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Topic: mica shift without pasta machine?  (Read 1230 times)
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dianamariemtv
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« on: June 07, 2008 07:47:39 PM »

I'm pretty new to pc and don't have a pasta machine yet.  I found a tutorial I'd like to try which involves mica shift.  She aligns the mica by repeatedly rolling the clay through a pasta machine, but I was wondering if it's possible to do the same thing without one? Can I just roll and fold the same way using my acylic roller?  Thanks!
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Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008 09:09:33 AM »

Yes, you can do that.  You can also pull/stretch it, and/or press down on it... anything that will make the mica flakes all lay flat in the same orientation as much as possible ("aligning" them).  It's just more work without a pasta machine.

Here's a description from my Mica Clays page on how Pier Voulkos, one of the 3 people who pioneered the work with mica-containing clays, aligned the mica clay before making her special effect canes:

Pier Voulkos basic method:
...first rolling one mica clay into a long rod
...cutting and stacking the subsequent rods
...then pulling the stacked rods to form another long rod
...repeating the process over and over
She then places conditioned and aligned rods perpendicular to each other to create her canes (the mica plates in the clay aligned with the X axis will shine, while those aligned along the Y axis will not and will be darker) ...she calls hers "invisible canes" because the effect isn't immediately visible when looking at the end of the cane ...the pattern will be visible only when slices from the cane cut, then applied to a base sheet, and flattened or run through the pasta machine

You could use that method to align the mica for other mica effects ("mica shift") techniques too, including making "ingots" of stacked sheets then manipulating, twisting strips for basketlike effects or flattening them, making holographic dots and "football beads," etc (Mike Buesseler methods), and making "ghost impressions" in aligned mica clay with stamps and texture sheets, etc (mostly Jami Miller), as well as doing other things like folding the sheets, molding, using strips/ropes/chunks for random and faux wood effects, making metallic Skinner blends, and more.

There's loads of info on all those techniques on that page, if you want to check it out:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/mica.htm


HTH,

Diane B.
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dianamariemtv
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008 09:20:01 AM »

Thanks Diane, as always, you're a wealth of knowledge!  I was planning on making a pendant with the "ghost impression" method using a rubber stamp.  Hopefully I can pull it off with lots of hand rolling. Smiley  Will let you know how it goes!

Diana
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Diane B.
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008 10:06:33 AM »

Definitely let us see! ... and be sure and tell us what seemed to work best.

Btw, you may want to stack several sheets of thin aligned clay before stamping into the surface rather than trying to align a thicker sheet from the start.  The thicker the clay, the harder it will be to align the mica flakes way down under the surface, so stacking (then pressing or rolling) several thinner sheets that you've aligned separately may work better.  Again, let us know what works best!


Diane B.
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meltedcrayons
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009 01:02:43 PM »

Thanks Diane!

I've also found this little vid. to be helpful. Relatively long, but great:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGBNV7IBNyY
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