Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Canes for Pendant and Bead Jewelry Making

Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Jewelry Making Project

Free Polymer Clay Tutorial For Beads And Beading Guest List Subscribers:

Each week I send out free how-to video tutorials on a wide variety of bead and jewelry making topics. In a few days I’ll be sending out video instructions for a slab cane project based on an ancient Japanese design technique called Mokume Gane.

The mokume gane polymer clay technique is perfect for making bracelets, pendants, necklaces and many other styles of beaded jewellery projects. By the way, you pronounce it "Mo-coo-may-Gah-nay."

If you would like to learn how to combine a few shades of polymer clay; some translucent Fimo; and cool metal leaf products to make a unique slab cane… then you’ll want to be sure to get on my Guest List to receive the video. It is free, but you need to sign up here: Polymer Clay Tutorials

The technique I will show you in this week’s video is just one of the many ways you can make mokume gane canes. This one is done with Cadmium Red, Mandarin Orange, Red Pearl, White, and Translucent Premo and Fimo clay. But any color combination you choose can be used.

Variegated Red Gold Leaf (Mona Lisa brand), the very same metal leaf I used in some previous tutorials (see Gold Leaf Polymer Clay vs Gold Foil), was layered between those colors for an interesting effect. Jones Tones Foils could be used instead for a different look.

As far as tools used in this project, they are mostly the typical polymer clay tools like the pasta machine, a tissue blade and an acrylic roller. To impress the clay layers I used the lid of a spray bottle and a plastic pen lid from the junk drawer. But anything with a texture will do. Don’t worry everything will be demonstrated in the video tutorial.

Mokume gane canes can also me pressed or "impressioned" with deeply etched rubber stamps, ripple blades, combs and texture plates.

So if you are interested in learning how to apply mokume gane polymer clay cane techniques to your bead jewelry making projects, get on my Guest List today. You can watch a preview clip of the upcoming video here: Mokume Gane Polymer Clay Jewelery

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor



  1. Cindy Lietz, 24 July, 2008

    Did you know that Mokume Gane is an ancient Japanese metalwork technique used in the making of Samari Swords? The name loosly translates into "wood grain metal" after the ring shapes that are formed on the surface of the metal.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Making Beads with a Mod Polymer Clay Cane

  2. Charlene (“Cat”) Therien, 25 July, 2008

    It’s funny – once I’d visited a blog by a jeweler. He was talking about polymer clay artists who mimic his work in doing mokume gane. He thought the work was inferior. Which intrigued me. Okay, so I went to look at his gallery. You know what? I think our mokume gane, with it’s rich variety of color, was nicer than his work. He did a fine job, don’t get me wrong. But I think polymer clay mokume gane offers a wider variety of opportunity and in my opinion, not nearly close to inferior.


  3. Cindy Lietz, 25 July, 2008

    Yeah I bet a traditional metalsmith would ‘turn up their nose’ to their fancy technique done in polymer clay! But you’re right Cat, there are just so many gorgeous variations to our version that it is ‘un-artist like’ to call it inferior! Different maybe, easier probably, inferior definitely not!

    Cindy’s last post..Jewellery Making Beads Using Blue Gingham Polymer Clay Cane Designs

  4. Bette Lorman, 18 January, 2009

    I have been looking for directions on making a particular bead. If you go to Kerstin Ruprecht’s website, the bead is under pendants and is labeled Anhanger04. I have seen this bead at bead shows. I have tried several times and used the Damascus ladder, Feather cane, and layering colors and impressing with a card to make wavy swirls. I always seem to come out with a wide band from the edge color in a bead when I roll it. I have also tried slicing thin slices from the cane and putting them on an already formed bead, both baked and unbaked. I am using translucent mixed with 3 or 4 colors stacked in 4-6 layers. I tried twisting, scrunching in an “s” type curve etc. Help, I would love to make this bead but I need a little help. Thanks, Bette.

    P.S. I love your site and have learned many thing from it.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 19 January, 2009


    Thanks for your question. I’m glad you are enjoying and learning lots from the site.

    It looks to me the bead you are trying to make is a cross between mokume gane and mica shift techniques. It looks like the artist either did a Skinner Blend of gold and copper or stacked layers of gold, pearl and copper clay. Then it looks like she either rolled it up or pressed circular items into the stack and then took slices of that. Very pretty bead indeed! You’ll have to experiment with some of the metallic clays and see if you can get some similar results.

  6. Bette Lorman, 20 January, 2009

    The artists name of the bead I was researching is misspelled. Her name is Kerstin Rupprecht. You can find her with a Google search using her name. The picture of the bead is under Pendants and is in the 3rd row, 4th picture. A gold layered bead.
    She also has another great bead on her site using an Ikat cane to make an iris (eye) bead. There is a tutorial on making this cane.
    Cindy, thanks for the information. I am going to try this bead using mokume gane and a credit card or something to make hills and valleys, then make it into a square log, then slice and place on a bead base. Let’s hope it works and looks similar to the intended bead. Thanks again, B.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 22 January, 2009

    That’s great Bette! Let me know how it goes for you.

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