An Easier Way To Do Polymer Clay Mica Shifts

Mica Shift Tutorial - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #642: Most everyone says to bend the blade while shaving your shifts… not me! Instead… try bending the clay!

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • A little while ago, I did a video on How Mica Shifts Work With Metallic Pearlescent Polymer Clay. The link to that video is posted just below the video in today’s post.
  • What we talked about in that video was how the little shiny particles in the metallic clays and the pearl clays, will have a certain behavior according to how they are aligned.
  • If you haven’t seen that video, be sure to go check it out because it is really helpful to understand how the this whole mica shift process actually works.
  • One of the really cool things you can do with metallic clays is manipulate those mica particles so that they look dimensional, even if the surface of your clay is glassy smooth.
  • I show some examples of mica shift jewelry I have made in the past.
  • In order to do this technique, you will need to use a metallic or pearl clay.
  • I use Premo Accents metallics and pearl clays because of their high mica content.
  • I demo how to align the particles in the clay and get it ready for texturing.
  • The demo continues using a Sculpey Texture Sheet for adding the pattern into the clay.
  • The raised areas of the textured sheet are then sliced off very thinly.
  • One trick for easily shaving off the top layer of clay off is to stick your sheet to a rounded surface such as a bottle or jar.
  • So instead of bending your blade to shave your mica shift sheets… you bend your clay.
  • Make sure not to cut deeper than the deepest area of the stamp.
  • Once all the top layer has been removed, you can smooth the sheet out by running it through your pasta machine, starting at the setting you rolled the original sheet with… and then dialing down one setting at a time until the surface is smooth.
  • This mica shift sheet can then be layered onto other clay or projects to make pendants, beads, decor items, or whatever you want.
  • This technique benefits greatly by a good sanding and buffing after baking to bring out the rich sparkle, depth and shine.

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… Free Polymer Clay Mica Shift Mini-Tutorial (With A Twist) … the Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Dixie Ann, 19 March, 2015

    Cindy that was such a cool way to create a Mica shift sheet. I am so glad you made a video of how to slice off the top clay. I made a bead similar to your oval purple one a long time ago but had forgotten about wrapping the clay around a bottle. That in itself is so worth watching the video. You are such a Gem. Happiest of Easter to you and the family. The Lord has certainly blessed you all with such talent.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 19 March, 2015

    Thank you Dixie Ann! Happy Easter to you too!

  3. Dawn B, 19 March, 2015

    I agree with Dixie Ann; it’s a great tip. I love the mica shift technique and have been using your bottle technique since I watched your first demonstration. It makes it so much easier to avoid those gouges. Thanks!

  4. Erica M, 19 March, 2015

    I have tried doing mica shift for years and always failed when shaving it. The bottle tip is amazing!!! Thank you.

  5. Rhonda M, 19 March, 2015

    Great tutorial Cindy! I never thought of using a round item to help with the shift. Thank you for the idea :)

  6. Natalie Herbin, 20 March, 2015

    thanks for that great and easy way to do the mica shift. I love working with the pearlized clsy.. It gives a greater dimension to my work. Thanks again to you and Doug for expanding our horizon in the use of PC

  7. Lena S, 20 March, 2015

    Well, damn. That’s super smart! Flexing the blade always makes me a little nervous anyway. SMART! Thanks!

  8. Dulany L, 20 March, 2015

    To be able to teach this old dog a new trick is wondrous, and this trick one of your best. Keep on teaching so I can keep on learning. THANKS!

  9. Susan Leach, 20 March, 2015

    Love this!!! As I watched Cindy wrap that sheet of clay around the bottle, I just went wow, why didn’t I think of that.

  10. Bev M, 22 March, 2015

    Using the alcohol bottle was a great tip ! It really makes it so much easier to slice just the top, thanks :-)

  11. Peggy B, 22 March, 2015

    I’ve been doing it this way for a long time and I am 99.9% sure you shared this with us a long time ago either in a tutorial or here on the blog. Tried to locate it with the search but no luck. Much easier to shave off layers when you lay you clay on a round jar. I have a big ol pickle jar I got from a friend. Love and use it when I am working with this technique. Thanks for sharing it with us again Cindy.

  12. Doug Lietz, 23 March, 2015

    Hi Peggy… here is the link to the original Mica Shift Tutorial where Cindy demonstrated that rounded surface mica shaving technique.

    Mica Shift Video (Nov 16, 2009)

  13. elaine faulks, 27 March, 2015

    Hi Doug, thanks for your help and support. I dedicate my mermaid poem to you. You photo inspired me….cheers..xx

  14. Doug Lietz, 27 March, 2015

    Glad to hear that the issue you were having with accessing the site has been resolved. Thanks for the “dedication” … your poems add so much value to the community here.

    By the way… I think I saw that mermaid way off in the distance, perched on a rock sticking up above the high water line. Hopefully she didn’t take me for some slimy gent so intent on photographing the ladies discarded items of clothing. My intentions were entirely honorable.

  15. Jocelyn C, 23 March, 2015

    Another great tute, Cindy!!!

    Me too, Peggy. It is so much easier. I’ve also found I can pop the bottle/clay into a plastic bag and store it for long periods of time. Which sure helps because when I do mica shift, I DO mica shift, lol.

  16. Bee Iyata, 29 August, 2021

    I wondered if I could use micas made for soap making on polymer clay. I have begun using them, as I have an abundance of soap micas and what I had to hand. I have not seen any adverse effects on the clay, however, I wondered if someone else asked this question, had results (positive/negative) or you had experience with this process.

    Thank you for all your work, Bee

  17. Cindy Lietz, 30 August, 2021

    Hi Bee, yes, definitely go ahead and use that “soap” mica powder… I think it is all pretty much the same thing anyway. You shouldn’t find any adverse affects. Have fun!

  18. Bee Iyata, 31 August, 2021

    Outstanding! Thank you for replying. :D

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