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Here's a terrific faux tutorial by Susan Swayngim. Use this excellent technique to make beautiful Faux Paua Shell pieces!


  • 3 parts blue pearl clay
  • 1 part green pearl clay
  • 1-2 parts silver clay
  • 1/2-1 part black clay
  • tissue blade
  • cutting surface
  • brayer optional
  • pasta machine optional

Step 1: Begin by conditioning clay. The mix 1 part of the blue pearl with 1 part green pearl to make a pretty teal color.You should now have blue, teal, silver, black.

Step 2: Flatten each color either in the pasta machine, with your brayer, or by hand. This technique is not precise! Do try to get the flattened pieces to be roughly the same dimensions. I like the black to be thinner than the other colors but this is a matter of personal preference. Now you will stack the layers of clay in this order: blue, teal, silver, black.

Step 3: Press the layers together.

Step 4: Slice the stack...

...and place one half on the top of the other.

Step 5: Flatten the new stack, cut and stack like before. Flatten again.

Step 6: Here is where this technique looks a lot like a mini-mokume gane. Use whatever implement you have handy to impress randomly into the clay. A pen or other tool will work fine. I am using the handle of my pasta machine in this photo.

Step 7: Then push together the slab and form it into a block of clay. You want the layers to deform as you compress the clay. The more convoluted the layers are, the better!

Alternate Mixing Method: Another way to add to the organic look of the faux shell is to twist the clay. I get my best results when I add this step but it isn't absolutely necessary.
Step 8: Next allow the clay to set for awhile (or chill in the fridge if you are like me and don't like to wait!) Voila! Slice into your pretty Faux Paua Shell and see the beautiful design. If the lines aren't to your liking, you can slice off little odd bits of clay to uncover new designs. Or. cut at an angle instead of straight across to reveal a better mica shift. The technique is very forgiving!
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Some Examples Using the Faux Paua Shell
(Click Pictures for a Larger View)

Susan Swayngim
©2004 Text and Photos

We want to thank Susan for sharing this terrific faux tutorial with PCC. If you have a tutorial or project that you would like to see on the PCC Website, then contact or and we will help you prepare your project for PCC.

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