Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Making of Faux Jade

I make several versions of faux jade, depending on the application. The basic mixture is a very small amount of green into FIMO Art Translucent (00). This should be a very pale green -- it will intensify considerably after baking. Sometimes I add a small pinch of ground sage from the spice cabinet. Just a very small amount will do -- too much makes the color muddy.

To make the color more interesting, you can add small amounts of purple and orange. To do that, first mix the purple and orange (separately!) with Translucent clay. Then, you can just combine the mixtures with the green-tinted translucent, adding very small amounts of the orange and purple-tinted clay until you like the color. (You should bake a little sample to test your mixture, since the color will change after baking.)

Alternatively, you can go for more of a varigated effect with the purple and orange colors appearing to melt into the green in a natural way. First mix the orange or purple-tinted translucent with an equal amount of green-tinted translucent. Then 'bury' a ball of the orange or purple mixture off-center in a larger ball of the green-tinted translucent. Roll between your palms really well to get out any air bubbles, etc. Then, if you flatten the ball, mold, elongate, etc., the orange-tinted portion will show through in a natural-looking way. (Alternatively, you can apply the orange or purple-tinted mixture on the surface of a piece, feathering the edges to a micro-thinness to blend into the underlying clay.)

The next step is the tiny black inclusions you see in some jade pieces. The best way to do this is the method Tory Hughes recommends. Take a new package of black clay and break it in half. Rub the rough edges gently together over your work surface. Now take your almost-finished jade piece and roll over the work surface to pick up a few tiny bits of black that were grated off of your broken edges. The object should be very close to its finished shape before this is done.

The above image is an excellent example of faux jade.