How the Polymer Clay Skinner Blend Technique Got Its Name

Polymer Clay Skinner Blend Technique

Vid #52: One of the Most Versatile Polymer Clay Techniques You’ll Ever Learn:

As a beginner, you should learn how to make skinner blends as soon as possible. These unique color gradations of clay are used in a wide variety of bead and cane projects.

Although the technique is easy to learn, it’s also kind of difficult to explain with just words, especially in the small amount of space on this page. That’s why I love web video so much… because I’m able to walk you through the whole process from start to finish, as if you were right beside me.

So why is it called the Skinner Blend anyway? Well the technique was invented by a mathematician / artist by the name of Judith Skinner. She first introduced it in 1996 to the polymer clay community. But well before that, she was coming up with all kinds of mathematically creative inventions, including some kind of computer based television weather tracking system… circa 1962. She was 19 years old then. Talk about a pioneer!

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The full version of the Skinner Blend preview video shown above, is available for purchase at my Polymer Clay Bead Making Videos Library in the Volume-002 Back Issue Package.

In the Skinner Blend Techniquevideo, I demonstrate exactly how to master this important technique. It is a skill you will use frequently for as long as you continue to play with polymer clay.

  1. Cindy Lietz, 12 May, 2008

    One of the essential tools you’ll need for making skinner blends is the trusty polymer clay pasta machine.

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..A Basic Skinner Blend Polymer Clay Cane Project

  2. Pat Olive, 08 June, 2008

    Hi Cindy,
    Thank you for the tips on the Skinner Blend. It was really helpful. I had seen it done once before but it helps to see it more than once and of course put it into practice.
    Thanks Again,
    Pat Olive

  3. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2008

    You’re welcome Pat! The Skinner Blend has so many uses that it is important to know how to do it well!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Color Mixing Polymer Clay – Leaf Green Recipe Ideas

  4. Nora White, 09 June, 2008

    Video was very well done. I decided to watch it even though a skinner blend is something I think I do fairly well. The water tip was good, sometimes my work area is warm and the clay is sticky. Also the butting it against the side of the pasta machine.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 09 June, 2008

    Thank you very much Nora for your kind words! I’m glad you learned a few new tricks from the video!

    Cindy Lietz’s last blog post..Memorial Jewelry from Polymer Clay Flower Petal Beads

  6. Pat, 09 June, 2008


    Found you while surfing a few days ago. The video you sent me on the Skinner Blend was probably the best I have seen. What I will be interested in when you get them done is making canes, the more advanced ones.

    I also wanted to thank you on the info on storing clay. I just stuck them in baggie not knowing there would be problems. I have had a few left when I put the clay up for a while to take care of more pressing matters and boy was it hard to soften up again.

    I should have no upcoming problems and should be able to work on the clay one night a week. Ones night goes to painting or drawing, one night go to counted cross stitch, one night go to jewelry making and one night is Bible Study.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 10 June, 2008

    Thank you so much Pat for your comments! One of the reasons I made these videos is because of the problems I ran into making polymer clay beads. If I was having these problems, then others probably were too.

    By helping you and others learn from the mistakes I made, hopefully you won’t have to make as many mistakes yourself!

    Cindys last blog post..Fimo Nail Art – Polymer Clay Canes for Fingernail Art Designs

  8. Joe Ann, 16 April, 2009

    Which back issue is the skinner blend tear drop tutorial in. Thanks, will purchase as soon as I hear back from you, just got confused on your site :). I just want to make a 2 color skinner blend and was thinking that your teardrop tutorial may work for that. Thanks, Joeanns.

  9. Cindy Lietz, 16 April, 2009

    Hi Joe Ann – Thanks for your interest. The Teardrop Tutorial is included in Volume-009. The link up by my name will take you direct tot he order page.

    Talk Soon, Cindy

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