Polymer Clay Tutorial | Getting Creative with Mokume Gane Techniques

Polymer Clay Mokume Gane Pendant

Mokume-Gane Pattern and Texture Variations Are As Vast As Your Imagination Will Allow:

Member’s of the Polymer Clay Tutor Video Library who have purchased the Volume-002 back issue package, will have already seen my instructional video on how to do Mokume Gane with polymer clay. For today’s post I will discuss some variations on the technique.

In the Volume-002 video, I created a mokume gane cane using layers of Cadmium Red (Premo), Tangerine (Fimo), Red Pearl (Premo), Translucent (Premo) and White (Premo) polymer clay. Sandwiched in the layers was some variegated metal leaf from the Mona Lisa product brand.

One of the fantastic things about the mokume gane technique is all the variations and different looks you can get by altering the colors and materials used.

Here are some additional ideas for changing the look of your mokume gane cane:

  • Vary the colors and the thickness’ of the clay.
  • Use sheets of Skinner Blends instead of solid colors.
  • Try different imitation metal leafs and foils. Try combining more than one.
  • Use metallic acrylic paint in between the layers. Let paint dry before stacking.
  • Use different tools to texture the clay. Deep rubber stamps, combs, pen lids, bent wire, etc, can create all kinds of different effects.
  • Tint translucent clay with alcohol ink and layer that for a very pretty look.
  • Use layers of pearl or metallic clays instead of the gold leaf.

If you are interested in purchasing a tutorial video that will show you how to get started with the Polymer Clay Mokume Gane technique, then check out Volume-002 at the Polymer Clay Tutor Members Library. The specific title in the Volume-002 order form is referenced as:

Included with this Mokume Gane Tutorial are 4 other related videos… plus 5 custom color recipe cards:

  • Vid-002-1 Making Skinner Blend Color Gradations
  • Vid-002-2 Instructions For Making Skinner Blend Canes
  • Vid-002-3 Make Accordion Folded Skinner Blend Plugs
  • Vid-002-4 Cool Your Canes For Easier Slicing
  • Vid-002-5 Step By Step Mokume Gane Instructions
  • Recipe-002-1A Sunflower Petal (dark)
  • Recipe-002-2A Sunflower Petal (bright)
  • Recipe-002-3A Sky Blue
  • Recipe-002-4A Sunflower Leaf (bright)
  • Recipe-002-5A Sunflower Leaf (dark)

If you would like to first see a preview clip of the Vid-002-5 polymer clay tutorial video, you can do that here:

Wow! That’s the first time I’ve seen the mokume gani technique demonstrated. Makes a difference. Still have five hours to quitting time then I can go home and play with clay! Thanks for taking the time to make these videos. ~Cariad

Hi Cindy, I just watched this video again. It has been a while since the first time I watched it. Now that I am a member, I am able to watch your videos any time I want, and I am really happy for that! Again, I got a LOT from watching this video. I want you to know that I LOVE THE LENGTH OF THIS VIDEO!!! I just found myself absorbed and so interested in your wonderful video class!!! Thanks for the first time I saw it, and thanks the second time around! ~CindyE

Wow!!! I have a book that shows this technique, but I didn’t understand it until I saw this video. Thanks so much for showing us how this is done. I mind races with so many ideas after watching your videos. ~Lani

Well, now you’ve done it! I just went through my junk drawer, raided my childs toy box and even went through my DH’s tool box those big chunky screws make neat impressions and I’m sure he won’t miss one or two of them!! Thank you for another GREAT video!! ~Pepper

Hi, thought the mokume gane video was really helpful. I’m new to polymer clay and I’ve wanted to have a go but found the picture instructions quite hard to get a grasp of,but actually seeing someone do has made a big difference and I’m going to have a go. Thanks very much ~Debbie

I have tried this once but you cleared up so many things for me. I didn’t know about using different thicknesses or the gold leaf or using the pen caps. I do like using a wavy blade to cut my strips out. Thanks for clearing up so many questions as always!!! ~Kim

Thanks so much for demonstrating Mokume Gane. I’d tried it before, using directions from a book, but got it woefully wrong. I appreciate your helping others by making your videos. ~Bev

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 29 November, 2008

    I recently covered a round clear Christmas ornament in Mokume Gane, ended up really pretty. One word of caution.. The first one I tried to cover all of a sudden crushed before I was done. With the second one, I made the glass ball stronger by cover it with very thin translucent fIrst( you could use scrap clay). I then made a sheet out of the Mokume Game by running it through the pasta machine, next to thinest setting before putting in on the ball. After baking I sanded the ornament with 200, 400, 800 and 1000 grit wet dry sand paper. Then dipped it into a bowl of Future and hung it to dry. Will send a picture if i can figure out how.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 29 November, 2008

    I would love to see your ornament Anna! You can send the picture to cindylietz(at)beadsandbeading(dot)com. (I had to write my email out funny so the spambots wouldn’t pick it up. I hope you get what I mean.) If you do figure out how to send it to me I’ll add it to your comment here so others can see your work too!

    Great tip on making the ornament stronger by baking on a layer of translucent, before working on it! Sounds like it would work!

  3. Cindy Lietz, 30 November, 2008

    Anna Sabina Mokume Gane Christmas Ornament

    Anna forwarded a photo of her Christmas ornament which I’ve posted here for everyone to see and admire. It’s very pretty Anna. Thanks for sharing.

    In her email Anna said…

    “It was hard to get the ball to stop spinning for the picture. The ball is 3 inches in diameter, colors are violet, dark blue, gold and white.”

  4. Silverleaf, 30 November, 2008

    I love mokume gane, it’s such a cool technique!

    I’ve been known to make my own texture sheets from scrap clay for moku.

    Once it’s baked I just use it like a rubber stamp (much cheaper than a stamp, and I can get the exact design I want).

    Haven’t tried metal leaf yet but I really like that look.

  5. Cindy Lietz, 01 December, 2008

    You make your own rubber stamps with polymer clay Silverleaf? That is cool! I haven’t done that yet… will have to try it!

  6. Cindy Erickson, 01 December, 2008


    Your Christmas ornament is so pretty!!! Wow!!! What a great idea! I would have been afraid that the bulb would have shattered in the oven since the glass on those bulbs is usually so thin. I’m glad you were a brave enough soul and tried it first so that now we all know that it can be done!!! Sorry to hear that the bulb broke your first time around while you were covering it. Your idea of covering it with translucent clay before adding the design the second time around was very clever.

    Anna, thanks so much for sharing this idea with us, and for sending the picture to Cindy.


    :) Cindy E.

  7. Anna Sabina, 02 December, 2008

    To bake the ball I put a votive candle holder on a cookie sheet and then rested the ball on the votive holder. I didn’t want a flat side from a cookie sheet. You could also bake it in a bed of corn starch. Glad you liked it.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 03 December, 2008

    Thanks for the tips on baking glass ornaments Anna!!

    Another cool idea to add is to bake them in your kitchen oven hanging from hooks under the top shelf. That way nothing touches them at all. You can also put an empty cookie sheet on that top shelf to deflect the heat from hitting the ornament directly and possibly scorching!

  9. Vanessa, 04 December, 2008

    I covered a few round Christmas balls as well this fall. I cured them in a bed of batting (like you would use in a quilt or pillw) a little of the batting sticks to the clay but it’s easy to pull off or sand off. This prevents them from rolling around as well.

  10. Cindy Lietz, 05 December, 2008

    That is a great way of doing it too Vanessa! Thanks for the tip!

  11. Beverly Bullard, 14 August, 2009

    Hi, I am fairly new to polymer clay and have really enjoyed your site. I have started making Christmas Ornaments and it had been a difficult road, but am getting better.

    Do you know where I can find a guild near Nashville TN. I would love to take classes and meet with other friends who love clay like I do.

    Also, I have been trying to find someone who wholesales Sculpey and FIMO without any luck do you know of anyone? Michael’s has overprices what I can afford. I even tried to find someone overseas. Thank you for all the great ideas. Have a blessed week.

    At his feet Beverly Bullard

  12. Cindy Lietz, 14 August, 2009

    Hi Beverly,

    Glad you are enjoying the site. I don’t know of any guilds in Nashville to recommend, but I know there are definitely readers here from TN. The best way to connect with them is to become active in the comments sections following the daily articles I publish.

    By participating in the conversations and then signing your posts with something like… “Beverly from Nashville – Looking to meet up with other local clayers in my area”… you will eventually find some friends. This is what has worked for several others.

    You can click on the “Bead Making Projects” link by my name above to read one story about how Anna Sabina found a local friend In Iowa.

    In regards to finding good prices on clay, again be sure to remain active here at the blog. Whenever there is a sale somewhere, someone almost always posts the information for everyone’s benefit.

  13. Anna Sabina, 14 August, 2009

    I found this information on the International Polymer Clay Guild Site. Not if it is outdated but I encourage you to call numbers listed, there may be a group closer to Nashville. If all else fails Google Nashville Tennessee Polymer Clay, never know what show up. I found Chris who lives about 20 miles from me on Cindy’s Site.

    Clarksville Polymer Clay Guild c/o Hilda Walker Tel: 931-249-4654
    3411 Durrett Drive Clarksville F ing

    Kentucky Tennessee Polymer Clay Guild
    Tel: 270/524-5560

    Smoky Mountain Polymer Clay Guild
    c/o Marilyn Davenport Tel: 865-453-4081
    Seymour Fax:

  14. Rosita Cortés, 22 July, 2010

    Hi Cindy:

    Since I just bought the vol that have mokume gane, there I saw, how you put over the clay, the metal leaf. I’ve worked painting saints with real gold leaf, between the painting. That leaf is really expensive, so you can’t waste, not even small peaces. The way I put the gold leaf is. I leave the leaf with both paper up and down. Then I put the edge of the gold leaf, just over the edge or the place I´m going to put it. Then slowly live the gold leaf slide between the papers In this way I don´t loose leaf.

    Rosita from Chile

  15. Cindy Lietz, 22 July, 2010

    Thank you Rosita for sharing your tip on how to be be careful about not loosing any of your valuable gold leaf. Great advice!

  16. Marlene M, 12 May, 2013

    I love watching all polymer clay videos on you tube but haven’t tried it myself – yet! But will do soon. I especially love Cindy Lietz creations – they look so professional. My question is – by way of re-cycling could one use old light bulbs to cover with polymer for Christmas ornaments, including covering the metal end, or would there be a problem with that? It would save buying glass baubles.

  17. Cindy Lietz, 13 May, 2013

    Sure Marlene, you can bake polymer clay on a light bulb quite successfully. They are designed to handle becoming quite hot when they are lit, so they do just fine in the oven. You could make some cute shaped ornaments with light bulbs.

    When you are ready to work with polymer clay, do make sure to come back here. We have tons of helpful tutorials and a comprehensive course that is perfect for giving you an excellent foundation for working with polymer clay. Hope to see you around the PcT Community!

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