Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rorschach - what do you see?

Have you ever been reminded of something that you once enjoyed but had long forgotten? Maybe something from as far back as your childhood or it could be something you experienced more recently. Life's obligations and the mundane everyday chores have a way of pushing back our little pleasures. Or sometimes new, more exciting things take their place.

Well yesterday I was reminded of one of those little joys I discovered when I first started playing around with polymer clay. You see, Google's doodle was about Hermann Rorschach, the psychiatrist who developed the Rorschach "ink blot" test. And so naturally it made me think about the Rorschach technique in polymer clay. Probably everyone who has ever picked up a block of clay has done this at some point.  And if you haven't maybe you should! :) Or if you're like me, maybe it's been a while. Either way, it's fun and you should give it a try!

When I first learned this technique I was mesmerized. The excitement of not knowing what you will reveal when you slice into that log of clay. And I find it interesting to hear what other people see in the image.

There are loads of online tutorials and different ways of doing it. This is just my way, a quick introduction, in case you're unfamiliar with or new to polymer clay.

First, I looked thorough my old canes. Some of these are leftovers from years ago. Some not so pretty, some dried out and crumbly. I could never just throw these away as most polymer clayers know, there is never anything useless when it comes to ugly canes, leftovers or "scraps". So whatever you have on hand will work for this project.

These pieces are each about an inch long and really nothing special about any of them.

I squished the cane pieces together like this.
I rolled and twisted it into a snake.
Then pushed the snake into a cube like this.
And here is the exciting part, slicing into that ugly square. See the mirror image?
Keep slicing to get another image.
My little cube of clay made 5 different images, each one different.
Here are some pointers: I like to choose canes that have lines, like the leaf and pumpkin canes I used. I also like to have a bit of black in there and some white. This gives contrast to the other colors. But really it's entirely up to you. If you chose your colors wisely you can get some beautiful results.  I'm not so fond of the orange in these particular ones, I feel it's too over powering. But, it is what it is.

And remember, there are different ways of lining up your mirror images. Play around with them until you have something that is pleasing to you.

So what can you do with these miniature pictures? Bake them individually and turn them into awesome pendants. Combine them all into one piece and have yourself a pretty trippy piece of wall art. They're great for multi-media use. Or make them into small tiles and attach them to the outside of a picture frame, mosaic style.  Just use your imagination, I'm sure you will see another use, suited just to your personality (pun intended!).


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  2. That is really very cool! I love the squishing part! The different images after every cut is amazing! Nice job Kathy!

    1. I like the squishing part too! You think it's going to be ruined and sometimes doesn't look too pretty but that's when the magic happens! Thanks for reading.