Pills and Coffee Polymer Clay Silkscreen Veneer Tutorial

Polymer clay silkscreen veneer
Polymer clay silkscreen veneer

In this tutorial I'll be showing you how to make a polymer clay silkscreen veneer using alcohol inks, Swellegant and Helen Breil's Pills and Coffee silkscreen.

I'll also show you a second veneer using different colors and patterns to give you some ideas of what you may be able to come up with yourself using this fun and very versatile polymer clay technique.

In the second part of this tutorial will use the first veneer to make a polymer clay medallion necklace.


You will need the following supplies:

  • Alcohol ink (I’m using Teakwood, Espresso, Ginger, Caramel, Latte, Stonewashed, Sailboat Blue and Turquoise Adirondack inks)
  • Swellegant metal coating (brass, iron, copper and silver)
  • Swellegant patina (gold-green verdigris)
  • Alcohol (I’m using 99%) or blending solution
  • A spray bottle
  • White polymer clay (I’m using premo)
  • A silkscreen (I’m using Helen Breil’s Night Wind and Pills & Coffee silkscreens)
  • A squeegy or card
  • A pasta machine
  • A tissue blade
  • Water to rinse off your silkscreen
  • Dabber for the alcohol inks
  • Gloves

How to Make the Pills and Coffee Polymer Clay Silkscreen Veneer

  • To start you’ll need to choose your silkscreen. For this technique, you need one with a fairly large, spaced-out design to allow enough room for the Swellegant to move around and create its effect. I'll be using Helen Breil's Pills and Coffee silkscreen.
  • You will need a sheet of white polymer clay rolled out at the thickest setting on your pasta machine.
  • Next you need a selection of alcohol inks. I'll be using Adirondack Latte, Caramel, Ginger, Teakwood and Espresso to create the stony background of the veneer.
  • Dot your inks onto your dabber, spray your clay with alcohol or alcohol blending solution and then dab your ink all over the surface of the clay until you have good coverage.
  • Spray with your alcohol or blending solution to soften the effect a bit.
  • Put the clay sheet aside to dry for a while.
  • In the meantime get your silkscreen and Swellegant ready. I will be using Copper and Iron, as well as the Gold-Green Verdigris Patina.
  • Give your Copper and Iron a good shake and loosen the caps ready for use, put the Patina in a spray bottle to make it easy to apply, and make sure you have a bowl of water ready for cleaning your silkscreen directly after use.
  • Bring over your sheet of clay and place the silkscreen over it in the desired position.
  • Trim up your clay and keep the pieces for later.
  • Gently burnish the silkscreen onto the clay.
  • Pour a stripe of Copper along one end of the screen and use a squeegy or card to spread it across the screen. Try to move fairly quickly so that the Swellegant does not dry.
  • Dab a little of the iron on with your fingertip randomly over the screen. Be careful with the Iron as it can be very dominant. Don't add too much when you apply it.
  • Lift up the silkscreen and clean immediately in a bowl of water.
  • While the Swellegant is still wet give your sheet a good spray with the Patina.
  • Leave to react for at least an hour. The copper will begin to go green and the areas with the iron will begin to go red. When you are happy with the effect you can rinse the clay under water to stop the reaction. I like to leave mine overnight.
And that's how to make the polymer clay silkscreen veneer with Swellegant which we will be using in the Mayan Medallion tutorial.

In the video I show other examples of how to do this technique using different metals and silkscreen patterns, so be sure to check that out.


Pills and Coffee Polymer Clay Silkscreen Veneer Tutorial

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