Thursday, 25 April 2013

Polymer clay faux ivory

This is a tutorial showing one way to make faux ivory with polymer clay.  Next time, I'll discuss another method you can use.

Close up of the faux ivory effect.


Faux ivory test batch

I started by mixing some off-white clay by mixing white with a tiny bit of yellow and a light grey/brown colour called "stone".  This is one of those things where there isn't any exact recipe, you just use your best judgement about what looks like a nice off-white ivory colour.  I formed my off-white clay into a snake and a flat strip the same length as the snake.  Then I made another snake and another flat strip out of translucent clay.


Off-white on your left, translucent on your right.  There really isn't that much colour difference.

I wrapped the off-white strip around the translucent snake, and the translucent strip around the off-white snake.  I rolled both my snakes nice and thin and laid them beside each other.  Then I cut them in half, so now I had four snakes stacked on top of each other, and I gently stretched them out so they were longer and thinner.  The trick here is to make sure the snakes stay parallel with each other.  You don't want to twist them round at all.


Two snakes.


Four snakes, stacked on top of each other and carefully stretched out thin.

When you've repeated this process a few times, you have a log with tiny, thin stripes of off-white and translucent, which resemble the fine grain line found in ivory.


The ivory grain line is subtle, especially with  quite a light off-white colour like this.


I've then cut that log into sections and stacked them against each other so I have a block of faux ivory clay.

Here's what my block looks like from the top.

Here's what it looks like from the side.

I've then used a knife to cut slices off the faux ivory block.  You can also cure the block as is and carve it afterwards.

See that nice ivory grain line?

For a more in-depth look at this process Nora Jean Stone has a YouTube channel with a lot of polymer clay tutorials, including a series on how to make faux ivory.  There are probably other YouTube tutorials on faux ivory, but I recommend this one because it contains a Lexx reference.