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"Well, I have been trying to imitate Abalone in polymer clay for about 10 years! I know, too, that there are others who have also tried to imitate this shell. I think I like to imitate natural materials in polymer because - #1, for my respect for Mother Nature and her beautiful works that we look at every day, and #2, because there is a challenge involved in making something with things other than what it is already made of! Plus, we have the option to use a potentially toxic material (abalone shell) in ways and colors that would have take special precautions if we were using the real material."
— Marie

Materials:
Pearl Premo
Purple Premo
Green Premo
Blue premo
Ecru Premo
Dark green Premo
Alazarin Crimson Premo
Blue Pearl Premo
Red Pearl Premo
Gold Premo
Green Pearl Premo
Black Premo
Pasta Machine
Sculpey blade
Ripple Blade

Start with a sheet of Pearl Premo 6" in height and the width of your Pasta machine. Fold the sheet in half and you will now have a double sheet of Pearl about 3" in height and the width of your Pasta machine. Use your Sculpey blade to cut triangles from the double thick sheet, and then lay in 1/4" thick coils of color between the triangles. Here I started with Purple, and then I use Green, Blue, Ecru, Dark Green and Alazarin Crimson.

I'm cutting a new triangle to add the next color.

I've added a coil of Green.

Here I'm adding the last coil of color. Now, to make up for the clay we added with the coils, we have to trim some clay from the end of the sheet. I trimmed about a 1/2" from the right end of the sheet so that it will fit in the Pasta Machine.

Compress the whole sheet together to assure that it will fit through the Pasta Machine.

Place the sheet into your Pasta machine and roll it through at the highest setting (my machine is set at #1).

Your sheet should look like this after its first trip through the Pasta Machine.

Fold the whole sheet in half from the bottom to the top.

Roll this folded sheet through the Pasta Machine, making sure that you put the fold into the machine first. Do this about 20 times to blend the colors. When folding the sheet, it's more important to match the sides of the sheet than it is to match the top or bottom. Make sure your sides match!

Using your Sculpey blade, start cutting the colors apart! Mix them the rest of the way in your hands to get them completely blended together.

This is what you will have when you start mixing up the colors.

Now we're going to run each of the blended clumps of color through the Pasta machine (I use setting #5) to flatten them into strips, and then stack the color strips on top of each other. Here you can see how I've stacked the strips.

This is the top of the stack. You can trim all the edges and make it very neat if that is the way you like to work.

This is the stack with some more color strips added - Blue Pearl Premo, Red Pearl Premo, Gold Premo, Green Pearl Premo, and Gold and Black mixed together.

This is a side view of the stack with all the colors together (click picture for a larger view).

Now we cut the stack into 1 1/2" sections! Place the first cutoff piece on the stack, line it up, and use it for a template for the remaining cuts.

Text and Pictures © 2001 by Marie Segal

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