Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bull’s-Eye Cane using Two-Color Skinner Blend - English

Developed by Judith Skinner, the Skinner Blend technique is used to achieve smooth color transition gradient. Here, I will show you how to work using two colors.

· Two colors of clay - at least 1 oz. each (half 2 oz package). I used Turquoise and Dark Blue.

· Pasta machine or acrylic roller 
· Blade

· Working surface (glass, ceramic, Formica, etc.)

Condition your clays and make two rectangles.
Use the thickest setting on your pasta machine. 

Now cut each rectangle diagonally making two identical right-angle triangles.
Place the slanted edges of the triangles together so they are slightly offset.
Trim the edges so you have a rectangle shown in the picture.
Roll this sheet through the pasta machine at the thickest setting, making sure that both colors touch the rollers
Fold the sheet, combining the same color edge. Put clay through the pasta machine (fold-end first to avoid bubbles).
Repeat folding and rolling through the pasta machine until the sheet is completely graded.

This is how your sheet of clay should look like after about 25 rolls.
Trim off the uneven part(s) when your Skinner blend is completed.

Stretching: One additional typical step is to fold the gradient sheet in half in the length way. This time the gradient edge matches gradient edge. Roll the sheet through your pasta machine #2 to stretch the gradient. 
Narrow the roller gap to #3, and roll the sheet through again. 

Narrow the roller gap again to a #5 and roll the sheet through again. 

Roll this sheet starting with the lighter edge (if you want the light color in the middle of cane), into a bullseye cane.
If you want the dark color in the center of the cane, start rolling from the dark side of sheet.

Cut off small portions of their ends to reveal the pattern inside.


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