Vertical Pass of the Teardrop Blend Through Your Pasta Machine

Long COlor Blend Strip

Monica Stockton Asked If This Will Ruin The Color Blend:

For many polymer clay beginners, learning how to do a traditional Skinner Blend is a bit of a daunting task. You really don’t have to look very hard in the forums to find comments and questions from newbies who are having troubles with this color gradient technique.

First you roll out sheets of at least two different colors of clay. Cut them into same sized rectangles, then into triangles, and then fit them back together with only one color on each side of the diagonal(s).

Then there is the folding in half and running through the pasta machine a gazzilion times. You also have to make sure to fold your sheet in half the right way (same colors touching) or the blend will get all messed up.

There is also the issue of the blend getting too wide, the sides getting all ragged, and how to roll it into a long strip to make into a Skinner Blend Plug or Cane.

Now to an advanced clayer, none of this is really that big of a deal because with practice you end up getting pretty good at doing the traditional Skinner Blend technique. But to someone just starting out, the whole process can be a little overwhelming. I know… I’ve been there!

For anyone who has been following along here at my blog over the last couple of weeks, you will already know that I introduced a new, much easier approach to doing color blends. It’s being dubbed as the Lietz Teardrop Blend by many other clayers who have already tried it out for themselves.

Here’s a few of the enthusiastic comments that have come in most recently…

You are a genius! It’s like one of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments when you smack your head and say “duh” as soon as I saw the pic in your article of the teardrops is was so clear! You rock! ~Lindsey

Hi, Cindy! I’ve just watched your video three times and all I can say is: Cindy Lietz – genius among us! Not only the teardrop shapes are helping a lot, but also the rolling. It is simply smart! Congratulations! And thank you thank you thank you! ~Squash

Thank you so much for the Lietz Teardrop Blend. I used it this week and it worked great. I made a Brain Cane that needed a Skinner Blend and it was so much faster to use your method. ~Bette

In amongst all the enthusiastic questions was also a great 2 part question that I will address below.

I was wondering if you ever put the clay through vertically instead of horizontally. Would that ruin the blend? It’s just that I was noticing that during the video, it was starting to get too wide for the pasta machine. I am excited to try it because I have never gotten the skinner blend to work nicely. Thanks! ~Monica Stockton

Part of your question Monica, is answered in this article: Are Your Skinner Blends Getting Too Wide For Your Pasta Machine?

You also might want to check out my Basic Leaf Cane Video Tutorial in which I demonstrate how to control the width of the color blend log used in my Lietz Teardrop method.

And about the other part of your question… the only time you would run your clay through the pasta machine vertically instead of horizontally, is when you are all finished blending.

You see, if you turn the rolled log of clay vertically and run it through the pasta machine, it will keep the shades of the blend in their proper place, but the blend will become a super long strip (see photo above).

This strip can then either be “jelly rolled” to make a Skinner Blend Cane. Or it could be folded back and forth accordion style to make a Skinner Blend Plug. This accordion folding method is also demonstrated in the Basic Leaf Cane Video Tutorial.

To see all of the original comments, feedback, questions and opinions that have been posted to date, here is a convenient list of links to the article series where you can find everything:

Article 1:
Tear Drop Method | The Quickest Skinner Blend You’ll Ever Make
Get Smooth Polymer Clay Color Gradients 10 Times Faster. A preview video is posted at this article page.

Article 2:
Skinner Blend – Modified Teardrop Method Faster and Just As Good
The Skinner Blend Challenge: Will I Ever Go Back To Doing Polymer Clay Color Gradients The Old Way?

Article 3:
Modified Rainbow Skinner Blend Tutorial – No Measuring Required
The Lietz Teardrop Method – A Super Simple Way To Do Multiple Color Gradients.

Article 4:
Full Video | Lietz Teardrop Method | Polymer Clay Color Blends
Limited Access So Please Watch The Video As Soon As Possible. Thanks.

Article 5:
Beautiful Polymer Clay Canes Begin With Beautiful Color Blends
A Couple of Options for Blending Polymer Clay Colors to Use In Your Canes and Skinner Plugs.

Article 6:
Are Your Skinner Blends Getting Too Wide For Your Pasta Machine?
The Rolling Technique In My Teardrop Method Will Help You to Solve This Problem.

Article 7:
Vertical Pass of the Teardrop Blend Through Your Pasta Machine
Monica Stockton Asked A Great Question About Whether This Will Affect The Color Blend.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anna Sabina, 05 March, 2009

    I found this quote and thought it was inspirational.

    ”The seed of your next art work lies embedded in the imperfections of your current piece. Such imperfections (or mistakes, if you’re feeling particularly depressed about them today) are your guides — valuable, reliable, objective, non-judgemental guides — to matters you need to reconsider or develop further.” — David Bayles and Ted Orland

  2. Cindy Lietz, 05 March, 2009

    Anna, what a wonderful quote! They are words that pretty much describe my process. If it were not for trying to perfect my mistakes and serendipitous accidents, I would never have begun this business at all! Thank you so much for sharing this. You are truly a gem to be cherished!

  3. Anna Sabina, 06 March, 2009

    I watched the leaf video and have a question. I noticed that the accordian fold at the top was not as wide as on the bottom. Was that intentional or the seed of imperfection.

    I thought of you, and me, when I saw the quote. I can’t claim all credit, it was on the International Polymer Clay Association Website. They have really nice quotes in the bottom section change. Their conference this year is in Chicago,,,tempting but still can’t make it.

  4. Cindy Lietz, 07 March, 2009

    That was a seed of imperfection Anna! Since I can’t put my head where I want to when we’re filming something, I can’t always see what I’m doing! Also my arms get in the way and I end up having to do something at a funny angle. Doesn’t matter though in this case since you will be manipulating the cane shape and it works itself out in the end.

    I love your term ‘seed of imperfection’, it’s brilliant! Way more freedom and artfulness to it than being terribly structured. Art looks best when it’s loose and free. I like to save the perfection for the finishing work rather than the creative part. That brings the quality to the art form.

    I didn’t see that quote on the IPCA site. It’s wonderful! Yeah I’m not going to Chicago either. Would be cool though… too bad.

  5. Anna Sabina, 07 March, 2009

    The quote on the bottom os the IPCA site changes each time you go into the site. I saw the above quote and then left the site and later went back to fin it and it was gon. had to refresh the screen 10 times to find it again—ha !!!
    Another great quote from that site is…”To cross the river of boredom, one must first, hop onto the stone of imagination.” WOW.

  6. Cindy Lietz, 09 March, 2009

    That’s clever to keep refreshing like that. That is a beautiful quote too!

    Reminds me of when my husband and I used to own property with a large creek on it and I had to hop the stones to go to work. Sometimes those stones could be pretty slippery and I often fell in the creek and went to work soaked!

    Same with those ‘stones of inspiration’… slipped on a few of those and got pretty wet! Can’t say I was ever bored though!! ;-)

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