July Demo: Foolproof Blends

July Demo: Foolproof Blends

June 26, 2021 Meetings 0

Amy Sutryn is our featured artist for our July meeting. She’s going to lead us through creating foolproof blends in polymer, using Carol Simmons’ technique for Skinner Blends. Details below.

Meeting Info

We are returning to LeMoyne Art Education Center for our July 3 meeting. Room will be open for setup at 10, Zoom chit-chat and stuff will take place at 1030 and our program will begin at 11 AM. 

Address is 417 East Call Street. Parking is available in front of the building or in the small lot next to the building. Do not part in front of the little house west of the Art Ed building (#413). Overflow parking in the Capital City Bank lot. Drop off at the Art Ed building, then move your car.

  • Attendees must be fully vaccinated. We won’t ask for proof, we’re going to trust you on this and assume your fellow guild members’ safety is important to you.
  • We will be distanced, which may require setting up tables in other areas of LeMoyne. If we cannot distance appropriately, we will ask that masks be worn. If you have the sniffles, stay home please.
  • No shared food (snacks, etc.). Plan on bringing your own food and beverage for the meetings and keeping it at your desk in a lunch cooler or whatever. Bring your own coffee.

2021 meeting dates and demo schedules are here.

Program Description

The Simmons-Skinner blend technique is a way to take the guesswork out of a two-color blend. Equal sized triangles do not always yield an evenly distributed gradient because the pigment strength of colors varies.

Step One is to make a color scale of two colors. This takes about fifteen minutes with a motorized pasta machine, a little longer by hand mixing. It’s not hard to do and just uses a small amount of clay. 

Download and print out this worksheet from Maggie Maggio’s website to play along with the demo. Stick it inside a plastic sheet protector; you’ll use it over and over again.


Step Two is to make the template-planner grid by drawing a bunch of lines at specific intervals onto a piece of paper. 1/16” or 1/8” graph paper is great for this, but any graph or plain paper will do. you’ll need a ruler and a fine point penci/pen.

Step Three is to use the color scale you made and lay it out on the grid. The demo will discuss how to position the colors of the scale on the grid to arrive at a template for each color. And you ‘ll need to measure the width of your pasta machine. 

Step Four: We’ll sketch out a pattern and transfer it to card or stencil stock to cut out the templates.

Here is the link to Carol’s worksheet. Don’t let it scare you: I’ll take the mystery out of it in the demo. Once you’ve done it, it’s eeezy-breezy.


Materials you will need

  • 2 oz each of two colors* of clay, conditioned and rolled out on thickest setting to a big squarish sheet. *These can be primaries for a bright color blend, or, a color plus white to make a pastel blend, or, really, any combination of two colors that you know (or suspect) will blend nicely.
  • RulerPencil/pen – fine tip
  • Graph paper, or plain paper will do
  • Pasta machine, preferably motorized
  • Heavy card stock the width of your pasta machine and 5+ inches long. Or stencil sheeting if you have some.
  • Scissors