Rolled Mokume Gane Cane | Polymer Clay Tutorial

Rolled Mokume Gane TechniqueVid #203: “You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.” ~Marvin Minsky

Last week I showed how to do Faux Metal Mokume Gane in the Volume 036-1 video tutorial. We used a bunch of the gorgeous new metallic colors from the Premo Accents line.

And before that, way way back in Volume 002-4, I demonstrated the more traditional, Stacked Mokume Gane Technique. It was so long ago that I even misspelled Gane as Gani in the video title bar. Oops!

This week we’ll focus on Rolled Translucent Mokume Gane Canes. So as you can see, “…there’s more than one way to skin a cat.” (ewww…)

Now since I strongly oppose the notion of harming cats for the sake of education (actually for ANY reason), I decided to Google some friendlier sayings to help make my point. Here’s what I found…

You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way. ~Marvin Minsky

Each day learn something new, and just as important, relearn something old. ~Robert Brault

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford

It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. ~Harry Truman

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. ~Chinese Proverb

And my personal favorite… partly because of the fellow’s first name, LOL… and a lot because it really does a nice job of summing up my teaching style…

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him (her) to learn by creating curiosity, he (she) will continue the learning process as long as he (she) lives. ~Clay Bedford

So… tomorrow (Friday May 13th, 2011) in the Vol-036-2 video at the Polymer Clay Library, I’ll be demonstrating how to make an easy, fun and great looking Rolled Translucent Mokume Gane Cane. You will be able to use it in an unlimited number of ways for your polymer clay bead and pendant making projects.

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Please Note: A general prerequisite for all of my weekly tutorials is that you have a good understanding of the polymer clay basics, including: conditioning clay, using a pasta machine, clay blade and other simple tools, making Skinner Blends or Teardrop Blends, baking clay, as well as sanding and finishing. If you need help in these areas, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will get you up to speed quickly. There is also plenty of free information on this blog. Use the search box at the top of the page to find articles on specific topics.

Supplies & Tools: Video-036-2 Rolled Mokume Gane:

  • 2 colors of translucent polymer clay. In the demo I used 1/2 sections of both the new Red Translucent Premo and the Blue Translucent. Plus I show jewelry and beads made with a Blue and Green Translucent combo, and a Red and Yellow Translucent combo. As an alternative to using the premixed translucent colors, you could tint your own translucent clays with either tiny pieces of solid colored clays, or alcohol inks.
  • Knowledge of making a Teardrop Blend.
  • Silver Leaf or another Metal Leaf of your choice (optional but desirable).
  • White Frost Glitter Premo Clay (optional but desirable). As an alternative you could mix some of your own glitter clay using 1 part White Premo, 1 part White Translucent Premo and some oven safe glitter. If you wanted, you could use a different colored glitter clay for a totally different look.
  • Pasta Machine and/or acrylic roller.
  • Clay Blade.
  • Scissors (optional but handy).

The full version of the Vid-036-2 Rolled Mokume Gane video, will be posted in the Polymer Clay Members Library on Friday May 13, 2011. But if you would like to see a sneak peek intro clip right now, scroll down the page a bit to the video player below.

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Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

Click Video Play Button


The full version of the “Rolled Mokume Gane” preview video shown above, is now avail for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-036 Back Issue Pckg.

Customer Feedback About Membership Value:

You won’t find better – or less expensive – videos any where. Cindy’s videos are Class AAA. Her husband, Doug, does the filming. They make a great team and have a way of making it seem as if I were right in the room looking over Cindy’s shoulder. ~Carolyn-F

Cindy, your videos are well worth the money even though I am not one to make beads. The information is good for all aspects of working with polymer clay. I have bought quite a few of your videos and subscribe to the weekly videos which I look forward to. I have read polymer clay info but seeing you do it makes all the difference to me. Thanks. ~Jean-B

Cindy, Your polymer clay fundamentals course was well worth the price. I got some good ideas… like the saran wrap for making beveled edges. This improved my polymer clay buttons immensely! I loved the bonus videos. And I also liked you’re info on mixing colors. Very interesting how different brands mix differently. I’m always trying to think of new ideas, no matter what materials. Thanks. ~Joan-D

The following topics are included in this week’s Polymer Clay Tutor Library, Rolled Mokume Gane video tutorial:

  • See several examples of beads, pendants and earrings that were made using the Rolled Mokume Gane Cane.
  • Discussion of the tools and techniques needed to create this simple and stunning polymer clay technique.
  • Learn cool tricks for getting the look of layered rings of metal leaf, glitter and translucent colored clays.
  • Plus, with some creativity and ingenuity, there are many ways to come up with other unique designs of your own.

The full version of the “Rolled Mokume Gane” preview video shown above, is now avail for purchase at the Polymer Clay Library in the Vol-036 Back Issue Pckg.

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  1. Marion, 12 May, 2011

    Another brilliant technique Cindy, you just keep on coming up with new things, which is great for us! I can’t wait for tomorrow!

  2. fran, 12 May, 2011

    I’m gonna love learning this one !

  3. Jocelyn, 12 May, 2011

    Looks like another “Wow”!!!

  4. Fran Y., 12 May, 2011

    Really looking forward to this tutorial tomorrow. Can hardly wait!

  5. Peggy Barnes, 12 May, 2011

    Can’t wait for this one – have done this cane before but I bet you put a spin on it like no other and it is going to be so much more than before. Wooo Hooo. This is going to be GRRREEEEAAAAT as Tony the tiger would say!!!
    Thanks again Cindy and Doug I know even before watching it that this will be another winner. Can’t beat the Lietz team. They know and do it all!!!!!!
    Many Uuuuuggggs, Peggy

    And a super WoooHooo to the new colors. Colors beautiful Colors – YES

  6. Catalina, 12 May, 2011

    @Peggy Barnes: I wish you could be more enthusiastic! :) you make me more hungry for Friday!

  7. pollyanna, 12 May, 2011

    Ohhh this will be fun to learn!!!

  8. pattw35, 12 May, 2011

    What fun is coming tomorrow……………we’re ready . And the new colors -whee…………

  9. Karonkay, 12 May, 2011

    Lovely beads! My mind is already making earrings using this. Hurry tomorrow!

  10. Dawn, 12 May, 2011

    The pieces are lovely. Looking forward to it. Thanks Cindy and Doug!

  11. Jeanne C., 12 May, 2011

    I really love all the beads you made from this technique, the colors are great and I have the colors needed! YEAH!! Can’t wait for tomorrow.

  12. Linda K., 12 May, 2011

    More Mokume Gane!! I’m in clay heaven!

  13. Silverleaf, 12 May, 2011

    I love the effect! I think I’ll use pearl clay rather than glitter because I generally don’t like glitter in moku so much. But luckily I’ve just bought lots of silver and gold leaf (and I was very pleased with myself for getting a bargain at Hobbycraft because the leaf that wasn’t in the clay section was cheaper for 20 sheets than the Fimo branded stuff was for 11 sheets, and it’s exactly the same stuff.)

  14. Catalina, 12 May, 2011

    @Silverleaf: I knew you were a good shopper! I noticed that too. Must keep eyes open at all times! Is it Friday?

  15. Sandra, 12 May, 2011

    Cool, love the technique, where you find the time to do all this is beyond me, but I am soo glad you do. Can’t wait. I had better tint some transulcent tonight so i can follow it tomorrow (new zealand time).

  16. Carolyn K., 12 May, 2011

    This technique is one to get excited about. Looks like the beading options are endless. Love it.

  17. Lupe Meter, 12 May, 2011

    Cool…looks like I am going to like this one too!

  18. Bonnie Kreger, 12 May, 2011

    It’s all beautiful. Mokume Gane is my favorite. First thing I ever tried with clay and keep going back to it. Love the leafing in that.
    Can’t wait till tomorrow again. LOL

  19. DJ, 12 May, 2011

    This looks like fun, another Friday to be impatient about (quietly tapping foot on floor… ;) I love the pendant and earring variations…funny – I was playing with the dagger shape idea too, it’s just a bit different on the ends. Looking forward to tomorrow!

  20. Rebecca Chisenhall, 12 May, 2011

    I am sure I am going to love this technique! I also love the “donuts” used in the drop earrings–very cool look. I also have done something similar before, but I know Cindy’s technique will be easier and have a wonderful new spin on the idea, as always!

  21. Rebecca Chisenhall, 13 May, 2011

    Well, Cindy, you did not disappoint my anticipation! This looks very simple to do and how gorgeous your beads and other pieces turned out! I remember now; I had also seen the similar technique (maybe Donna Kato’s?) where she used a ripple blade, cutting at an angle, and that would be fun to use with this cane as an alternative, too, I think. I really like the addition of leaf or foil on the outside of the cane, too.

  22. Peggy Barnes, 13 May, 2011

    Love Love Love just as I knew I would. You always take something I already know and make it even more fun to work with. I just love your pendant and earrings. Who am I kidding I love it all. You are amazing and Doug’s filming even enhances it more.
    So another Grand Slam to add to my list of treasured tutes.
    Thank you both so very much. I hope you have a wonderful weekend……
    Love and Uuuuggggs, Peggy

  23. Catalina, 13 May, 2011

    Yes! I like this tute! Too bad I have to wait till after work to try this. Plus, I should finish planting my garden! But, wait! It’s raining outside!! I HAVE to stay in now! :) Should I clay all day or should I clay ALL day? Lol!!!

    Oh, I’m glad you tried the new translucent colors. I haven’t tried them yet and wondered what they were like. I think the translucent clay is the secret here.

  24. Jocelyn, 13 May, 2011

    How fabulous….cannot wait to try this one. Easy but when applied it gets beautifully complex. I see a green canopy of leaves when I squint at the coin beads and dagger earrings.

  25. Kathy G, 13 May, 2011

    Love it! I’m so glad you are there to experiment for me right now. I have had so little time to do any experimenting lately. Chasing 3 kiddos under 6, filling orders and getting ready to pcs (military move) to Brooklyn has been taking up all of my mental and physical energy.
    Thank you, Cindy & Doug. I so look forward to Fridays!

  26. pollyanna, 13 May, 2011

    Love love love it!!!

  27. Claycass, 13 May, 2011

    I am away from my computer – can we get the videos to work on an android phone?

  28. Phaedrakat, 14 May, 2011

    @Claycass & Cindy: The video tutes have always worked great on my Android smartphone, but the newer ones do not play at all. All I get is a black box where the video should be. I’m curious about how Sue F. got her Android device to work…though maybe it’s just a matter of the type of device you’re using.

    The earlier videos still play fine on my Android phone, though, so it certainly looks like the new player technology is causing the problem. And I have to agree with others about the old player — I prefer it, because it worked much better (on my laptop, too!) With the new player, I always have to wait while it buffers, too.

    Still, I realize that the new tech is a better fit (or it will be, in the long run) for more members — like mac people, for instance. (Catalina must be ecstatic, finally being able to watch videos on her iPad! Don’t say it, Cat. I know you have the (iPad2 now! LOL) And with new technology/devices coming out all the time, I suppose a more “well-rounded” player is necessary… (Just don’t forget those of us who still use “old faithful” computers, LOL…)

    When it comes down to it, I don’t mind having to wait a few seconds for video buffering on my laptop. If it means a HUGE improvement for someone else (like someone who couldn’t watch videos at all,) it’s worth it. Plus, I know that Doug will address these problems as soon as he can… The Lietz’s always take good care of us! As long as I can see my Friday videos on at least one of my devices, I’ll manage… ;-)

  29. Sue F, 15 May, 2011

    @Phaedrakat:

    Phaedrakat said:
    The video tutes have always worked great on my Android smartphone, but the newer ones do not play at all. All I get is a black box where the video should be. I’m curious about how Sue F. got her Android device to work…though maybe it’s just a matter of the type of device you’re using.

    I didn’t do anything special. Try waiting longer after the black box appears. (A *lot* longer. The new player is seriously slow compared to the old one.)

    I have a Samsumg Galaxy S running stock Android 2.2. I have plug-ins set to “on demand” so I initially see a frame where the video is, with an icon to tap to activate the relevant plug-in. When I tap that icon with the new player I initially get a black box too, but after a time the video starts.

  30. Silverleaf, 13 May, 2011

    Cindy, I can’t get the video to work. At first it played but stopped after a minute as if it was still loading – I wondered if it was my internet connection being slow but now it just refuses to play at all. I click the Play button but the picture stays still. I get the same thing on both computers.

  31. Cindy Lietz, 13 May, 2011

    Thanks guys! I always love to hear your sweet comments. Glad you liked the tutorial. It’s just one more cool thing to throw in your polymer clay bag of tricks! :-)

    @Claycass: Doug is just starting to use a new video player technology that is now working on various mobile devices, tablet computers and even iPad’s (yay!). We have not yet heard from anyone using an Android operating system. It would be really helpful if everyone could test out the clips on whatever system or smart phone you use, and report back here at the blog to share the information. This will give Doug some valuable feedback as he continues to “tweak” the player for as many different technologies as possible. Thanks.

    @Silverleaf: Hopefully today’s video ended up working for you. Doug said there was a temporary internet hiccup that
    happened with the video feed which caused a short blip for some people. But as Loretta-C and Linda-K said, refreshing the screen is a good thing to try when things like this happen.

  32. Sue F, 13 May, 2011

    @Cindy Lietz:

    Doug is just starting to use a new video player technology that is now working on various mobile devices, tablet computers and even iPad’s (yay!). We have not yet heard from anyone using an Android operating system.

    Both the old video player and the new video player work on the Android operating system.

    In my opinion, however, the old video player was better: smoother/fewer buffering delays, much faster to start when you click the play button, and nicer-looking buttons/controls. That goes for Windows as well as Android.

  33. Silverleaf, 13 May, 2011

    @Cindy Lietz from Polymer Clay Color Recipes – St. John’s Wort: Hi Cindy, the video worked fine for me just now. When I was having problems earlier I did refresh the page many times but it didn’t make any difference. Guess the problem’s solved now anyway!

    I love the effect of this technique, and I’ll definitely be experimenting with it when I have clay time. :)

  34. Phaedrakat, 24 May, 2011

    @Sue F: Thanks for your help, Sue. Wow, I was really hoping that waiting longer would do the trick — but no dice. I never paid much attention to the version # of my Android, but your comment made me look into it. My Motorola Droid (Devour) has 1.6, not 2.2 OS — that’s probably the difference in our results.

    With the new videos, I get a white screen the first time. If I touch/tap the area where a video should be, there’s an “outline” of sorts. It’s like the touch or tap makes the black box show, but that’s as far as it goes…no matter how long I wait. I get none of the options you mentioned getting, only flash player ‘quality’ selection — which doesn’t help on videos you can’t see! I sure wish I had known more about these phones when I went to buy it!

    @Claycass: Hi Cassandra, what Android OS do you have?

    @Cindy & Doug: You asked for feedback, so I’m reporting this Android 1.6 vs. 2.2 OS info for Doug’s new player/player technology tweaks. (Not sure what OS Claycass has.) Thanks for all of the hard work you’re doing — getting this fixed for us! :D

    [Arghh! I’m so irked right now with the realization that even my smartphone is “old.” Technology is so crazy these days…as soon as you’re out the door, you have “the old version”!]

  35. Loretta Carstensen, 13 May, 2011

    I had that video problem at first, but just reloaded it and then it played.

    I love this technique. So many possibilities here.

  36. Linda K., 13 May, 2011

    I had a little trouble with the video at first, too, but I waited awhile, then refreshed my screen and it worked fine.

    What a wonderful technique! And so easy! I’m just a little frustrated that I can’t get those beauteous new colors in my Michael’s store yet.

  37. Janet R, 13 May, 2011

    Cindy, I am not sure if anyone has had difficulty over the past couple of weeks with the videos, but what I have found lately is that the video stops but your voice keeps going and then the video catches up, but not before I miss seeing some of the video. If you know of a way I can get to see the complete video without missing any of the tutorial that would be great.

    Janet

  38. Cindy Lietz, 13 May, 2011

    @Janet: What you described sounds like a video buffering issue. It means that your computer is trying to “stream” the video faster than the Internet will allow when you happen to be watching it.

    This could be due to a whole bunch of reasons including:

    >>>>>> The age of your computer.

    >>>>>> Speed of the Internet connection.

    >>>>>> Number of other people trying to watch the same video at the exact same time.

    >>>>>> And several other technical things that only a true computer geek would really understand :)

    Anyway, there is an easy work-around solution to the problem:

    >>>>>> First press the “Play” button.

    >>>>>> As soon as the clip begins to play, press the “Pause” button to stop the playback.

    >>>>>> Leave the page “rest” for a minute or so. The video will be loading in the background.

    >>>>>> Then after a bit, press the “Play” button again and the video should proceed smoothly.

    Hope this helps.

  39. Maria, 13 May, 2011

    Cindy, I absolutely love the pendant! Resin really adds so much to the whole look.
    I have a question about the earrings – I notice you didn’t use the regular type of head pins, but rather they look like wire with crimp beads? Am I right? I’ve never thought of using them with earrings before…

  40. Cindy Lietz, 14 May, 2011

    Thanks for the technology feedback everyone. Boy is it a challenge to stay on top of such a fast moving technology based business. There are so many different ways to do things and trying to find the best options for the most people can be tricky. Thank goodness for Doug! If it were just me, you would probably be getting your tutorials on a hand drawn piece of paper! LOL

    @Maria: If you are talking about the the longer pink earrings with the shell bead frames and the pink Swarovski crystals, than you are right. I used some short sections of white Soft Flex Wire and and crimps to make those. Good eye!

  41. Silverleaf, 13 May, 2011

    Just tried with my Nokia smartphone (Symbian 60 OS) and there’s no video. The rest of the page loads fine, but there’s just a white space where the video should be. The old videos worked fine on my phone, in fact I used to watch them sometimes on the bus!

  42. Elizabeth K., 13 May, 2011

    Hi Cindy and all, just watched this Rolled Mokume Gane video, really great and as you said simple, I had never thought of using the foils this way, good for you for finding it for us Cindy. As to the change in the video playing, I have noticed it playing a bit different and am with you when you say you like the old way best., when it just started right out.
    It did stop and was loading more but only happened once, but it also starts off that way, with a wait to load. Oh the great technology, when you just get used to one thing there comes another. Still I am not complaining(yet), as I saw the video right thru and loved it
    thanks, it was great
    Bye, Love
    Elizabeth K.
    XXX

  43. Claycass, 14 May, 2011

    Oh thanx Cindy, I told my son that you and your husband would work on fixing the Android problem. Lol! It is not a clay Friday if I can’t watch your video. I had to wait until Saturday and use his pc. I told him that you always put a new twist on things.

  44. DawnB, 14 May, 2011

    Woot! Just tried the video on my iphone4. Works great! Love this technique. I just finished the cane and am reducing, can’t wait to see how it looks. I thought about using pearl also, since I don’t have the white glitter (or any glitter since the dogs spread all my bottles across the back yard when I was setting up my new workspace). LOL However, I did mix a little silver mica powder in some white granite I had. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    By the way, I may have missed it, but does this techique sand well, or do you lose to much of the glitter effect?

    Thanks again for another great tutorial!

  45. Cindy Lietz, 18 May, 2011

    Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments and feedback! It is such a pleasure having you all here!

    @DawnB: It sands fine Dawn. Of course you will lose any of the glitter or metal leaf that is on the surface, but because you are working with translucent clays, the inclusions will be seen through the layers underneath. The only time I don’t sand is where I don’t want to lose that metal leaf, like on the outsides of the round ‘poppy style’ earrings or on a pendant that will be covered with UV Resin anyways. Hope that helps!

  46. Lisa F, 14 May, 2011

    I am so excited to be here! Thank you so much for the wonderful wonderful information!
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Take Care,

  47. Silverleaf, 16 May, 2011

    A black box is better than I get on my S60 phone! There’s just nothing, no clue that a video should even be there…

  48. Bette L, 27 May, 2011

    I love Mokume Gane, and this one is so easy! Thanks for this tute.
    I also have been having buffereing problems with the new video player. I have not changed a thing on my computer. I get a delay in starting , then several delays during the play back. Also, I can not just move the slide back to a place I want to see again without a long bufferint delay. So, the old one worked better for me. Perhaps there is another one that will benefit everyone and still have the quality of the old one.
    Thanks for listening. I am still very happy to have the videos in spite of a few delays. The other videos out there just do not compare with the quality and information in yours. I love you guys!

  49. surbhi, 19 February, 2012

    hi, i want to learn all this beads technics. i stay in India. can i learn from ur video? especially mukum beads. how much the cost of one video?

    with best regards

    Surbhi

  50. Cindy Lietz, 19 February, 2012

    Hi Surbhi… welcome to our community. There are several other members from India who are currently learning from my video tutorials… so yes, I’m sure they will work for you too :-)

    If you type “India” in the search box at the top of the page, you will be able to click through to some links that may be helpful for you.

    You can also type “mokume” into the search box for lots of info about that topic.

    And finally, all of my “back issue” tutorials are available for purchase here:
    Polymer Clay Tutor Video Library

  51. Sylvia J, 11 July, 2012

    Hi Cindy
    I have noticed that you use different techniques to make your beads shine: resine, future or sanding. Is there a reason for doing a certain techinique for a particular project? How do you decide which method you use? What about using NuFinish? (It has polymer in it) Also if one uses Future or resine does it devalue the bead?
    Thanks,
    Sylvia

  52. Cindy Lietz, 12 July, 2012

    Hi Sylvia, I have kind of shied away from using Future and most other liquids (other than resin) on my pieces lately. If a bead is really well made it often doesn’t need a finish. It always bugs me to see a thick gloopy coating, slapped onto a poorly made bead. The bead needs to already look great before adding any finish to it because a finish just enphasizes any flaws.

    For most smooth techniques that won’t be damaged by sanding, I do prefer the look and feel of a perfectly sanded and buffed bead. It feels so classy and really improves the value of the piece if well done.

    For more rustic beads with a lot of texture or sculpted flowers or something, the only time I sand is if there is a rough edge or fingerprint or something. If checked for flaws before baking, a lot of those types of beads look fine, straight out of the oven.

    Currently I am really enjoying the look of a bead that has a little Gilders Paste rubbed into the crevices and buffed to a soft sheen.

    For flat pendants, nothing beats that gorgeous thick glassy coating you get with the UV Resin.

    So I guess what I’m saying is, get to know all the finishes and how they are used. Then decide how and when YOU want to use them, that gets you the look you love and a professional looking product. It is better to make just a few good quality beads than a bunch of crappy ones. So put the time and practice into good finishing techniques and you can’t ever go wrong, no matter which effect you choose!

  53. Cindy Lietz, 08 June, 2017

    In this “Work Table Wednesday” video, I show some components that were made using the Rolled Mokume Gane Vol-036-2 Tutorial shown in the above post.

  54. Billy F, 09 June, 2017

    This video is really neat however it cut you off of whatever you was saying at the end of this video.

    Billy

  55. NormaJean B, 12 June, 2017

    Awwwww… like Billy said, it cut off when you were talking about the new machine. :(

  56. Cindy Lietz, 22 June, 2017

    Yeah sorry about that guys! I will talk more about that machine in the future. Just have a lot going on right now with the new site upgrade and can’t film the longer detailed reviews right now. But don’t worry, we’ll get to it as soon as we can.

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