Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clay Inclusion Technique

Cool Technique: Inclusion, the Art of Sprinkling Things into Clay
A couple snow storms and a head cold have me trapped in the house so I am experimenting with clay inclusions. The technique is pretty simple. You add things, like herbs, colored sand, fibers, etc., to translucent polymer clay.

Ground rules:
Really the only rule is that the substance has to be inert (meaning something that won't rot). That makes this a great technique for beginners. For these sample chips, I used Fimo translucent clay. It stays white. Sculpey translucent is darker and would have a different look. The beauty of sample chips is that you can test things quickly to see what you like best before you do something large scale.

Spices aren't just for cooking:
I had a good time adding just about every spice/herb I had in my cupboard. I used ground pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, mint, red pepper, cumin, and basil. Each gave a different look. Now I'm making my favorites into jewelry. The only problem I had was that my husband was a little disappointed to see cinnamon and nutmeg on the counter and no dessert in sight.

Let me know if you've made anything with clay inclusions. I'm kind of addicted now, and I'd love to see what else I could do with it.

Projects using inclusions:
Clay Inclusions Jewelry
Faux Terracotta


  1. Your comment about your husband and no 'dessert' made me laugh... thanks! :)

  2. I started doing some last week after seeing Lynda's beautiful "jade." I've been doing the combo of a dash of a non-translucent color clay and embossing powder. I'm snowed in as well. :(

    On the upside, I've gotten all my homework done and I've had tons of clay-play time. :)

  3. I've never tried clay inclusions...but I think I need to. Wow! They are so interesting and gorgeous! I can't wait to see your jewelry.

  4. Fun stuff! I love working with translucent clay - the possibilities seem endless!

  5. Oh I love this idea. Love it Love it Love it. I wonder if you added a drop of essential oil if it would screw up the texture? Wouldn't aromatic clay be cool?

  6. Hi Marie I just cant stop joining blogs I see. There are so many great artists here. I do put glitter into polyclay, works for me.
    I have also used eye shadow powders on translucent for soft pastel colours, embossing powder is another.
    Love your work

  7. Wow, this is amazing!!! I don't work with clay, but if I did I would be trying this very soon.

  8. Hi Marie - my Claypen chat group did "Inclusions" way back in January 2005. Here is a link to the albums. Unfortunately, we did not all describe our inclusions, but there are some descriptions (see Muriel's entry) and you can figure out a few of them from the photos.


  9. I,ve seen this before but had no idea spices were used.From what I can see in the picture yours look great,thats a good idea to make some samples first.I can't wait to see the jewelry you are making.It makes me happy to know my girls could make you smile today,thank you.

  10. I hope you get some warm weather soon! Watch out for the dangerous ice! Our daughter said there are signs all over warning about the ice. Sounds so cold.......


Ooh,a comment! How delightful.


share icons