My personal Mike B crusade

A few months back I get a message asking if I could help someone find copies of Mike Buesseler’s old polymer VHS videos. They haven’t been in production for MANY years and have become impossible to find. I have felt for a long time that it was a crime to just let all Mike’s amazing talent and teaching ability fade into the past. The new generation of polymer clay users would never know what they were missing !!!

I sort of took it upon myself to find out who holds the copyright to the videos now. After much Googling and asking around the polymer clay community, it turned out that person was Tory Hughes. 😀 After some emails back and forth, it was decided to take the old videos and create digital copies that could easily be distributed.  Next was trying to find a place to host the videos. I tried a couple file sharing websites, but that was not working. Luckily the IPCA (International Polymer Clay Association) stepped up and was able to use their verified YouTube account to upload the huge video files. They videos are FREE for everyone to enjoy. They will always be free of charge.

Landscape Canes

 

All Polymer Metallic Clay

 

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What Is Mica Shift?

Some examples of Mica Shift. Believe it or not, the surfaces are very smooth 🙂

This first is a faux wood technique using the mica shift effect

These 2 show the mica shift ghost imaging effect


This egg is covered with pinches of mica clay squished over the surface.

An explanation of the mica polymer clay may help you to understand. The metallic polymer clays are jam packed with teeny tiny particles of mica. When you condition the clay (using a pasta machine is the easiest way) and roll it out as a sheet it forces all the mica particles to lay down in the same direction. The sheet of clay will have a consistent color across the surface. When you disturb the surface of the sheet of clay by stamping, carving, combing, etc. the mica particles become misaligned (pointing in many directions). This misalignment of the mica is what we use to create the Mica Shift (some people call it ghost imaging).

I get the best mica shift when I use a stamp or texture with a deep etched design. I then use a sharp clay blade to shave off the raised areas of the clay. It takes a little practice to shave the clay evenly, but don’t fret. You are using one color of clay, so if you don’t like how it turned out just roll the clay into a sheet once more and try again. 🙂 Lastly, after shaving the sheet, run it through the pasta machine on a setting thinner than the sheet to smooth the surface out.

I have a mica shift tutorial online that is beginner level and no stamps are required. http://www.tonjastreasures.com/tutorials/basketweave.html

Great videos to buy or borrow:
1) Mike Buesseler – All-Polymer Metallic Clays (try your local clay guild for a copy, it’s out of print, but very worth the watch)
2) Grant Diffendaffer – ArtWay Studio: Marvelous Mica and Ghost Imaging

And a list of other online tutorials.
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/ms_texture.html
http://www.everclay.dk/1_Tutlinks/Techniques/micashift_US.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm5V3kglUw0
http://paroledepate.canalblog.com/archives/2007/01/22/index.html
http://www.claylessons.com/tutorial/stamped-mica-shift
http://www.sculpey.com/how-tos/techniques/mica-shift-metallic-and-pearl-clays
http://www.sculpey.com/projects/mica-shift-trinket-box

Pioneers Of Polymer Clay

I want to give a heartfelt thanks to all the pioneers of polymer clay. They stretched their imaginations to show us what this incredible art medium called polymer clay is capable of creating. If it were not for them I doubt any of use would be making the amazing pieces I see coming to life every day.

I found a wealth of information and pictures over at the Polymer Art Archive. If you haven’t checked it out in full, you really should ! The following are bits & pieces from the archive.

Pier Voulkos - 1995 Beads

Pier Voulkos - 1995 Beads


Nan Roche -  1997 6 Untitled Vessels

Nan Roche - 1997 6 Untitled Vessels


Steven Ford & David Forlano

Steven Ford & David Forlano


Kathleen Dustin - 1996-97 Village Woman

Kathleen Dustin - 1996-97 Village Woman


Lindly Haunani - 1998 Crayon Lei

Lindly Haunani - 1998 Crayon Lei


Judith Skinner - The Skinner Blend 1996

Judith Skinner - The Skinner Blend 1996


Mike Buesseler - Landscale canes

Mike Buesseler - Landscale canes


Mike Buessler - Metallic Clays

Mike Buessler - Metallic Clays


Victoria Hughes - 1988 Pueblo Pot Wall Pin, (2 1/2″ x 2″ x 1/4″)

Victoria Hughes - 1988 Pueblo Pot Wall Pin, (2 1/2″ x 2″ x 1/4″)


Cynthia Toops - 2007Bird Watching micromosaic (3.5″ x 3.25″)

Cynthia Toops - 2007Bird Watching micromosaic (3.5″ x 3.25″)


Jamey Allen - 1988 Lunate Collar detail 12″ long

Jamey Allen - 1988 Lunate Collar detail 12″ long


Martha Breen
Laura Liska - 1995 Bargello Beads

Laura Liska - 1995 Bargello Beads


Michael & Ruth Grove - 1987 Black, White and Red Necklace by Michael

Michael & Ruth Grove - 1987 Black, White and Red Necklace by Michael

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