Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Fractured Sunset". by Desiree McCrorey.

Anyone that has been working with polymer clay for some time knows the name Desiree McCrorey, she freely gives her insights and know how on her website She is simply one of the most giving people I know.

I was looking over her website gallery and came across her "Fractured Sunset" I was in awe! I had never seen anything so lovely, the way she blended the colors along with the 3d look was a "wow I must know how she did that" kind of moment. I emailed Desiree asking her if she would mind me posting a picture and a little background on how she did this incredible piece.

She replied : "I'm happy to share that technique, but I haven't tried to repeat it.

It was a slice from a very, very old multicolor cane that probably got just the very slightest bit cured or something. I tried every trick in the book to soften the color gradient cane. And when I thought it was soft enough, I took one slice, placed on top of a layer of well conditioned clay and put it through the pasta machine.

The old cane slice didn't smoothly stretch; it fractured instead. The back layer did stretch normally and helped keep the fractured layer from disintegrating into a pile of colorful crumbs.

I was disappointed at first, since the top slice didn't stretch. But after a moment, I kinda liked the effect. After a little more thought I decided to bake it. Then I smeared dark metallic paint over the whole thing and wiped it off the surface, so the paint only stayed in the recessed areas. Then I lightly sanded and carefully buffed the top.

The trick with repeating that technique is I think the fracture-able clay needs to be in a very specific state; somewhere in-between raw and baked. It might take a number of trials to discover what it would take to consistently get clay into the right state where it sort of stretches, sort of fractures.

But you're welcomed to try! If you have any really old canes (10-15 years old), that might be a good place to start. Good luck."

Again, what can I say, this woman is the reason us newbies learn and grow ! Thanks Desiree, I will be trying this and hope mine comes out a fraction of the beauty your piece is !

You can see more of Desiree's work at


Stephanie said...

Beautiful piece!!

ODD imagination said...

This is really pretty! So are the other pieces you have posted in your blog. Great taste!
Thank you for following my blog! :o)

doobeadoo said...

So beautiful and so creative a save on that polymer clay! Great artist!

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Hi Tina great post! Desiree's piece turned out fantastic, I love happy accidents!

Desiree was right in saying that the cane must have been partially cured. In fact this is exactly how I get the deep crackled look when making my Faux Raku. The cool thing is that you don't even have to wait 10-15 yrs for your canes to get old, to replicate the technique.

All you need is a heat gun and about 15-30 seconds! Just enough time to start the curing process but still leave it crackable. You did see the tutorial video I did on it, right Tina? The effect is the same only there is more control over being able to repeat it.

It is cool to know that old canes will work for the effect too though!

Anonymous said...

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