Polymer Clay Tutorial | The Skinner Blend Color Gradient Technique

Polymer Clay Skinner Blend Technique

A Color Blending Method That Is Fundamental To So Many Bead And Cane Making Projects:

Used more than any other polymer clay technique I can think of, the Skinner Blend is a method of making gradient sheets of color that transition smoothly from dark to light or vice versa.

The Skinner blend was created by Judith Skinner in 1996 as an easier method of blending colors than the ‘stepped’ color method that was commonly used at the time.

The ‘stepped’ method is where you stack layers of increasingly lighter shades of clay until it appears to have gone from one color to the other. This old method is time consuming and the gradient of colors is not smooth… hence the name stepped. The Skinner blend was a great solution for getting the perfect blend.

Although Judith’s way of making the blend is simple, it must be done correctly or it won’t work. And as usual, seeing it done in video makes all the difference in the world!

If you are interested in purchasing a tutorial video that will show you how to master the Skinner Blend 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 Skinner Blend 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-002-1 polymer clay tutorial video, you can do that here:

Found you while surfing a few days ago. The video you sent me on the Skinner Blend was probably the best I have seen. ~Pat

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. ~Nora

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

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Tabby, 25 November, 2008

    Thanks for posting on my blog – so I can follow you back and see all these fantastic tutorials! Great site!

  2. Cindy Lietz, 26 November, 2008

    My pleasure! Thank you for your comment as well!

  3. Celeste D, 15 February, 2017

    Hello love the videos. I am wondering why it is suggested that we start canes with a skinner blend (Lietz teardrop)

  4. Cindy Lietz, 20 February, 2017

    Hi Celeste, you don’t have to use Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends to make canes… they just look lovely if you do. :)

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