Metallic or pearl clay is run through the thickest setting on your pasta machine to align all the mica particles in the clay. Once that is done, you stamp the clay with a deeply carved stamp. Using a tissue blade or clay knife, the raised part of the clay is sliced away one thin slice at a time. When all the excess clay has been sliced away (If you've done it right), a ghost image of the stamp is left in the totally smooth clay.
The piece is then baked at the manufacturer's directions. When the clay is cooled, it can be sealed using a clay sealer, or my favorite method, it can be sanded with ever increasing grits of wet/dry sandpaper, then buffed to a gorgeous sheen. Sanding and buffing these pieces adds depth and luster to the ghost image.
I took some pictures when I was making my latest piece. I started with white pearl clay and added some spring green mica powder to it to create the look I wanted. Then I started working on the piece. The stamp I used was one from Lisa Pavelka. Her clay stamps are wonderful for this technique because they are nice and deep and flexible.
Raw clay after being stamped with paisley stamp
Side view to show depth of stamp
Piece has been baked
This week's Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild's blog roll is the Mica shift Technique. Here are some examples of the mica shift pieces from those talented artists.
This is a wonderful technique and, if done right, leads to some beautiful pieces.