This month’s Art Bead Scene challenge was a perfect opportunity to finally try to create some faux ivory. The principle is simple, thin alternating layers of light clay and translucent. The execution, however, takes a bit of practice.
For my first attempt, I wanted to err on the side of being too light, and err I did. The layers were also too thick. While the end result was nice, it’s certainly nothing like ivory.
My next attempt was much more satisfying, both in terms of color and the thinness of the layers. I also added some embossing powder to my clays, because I’m a sucker for inclusions lately. I wouldn’t say I nailed it, but I was much more pleased with this batch.
For my last batch, I had run out of my nice malleable Fimo and the only translucent I had on hand was crumbly, brittle brick of Premo. I figured since all I was doing was pretty simple layering, it should be fine. And, it was, at first. I got the translucent rolled out in my pasta machine, and the rest of my beige rolled out, too.
The problem hit when I combined the two and rolled them through the pasta machine together. The translucent layer fell to bits and the softer beige pushed right through the cracks. As far as faux ivory goes, it was a complete failure. However, as I looked at the resulting sheet of clay, I wasn’t all that disappointed. It looks nothing like ivory, but the effect was quite nice on its own merits. I decided to call it a happy accident and I took advantage of it.
I still have some further experimentation to do before I get a faux ivory I’m satisfied with, but it’s been a happy journey so far. Sometimes, it’s lovely to try a new technique and master it right away. Sometimes, it’s nicer to have some hiccups along the way :)