This technique manipulates the mica within metallic polymer clay to produce the illusion of a three dimensional design. The effects can be stunning and are difficult to capture in a photograph.
The mica shift technique will only work with metallic polymer clay. A high proportion of mica is required to get the required finished effect. It is also possible to add mica to translucent polymer clay, however it is far more convenient to buy metallic clay. All the major manufacturers of polymer clay offer a metallic range.
The most important step in this technique is rolling the clay. This helps to evenly distribute the particles of mica and spreads them into fine layers. When a rubber stamp`is pressed into the surface of the clay, it disturbs the mica particles leaving an impression of the image. When the raised part of the surface is removed this image is fully revealed. The effect will not work if the clay has not been really well rolled before use (a craft dedicated pasta machine makes this easy, however a rolling pin will work well too).
This technique isn't difficult to master, however it may take a couple of goes before you get the desired finished effect. Don't be afraid to practice a few times before making mica shift effect polymer clay to use in projects.
- Metallic polymer clay (some people report good results using a mix of one quarter transparent polymer clay and three quarters metallic polymer clay)
- Rubber stamp with clear and bold design
- Water mister or spray
- Clay dedicated pasta machine or craft rolling pin
- Polymer clay blade or tissue blade (a very sharp and thin blade)
- Fabric for buffing the finished polymer clay