with Sue Heaser
Creating a sheet of clay that blends from one colour to another is a basic technique that you will find has dozens of uses when working with polymer clay. It is most often used in millefiori canes but a blended sheet also makes a lovely background for a relief picture, or provides a range of different colours for beads in a graded necklace.
Materials and tools
You will need polymer clay in two contrasting colours (a ¼ of a standard 56g block of each colour) . If you use two primary colours such as blue and yellow or red and yellow, the central part of the blend will form a third colour.
You will also need a slicer blade and a rolling pin or pasta machine (see below)
Roll out a sheet of clay of each colour, about 2mm thick. Trim each sheet into a rectangle with a slicer blade and then cut off one long side on the diagonal to give each the shape shown in the photograph. Flip one piece over and press the two pieces together along the diagonal cut to make a rectangle again.
Fold the rectangle in half towards you and press down on the work surface.
Roll the folded sheet firmly with a rolling pin until the sheet is about 2mm thick again or about the size of the original rectangle.
Peel it off the work surface and fold in half towards you again. Roll out again. Repeat folding in half towards you and rolling several more times.
You will begin to see the middle of the rectangle blending into a continuous gradient of colour. Here the green colour is appearing where the overlapping yellow and blue of the two sheets are combining.
Continue rolling and folding. When all hard lines of colour have disappeared, rotate the sheet 90° and roll it thinner to extend the colour gradient further. Your blend is now ready to use in a project.
Using a Pasta Machine
If you have a pasta machine, you can create blends very quickly. Follow the instructions above and feed the folded sheet, folded side down, into the pasta machine and crank the handle.
Fold in half in the same way and pass through the pasta machine again, repeating as many times as necessary to create the blended sheet.
Always make sure that the sheet is folded and orientated in the same direction.
Our page Polymer Clay Millefiori Cane Flower shows step-by-step instructions on how to make a cane from the blend.