buff to make it the same level and shine.

    @Maria: About your color issues with the crackled leaf technique… are you using the same type of metal leaf and alcohol ink that I did in the tutorial? Maybe it is a chemical reaction or something. Would have to see a photo to really be sure. Email one to me and I’ll see if we can do a post about it.

  8. Lupe Meter, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl, awesome crackled ink pieces…now I have to try doing some!

  9. Cheryl, 31 March, 2010

    Thanks Cindy and all you guys – you made my day!!! I’m just downloading my photos of the faux bone to send on to Cindy.

  10. Silverleaf, 31 March, 2010

    Two of my favourite techniques! Great job there Cheryl :)

    I love your colour choices too.

  11. Lisa Whitham, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl – Stunning! I love them all..! I have to agree with your daughters too…both cool and funky…! I’ve yet to learn these techniques. Soon… :)

    Clay On,
    ~Lisa :)

  12. carolyn, 31 March, 2010

    Oh, my gosh! These are gorgeous! I especially like the set with the silver in the mokume gane. Did you just crumble silver leaf into the holes? It has the look of tiny beads.

  13. Cheryl, 31 March, 2010

    Hi Carolyn

    Thanks for the compliment. No I did not crumble the leaf. I just put the sheet in between but when i passed it through the clay machine it kind of crackled into bead like pieces that is why i took a silver bead I happened to have that looked very much like the beady crackled part of the clay. The holes I filled up with translucent clay.

  14. Peggy Barnes, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl, Such imagination to create these beautiful art pieces. Love the colors. A true inspiration to all of us. Thank you for sharing. Cindy has how do you say it got your motor running. The sun is shining in Iowa today with temps in the 70’s That is an inspiration for me to take a walk.
    Uuuuuggggggs everyone.

  15. Joyce M, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl H., I agree with all the lovely things said about your work here.
    What a success you are as well as an inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing, looking forward to seeing the faux bone.

  16. Helen Sperring (honeyclay), 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl H., Really beautiful work!!!!! I seem to have lost all my inspiration for making anything. My grandkids came to visit ages 7, 5, and 2 years old and I put so many things away. Mostly all the sharp tools. They have their clay and tools here to play with and they have a ball, especially with the pasta machines. The day goes so fast and I never get to bake with them. Well anyway, I’m having problems finding everything I put away. Seeing your beautiful work inspired me. Thanks for sharing!!!! Honey

  17. Phaedrakat, 31 March, 2010

    @Helen Sperring (honeyclay): Find that stuff, lady — it’s time to bake! Just kidding. I just hope you aren’t letting the kids have all the fun! You are talented, and you need to get back to having fun with your clay…

  18. Phaedrakat, 31 March, 2010

    Cheryl, I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. But I can certainly agree with it! All of this jewelry is gorgeous. Your work is so beautiful, in fact I would proudly wear any piece of it. (I’ll even demonstrate, just send it to…LOL) I look forward to seeing your faux bone, as well. I’m sure it’s going to be awesome, too! Thanks for sharing your fun & funky pieces!

  19. DJ, 01 April, 2010

    WOW! These are all gorgeous, thanks so much for the inspiration Cheryl. Absolutely love the colors you’ve used for the round pendant and earring set.

  20. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    Wait a minute! What does it mean in the article where it says, “…AND there’s PRIZES!” Does that mean we’re going to have another contest, Cindy? Is it going to be like last time? Or can we send any kind of project? What is going on in that creative mastermind of yours, Cindy???

    ADDED NOTE: Here’s a bit more info about my PRIZES reference from the other day :-) ~Cindy

  21. Cheryl, 01 April, 2010

    @ Cindy – Thanks for the tip. Will do it .
    To everyone – Thank you guys for all the wonderful things you said about my work. I’m on top of the world today even though I’m sore down my back and right side from the test yesterday morning! I’m going to be using the faux bone for a jungle themed competition.

  22. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    @Cheryl: What test do you mean, Cheryl? Do you know something about the prizes Cindy mentions in the article above? It sounds like it has something to do with the spotlight artists…

  23. Joyce M, 01 April, 2010

    @Cheryl: Good luck in the competition, Cheryl. The topic sounds very interesting, faux bone in the jungle….

  24. Cheryl, 01 April, 2010

    @ phaedrakat – I have absolutely no idea about the prizes but that’s good cos it can be a surprise for everyone.
    The test was an EMG test ; they put these patches down one side of my body and they run an electric current. They move the spots. It feels weird and uncomfortable because the muscles goe into spasm and keep twitching and some of it hurt. It’s to test the nerves as the nerves control the muscles. They read it on a screen like a cardiogram. They also did a check with a kind of hammer on the bones and another instrument which sent pulses into my fingers and then made me do all kinds of movements with hands, finger s and legs so my back is aching.
    @joyce- this is a competition by the canadian beading magazine. I placed third last year. I entered the very first necklace I ever made- the theme was ‘on the beach’. this theme is ‘Jungle fever’ so I’m using the faux bone drum beads; it also has to have a sewn item and green so I’m doing a beaded pendant with a faux bone bead in the centreand some green beads and leaf beads. The competitions have one specific thing you have to include in your design

  25. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    @Cheryl: Oooh, no wonder you’re sore! I hope the test helps you to feel better/get better soon! Good luck in the jungle themed competition — that sounds like fun!

    Hmmm, so does anyone know what Cindy meant by talking about the PRIZES? Is there going to be another contest here at the blog?

    ADDED NOTE: Here’s a bit more info about my PRIZES reference from the other day :-) ~Cindy

  26. JoyceM, 01 April, 2010

    @Cheryl: Your necklace sounds lovely, will you show us after the contest is over? Congratulations on last year’s third place, hope you make it to 1st this year. The best…

  27. Cheryl Hodges, 02 April, 2010

    Will definitely put the photos up once the contest is done. They take forever to get back to us. I hope i do better this time.

  28. aims, 03 April, 2010

    Wow! Those are all beautiful!

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