General types & info...baking onlays with clay, etc.
..Dimensional onlay
......slice & cutouts (flatter)
......molded or non-flat + filigree..... mandalas
......ropey, textured, shaped things ...bezels ...bas relief & scenes
.....onlay strips
.....bargello strips onlay
........using discrete colors (mixed by hand)
........using Skinner blends for colors (in pasta machine)
........variations, ideas, inspiration
.....misc. websites, dimensional
Flattened onlay
Non-clay onlays
.....CD shards & other media as onlay
Misc. onlays & info


General types & info

DEFINITION: You'll sometimes hear onlays also referred to as "appliques" ...this is a term used by quilters for the technique of sewing different fabric pieces --usually around their perimeters-- to a base fabric in order to create an image (as opposed to the technique of "piecing" or sewing the fabric shapes to each other to create patterns).

RELATED TECHNIQUES located elsewhere at GlassAttic:
--"floating canes" made from onlaid, flattened slices of translucent & opaque clays in one cane, can be found in Canes > Translucent
--for bas relief (scenes, plaques, etc.), see Sculpting > Bas Relief
--for filigree, Balinese filigree technique and other uses of onlaid clay ropes, see Clay Gun
--for creating dimensional effects with liquid clays and metallic powders (e.g. lampwork) and liquid lace, see Liquid Clays
--some onlay can be found in Mosaics?

(Onlays can be left dimensional, or flattened into the clay below.)

Onlays can be clay bits (or any material) which are placed onto to a flatter area of polymer (...or to a non-polymer surface), and left dimensional.
....they can be molded bits, cane slices, clay ropes, cutout shapes, or just shaped strips of other clay, etc.
...individual onlays can be placed next to each other, apart, or stacked on top of each other
...they can be different colors, or not... textured or otherwise manipulated...created from other techniques such as mokume gane or mica effects or faux turquoise, etc
...they can look
quite interesting over almost any item as well, or over any other polymer technique (e.g., using clay gun rope swirls or spirals on top of mokume gane, crackled leaf, canework, or a 3-D faux item, etc.)

Onlays can also be clay bits, slices, etc., which are flattened into a background clay sheet
... these are often very thin slices from canes, but they can also be pieces of very thin sheets, or other things

If left dimensional, when there is a sufficient amount of contact, between the onlaid clay pieces and the underlying raw clay, no glues are necesssary
....if not though, or just for extra security, between the two parts you can use:
...bit of liquid clay or Diluent-Softener can be used as a glue
.......a connector of some kind (tiny toothpick or wire, e.g.)
......or simply letting the two parts sit together for awhile will increase their bond even without glue.

BAKING & onlays (and "inlays" ---see more in Mosaics-Inlays):
...non-clay and bakable onlays (or partial inlays), such as (real glass) rhinestones or metal, may be baked in place along with the clay (if they're pushed in far enough you probably won't need glue too, but if you want, a tiny dab of liquid clay on the metal back before insertion would hold even better)
...non-bakable onlays (like some plastic gems) may or not be able to bake with the clay (depending on the type of plastic and other factors) ...those are usually impressed into the clay and removed to create a depression, then glued back into the clay in after baking
.......When I've used the cheap plastic rhinestones, I glued one onto the end of pen cap so I could make an impression where they would go in the finished product. After baking I superglue them into place.
.......I saw someone put plastic rhinestones into a sheet of clay (fairly deep) and they didn't melt during baking. Jeanette
......shards from pre-recorded CD roms can be baked with clay
........various types of glue will work... most superglues should be fine as long as there is an exact and tight fit... or a tiny dab of a silicone glue like E6000..... I'd probably start with a white glue made for jewels and metal like Beacon's Gem Tac (probably any regular permanent white glue would work fine for things which are in impressions like this
......plastic shards from prerecorded CD Roms are safe in the clay (at least up to 250°)
.......CD Rom shards used for making pins, covered with UTEE and heated (Sally) -- lessons (more on CD's and their shards in Covering > Plastics < CDs and in Onlay > CD Shards)
A few thoughts on gemstones with clay:
1) the acrylic plastic ones usually get cloudy if you bake them
2) some glues like E6000 will "crackle" the silver backing on some cheap glass stones
3) you can put a tiny clay bezel around a rhinestone...4) Austrian Crystals look great and bake great. Lauri
....see CD Shards below I took a class one time where we cut small shapes from the Friendly Plastic and baked them directly on to the polymer clay.

Previously baked clay slices or bits used as onlays can be onlaid and baked on raw or baked clay, but it's better to use some kind of glue or liquid clay if the items won't be mechanically held on by any of the clay ...(see Glues)


"flatter onlays" ....(cane slices & cutouts)

cane slices are often used as onlays, usually on a base of clay (but could also be glued onto other surfaces)
...these can be sparsely or densely applied.... individual or grouped (overlapped or just nested together)... can also form patterns as with mandalas, etc.

cutouts of various shapes can be cut out of a sheet of clay with tiny cutters and used for onlay
...can be onlaid onto a base clay sheet (or onto a non-clay surface)
...can be pressed nested together as for a quilt pattern, or separated
.....(see Cutters >General Info for using cutout shapes as onlays... tips on doing the cutting/punching)

Margaret R's votive? with individual caned leaves onlaid here and there
Judith Skinner's art deco, etc., shapes onlaid on flat pendants (now at and
Kim Cavender's colorful onlays (cane slices and other clay shapes) on clay disks

Klew's various kinds of beads with onlaid slices, dots, etc.(drum and leafpod, etc.) (click esp. on Drum and Pod categories, but other cetegories have onlays too)

...more of Klew's onlays of all kinds (drumbeads, leafpods, and other)
Kellies artichoke egg (triangles of overlapping slices from one cane, onto a base blown egg)
Christy S's faux wrought iron cutouts of cactuses & coyote onlaid on "sunset" Skinner Blend background covering on a votive (must click on cactus photo)
*Marie Segal's many, many onlays

Barbara K's many onlays... some with metallics
Margaret R's squiggles of folded cane lengths used as onlay on back of a bowl

Shane's bead shapes onlaid here and there with simple misc. shape cutouts or other flattened shapes in one color (black cutouts on dark red base beads)
Kim's flower and leaf slices onlaid atop a vase (for pins)
Debbie A's flower and leaves onlaid atop a vase (for pins)

Lori G's onlay slices of Skinner Blend bullseye canes (gone)

Michelle Ross' lesson on using the cutout of a fish shape for a mobile (...she used a die cutter and a laminator for the body, but could use all clay)
.......she also put onlay embellishments on the fish for stripes, eyes, lips.... plus looped wire for fins)
.......also made an invitation card to a "swim party" by putting the fish and a "group of bubbles" onto cardstock (which had been stamped "waterlike"),,HGTV_3236_3071209,00.html
...for my bottles,
I took cutouts from sheets of black clay which had been crackled with inks, and also metallic leafing ...and applied them to a glass bottle from Michaels I'd already covered with a black-to-copper Skinner Blend base sheet (I seal the ink and leafing with a really thin layer of bleached translucent Premo) and baked & sanded, polished
........after applying them to the bottle I baked again, and polished shapes with muslin wheel; also added a bit of Future. Tonja (for more on "crackling," see Leaf > Crackling, and Letters-Inks > Crackling)
...Meredith cut strips from a crackled leaf sheet and formed them into shapes to add as onlays on her heart pendant (spiral, heart, 3 parallel straight lines slightly separated, 2 parallel S-curved lines)
(...see also Helen B's crackled clay shapes with focal onlays below)

Kris Richards' lesson at Sculpey site on making "Polydollys"(or any cut-out shape). . . she:
--creates jellyrolls and stacks of clay (for stripes)
--cuts out a shape of solid color clay with a cookie cutter, or paper pattern & xacto blade
--onlays variously-shaped slices of the jellyroll and stripe canes onto the solid body (somewhat puzzle style, but some bits are 3 layers thick rather than 2)
--adds pressed-down balls of flesh clay for head and hands, and 2 seed beads for eyes
--her different-pattern puzzle pieces are: shoes, pant legs, upper pants, belt, shirt, (vest), collar/buttons, arms, & hats or hair...also cuffs at ankles, wrists, on hats
(--good lesson on making jellyroll/spiral and striped canes too)

mandalas can be made with onlays (mandalas are often round & radially symmetrical patterns using repeated elements/"tiles" in each outer concentric level or row)
...these are fun and also soothing to do
...mandalas can be made simple, all the way up to very complex (in number of pieces, and placement)
...can also be an inadvertent math lesson
...general idea for making one:
.....create a base from clay, or use another surface such as a ceramic tile or even cardstock (it's easiest to see what's happening if you use a disc shape first)
.........raw clay slices or baked ones can be used (if raw though, porous materials like card stock may get oily rings from the plasticizer if not baked soon)
.....find the exact center of your base ... then either place one "tile" (one slice, or group of slices) in the center, or don't have a center point and just begin with the next outer "level" least 3 tiles must be used for each level, but may want to begin with 4-9 tiles
......... each "tile" can be one slice or bit, or it can be a grouping of slices or bits)
.........however, continuous (or broken) ropes or other shapes can also be used as one concentric level
...these mandalas can have discrete onlaid pieces (which are then in relief leaving empty space between them), or they can have all their pieces placed tightly together (for a smooth overall surface like a mosaic without the grout)
...Byrd's lesson on applying raw cane slices, & clay ropes & other clay bits on a tile to make an onlaid mandala design
.....more examples of Byrd's mandalas ...& more info ...she often lays her slices on a ceramic tile smeared with clay (after white glue), then adds liquid clay under each slice/s
....Jan R's simpler mandalas (made with cane slices on a marbled/etc. background, created on a tile)
...Naama's onlays on "artist trading cards" like mandalas (she uses a long polymer piece for one radial bit though) (click on 3rd photo of Naama's)
...Kim Cavender's onlays laid on as smaller "mandalas" made with cane slices and shapes
Lisa T's smooth-surface mandalas made with cane slices and multi-cane cane slices, on tiles (click on
Skip Intro... then click Enter... then click Clay....then click on each 4" PolyClay Tile)
...many good drawings of mandalas (by kids)
...many more non-clay mandalas (some not symmetrical)

.....(also, more info on mandala patterns in general) (click on About Mandalas) (bottom of page --pretty technical)
...rose windows (round, stained glass) are also mandalas are kaleiscope patterns, etc.
.....can also apply baked can slices to a raw sheet (with a dot of liquid clay) for mandalas ...tip: If you bake tiny tiles on a ceramic tile or something else that they stick to and don't pop them off after baking, you'll be able to sand them while they're still stuck to the baking tile. Irene

fabulous 3-D bug critters ...made from balls of clay with overlapping cane slices (esp. for the compound wings)... also onlaid eyes, etc.
...these bugs LOOK more complicated than they are because they have a lot of parts & layers .... if you look at the "parts" though, you'll see they're very easy.... even the canes being used are just simple canes
...few examples: ...
...(for lessons and photos of these and other insects, see Sculpture > Other Items > Bugs)

molded or non-flat + filigree onlays

Heather's lesson on adding molded fish onto a switchplate (Tropical Goldfish Switchplate)
Syndee's lesson on putting a molded shape plus some long molded rope shapes onto metal, ceramic or clay pots and baked with them in the oven-- or glue on later if can't be baked ...(she says her metal pot color altered slightly when she baked it).
flowers in pots, vines, etc.. as onlays (on a large ceramic tile?)

Sarajane's barrettes & eggs onlaid with gold clay molded bits (from stamps?) and

"filigree" onlays (made from tiny clay gun extrusions) or molded-stamped-etc bits, can also be placed on a bead, then coated with a metallic powder, etc., to create faux metal beads
Janet's large "ethnic" silver beads with filigree onlays
Marcella's various metallic and pearly filigrees shaped over beads, or made hollow ( vinegar eggs), etc. (midle of pg)
Sarajane's sort of filigree onlays (not metal-colored though) on a flat-star cutout ornament... she first textures the flat star with various tools, then onlays a clay rope as a frame, and also twisted ropes and other little clay balls, etc. to embellish it further
molded filigree onlays on top of translucent-covered pressed flowers & leaves

Nora Jean's various pattern sheets as backgrounds under her onlays (on Altoid tins)
nenuphar's barrette, with several cane pattern sheets as backgrounds, with many various onlays (gone?)

Crealand's large covered vases, with onlaid scene at bottom (city buildings, mountain, palm trees)
Dar's bas relief onlay on gourd with Indian women, cactuses, pueblo

(for making cameos from polymer clay, see Molds > Other Ways to Use Molds > Cameos )

garden stones with raised lettering ...letters or molded bits can also be placed on clay-covered tiles, etc.(to see more on this and also on garden stones, stepping stones, etc., see Outdoor > Sun > Lessons ... and also Letters/Inks > Letters)... and also mandalas above

...(see also Molds for much more info, and other more abstract molds as well, and many molds at ...look in "catalog" for molds)

for accent, or just to add a bit of texture....onlays can also provide a small area of 3D on an otherwise flat large surface
....these bits could be used on a transfer, on a cane slice sheet, sheet of pattern, etc.. example is this surprising use of onlaid hands, feet and face on Kathleen Dustin's otherwise-flat colored pencil drawings
(click on both the mother-and-child purses)

ropey, textured, shaped things...
& bezels & bas relief pictures

onlaid clay ropes and other shapes can also be used as component pieces to almost entirely create a sculpt or high relief item

Some of the first book(let)s that Fimo/Eberhard Faber came out with had some rather sophisticated-looking onlays (often covered with metal powders) ...they were bits of molded clay, scrolled ropes of clay, textured clays ...mostly covered with gold or silver metallic powders (along with other materials such as fine chains, cabochons, mixed media, etc.)
....the first book(let)s that Fimo (Eberhard Faber) came out had

many ropes onlay... many thin clay ropes laid in long, waving or squiggly strands on a surface of clay
. . . or ropes used together in other ways for onlay (like seaweed or the roots of a tree, other organic looks, etc.)
... ropes themselves can be solid color(s), marbled, Skinnered, caned, or whatever
.... ... could also be tapering, variable in size or sape, highlighted, or even textured, etc.

Christi Friesen also uses pearls, glass, metal, etc. (mostly beadlike) on many diff., wonderful kinds of pieces to create her many onlaid, high-relief and 3-D sculpts and embellishments and beads, etc. (look all around, and clicking a second time will make the photos much larger!)
Alison Ingham creates brooches and pendants with lots of clay ropes and shapes, often used as frames around stones or other focal items
Barbara F's various ropey and flower/leaf onlays on beads (some covering bead, some partially covering)
...also antiqued (sometimes just beigey-colored clay is used for onlays, then just those parts antiqued)
Miriam's unusual "mosaic" of woman's bust ...rope outline filled in with thick slices of spiral canes, rolled-up noodles, and features

Kat has randomly onlaid and pressed down somewhat a number of black and red-cordovan colored worms-snakes (with translucent,) over a bright gold background, for a very interesting effect*&group=1&page=*&id=1058732949-004664
Karen G's random clay squiggles and shapes onlaid on animal shapes etc (outlined with wire)
Carla made a clay heart, then covered one shoulder and side of it with a number of overlapped, different-length, tapered Skinner blend ropes, etc., so that their tapered ends cascaded down one side
Marilyn's covered votive? with ropey stems all over.... cane slices are used for leaves & berries though

Eni's wonderful faux metal bezels, and collage of clay rope doodles (with real stones, molded items, mixed media, etc.) (see "New" especially)
Celidonia's tiny ropes and other bits of clay framing and partly overlaying glass pebbles and cabochons for small pendants
Eni's bezels, and doodles of clay ropes with real stones, molded items, mixed media, etc....also Renaissance
nenuphar's many clay ropes and other onlays, thick bezel around glass cabochons, etc. (look through many of the albums!) ...
Marie's bezels and multi-wraps around faux stones for pendants
*** look now at ---> http://www.marieidraghi.itciondoli.htm
(new site?)
Rachel 's ropes, small beads, and stacked flat clay layers, some held with wire
Kim K's using metallic powders for "painting" different colors (complete coverage of bas relief scene) base clay was all brown.... I recommend using colored clay underneath the coats of powder to save time, use less powder, and give more depth
..... some of the powders may have been Midnight Pearls and Powdered Pearls (many of whose colors which seem brighter on clay), but rim is Pearl Ex Aztec Gold (thank you jjjjami). Kim K.

simulated Renaissance-Baroque jewelry......(clay ropes, shapes, bezels, etc.... sometimes "inset" stones, etc.)
Christelle's gold jewelry pieces with gems in bezels, etc.

Marina's (Marie) pendants, with many clay ropes framing the stones
*** look now at ---> http://www.marieidraghi.itinglese/emonili.htm
(clink on each for more... new site?)
Dutch Accent's polished & baked polymer "stones" set in clay rope bezels for rings... and also gold/silver multi-rope rings and puzzle rings
Alison Inghamís ancient-look pins, some mixed media, clay gun extrusions, stones, etc.

"Gorkley" (the word originated in a Byrd swap... they defined it as "something near to your heart that is ugly to others. or something that's really neat, but not quite right - like a gnarly tree or a seven-toed cat. plus, there was a story to go with it, so gorkley is also tied up in wizardry" ... but it has come to refer mostly just to the onlaid ropes effect.)
......Byrd's very long ropes on a box lid & bottom... ropes grow up and partly around the round ball used as the lid's handle

Byrd's long waving strands laid out sort of radially ...tiny clay seashells are nestled in between the strands like buds
Michele's "gorkley" partially covered bottles, ea. with gem (website gone)
Kimba's "Gorkley" effect around a mirror ....onlaid around in squiggles or other shapes) (hobbystage gone?)
..Donna Kato pulls her extrusions for the thatched roofsx from the clay gun disk
, rather than just cutting them blunt, making the ends pointed
(these can be creepy (for Halloween) or they can be beautiful and organic/mystical)... good use for wild onlaid hair too

the "Balinese filigree" technique also uses spirals and rows of clay ropes (see Clay Guns > Balinese Filigree)

pictures and scenes

Dale's plants, turtle, butterfly, etc. Altoid cover is one example of this (notice Skinner blend background) --for many more examples, see Website listing on this page
Anne's many framed whimsical "pictures" made from sheets of clay (animals, scenes, figures, etc.) and
.....Garie's bas reliefs on tiles
...Jeanne R's "scenes" made by onlaying various colors of soft clay she finds under her pasta machine onto a clay sheet (often overlapped, for sunsets, etc.)

beadizzygrl's atc with Balinese Filigree clouds with shiny beads here and there, cane slice butterfly, grass leaves, etc.
Terry O's scene of mother bird feeding baby in nest ... onlays, bas relief
Danielle's lesson on creating flowers and stems (on a sheet of background clay forced up into a dome shape from the backside of a cabachon bezel)
Flo's animal transfers (on switchplates) with onlays of grasses , leaves, etc. to create " scene" for transfer (bobcat & fox)

Lisa P's lesson on covering the top of the lid of a photo storage box (using epoxy for baked "flower" frames for photos, and tacky glue for raw clay embellishments),1789,HGTV_3352_1399654,00.html
... Lisa's completely covered photo box, embellished with bas relief
underwater scene & Noah's Ark
Pat S's sealife and other tiles (mostly flat onlay)
Jan R's underwater scene with fish and kelp
Jan's framed and unframed wall art using onlay

3D Art Pictures Made with Fimo . . . project book by Brigitte Bohme featuring relief designs (EFA Hobby)
Creating Christmas Ornaments from Polymer Clay, by Bridget Albano (short book) . . . reindeer, penguin, snowman, Santa, etc., all created in bas relief (but wihtout background) to hang from tree . . . arms, legs, head, hat, etc., overlapped or onlaid on each other (then click on "Look Inside this Book" ...and especially the two black pages)

Bob's onlaid? small landscape plaque (gone)

........(for much more on bas relief, see Sculpting > Bas Relief
.......(for much more on making "pictures" with clay, see Paints > "Paintings")
his whole category overlaps a lot with those!)

Misc. websites... (dimensional onlay)

for eggs with onlays, see Eggs
for hearts with onlays, see Halloween > Valentines Day
for bottles with onlays, see Covering > Glass > Bottles ... and BOH
Barbara's dragons with onlaid scales (for more scales, see Sculpting-Bodies > Dragonskin-Scales)

for faces (often from molds, with flat backs ) surrounded by leaves or clothing (hats, scarves, etc)., see Heads > Faces used alone, surrounded
for masks with onlays for features, see Heads-Masks > Masks
(...... also see Sculpting > Bas Relief)

Violette's small book of fancy and embellished polymer pages (many with onlays) and
Lorieo's onlaid faces/hair and vines (on pens and notebook cover)
Kris Richards' simple onlays with metallic highlighting (long triangles, curved into shapes)
m (only steps 15-16)
Dotty's onlays on kimono women (covered prescription bottle) kaleidoscope women)

L.Osborne (Cath's) small ceramic lamp with large onlaid sculpted rose and two leaves

*Rebecca N's onlaid, textured-antiqued, & mixed media, gold mica clay necklace ... and other onlaid pieces

Cheryl's onlaid sculpted flowers and leaves as frames around transfers of face drawings (focal beads) (and many other onlays.... look around)

Xtine's faux ivory frame, with leafy-flowery onlays, around cane slice of zebra

*Christine's (Xtine) many onlaid flowers & leaves (slow loading)

japaya's 3 dimensional flowers made with thick cane slices, mostly onlaid from center of flower

Mary W's onlaid cane slices for radial-petal flowers, used as buttons or as drawer knobs

(see more dimensional flowers made with cane slices in Sculpting > Flowers)
Dawn C's leaves & slices onlaid onto pendants, over the middle of a multi-curved wire shape (hobbystage..not accessible)

Robin's various onlays & "field of flowers"...mostly made with tiny indented balls of clay (gone?)

Onlay Strips

Kim Korringaís demo on strips onlay using sheets made from rolled-together scraps from canes
.... she cut the sheet into strips and applied on a background sheet as onlay, leaving small gaps between them --demoed at South Bay Polymer Clay Guild (gone... add my copy DB?)
Kim's Christmas tree formed with strips from colorful patterned clay, placed on background sheet in steep chevrons (strips mitererd at top), forming a tall triangle
Kim's African mask with strips on background cut into shapes for facial features (...could be micromosaics though) (gone)
Kimís bargello strips technique
....she used some of the sheets of strips for inlays as well ... and she also flattened some of the onlays in the pasta machine

cane slice --cut a a thickish slice from a cane (maybe 1/16" or even 1/8").... (or could place on a backing clay for thickness?)
... cut the cane slice into strips as wide as the slice is thick
....lay strips onto a solid-colored background piece of clay, leaving a very slight space in between each of the strips.
...... then make these into earrings ...or if larger, pins or maybe even hair barrettes.
This looks kind of cool because you can still see what the slice looked like when whole, but at a slight angle you can also see the sides of the strips. Irene

"scenic strips ," Barbara Sosna; she creates "single-mountain" scenic landscapes, then cuts them apart vertically and applies to a base clay, leaving spaces between the strips

Tonja's bowl with onlaid strips of individual flowers bisecting exterior of bowl

Bargello onlaid strips

Basically this is the quilting & needlepoint technique called "bargello," but done with clay instead of fabric or thread/canvas.
... Bargello patterns can be created as strips of onlay on a base of clay, or as a cane.

(The basic techniques for creating the colors, stacks, and slices, then offsetting them, are basically the same for canes as for onlay, so
see also
Canes > Layers > graduated-Bargello for more ideas and photos.)

Laura Liskaís bargello onlay technique, using "discrete colors" :
... Laura creates onlay-strip beads (rather than making canes of bargello pattern)
lesson . . . Iím guessing this is how she does it:.
--Take one color and white (or black or whatever), and create 3 or more mixes from them, so that the first mix is very light, the last mix is dark.**
(......I believe she usually uses two different mixes (two different colors and white) for her final stack of 5-6, but any number could be used...the colors don't even have to be graduated; instead any colors could be used.)
--Make each mix (or solid color) into same-thickness sheets ...stack them...trim to make a rectangular solid block
--Cut a tall skinny slab (thick slice) from the block (along the gradient side of the stack)
(to make into ONLAID BARGELLO instead of caned bargello::)
--Cut thin strips from the end of each of the slices (across the striped colors) to create strips of segmented color.
--Lay each of the strips (or portions of them) on top of a piece of base clay, offsetting each strip by one or more tiny segments of color... and leaving a space between each strip so that the base clay shows through.

(**for more info on making discrete blends by hand, see the Blends page, Discrete sub-category)

made with Skinner Blends instead of mixing each color separately

Elizabeth's lesson on making bargello (discrete colors from cut-up Skinner blend sheets)
*Elizabeth's bargello swap photos !!!
*more of Irene Y's bargello items
Tonja's bargello after using Elizabeth's lesson (she used 3 colors, each blending from saturated to pastel)
PCC bargello challenge
Jan's quilt-like bargello patterns, made with tiles on a base (no grout)...she uses square tiles (--5 rows,some solid, some marbled or patterns) and snugs them together
Jo's demo on bargello (and mica clays bargello) (website gone)
Kathi G'
s lesson on making bargello (discrete colors from cut-up Skinner blend sheets) gone?
*Irene's Fall box, Joanie's purple one (star/chevron/zigzag patterns) (& beginning the patterns) (website gone)
(Nora Jeanís several patterns of onlay) (website gone)
Elizabeth's onlaid bargello, decorating faux pillow (website gone)
Cindy's thick bargello strips on a box (gone...not at artandsoul either)

Skinner Blend bargello strips ("faux" bargello?)...colors not discrete... colors this way creates kind of a hazy look, reminiscent of fuzzy weaving
......make SB sheets of 2 or more colors which end up*very* close together (see Blends>Size>Width>Narrow for various ways to do this)
......cut strips about 3:1 in proportion, and lay next to each other in a bargello pattern
...Babette's Skinner blend bargello onlaid with slight spaces between ... also textured
(click on Bargello)
....Dar's onlaid (& one is bargello-Seminole) Skinner blend strips

Carol's Skinner blend bargello... top layer strips (monochrome) cut to reveal bottom layer (polychrome)
...(Elizabeth's lesson above uses a SB too, but she cuts hers apart)

....the cutter rollers (of the pasta machine) are good for cutting even strips from your sheets of skinner blends... the way you stack your strips into a cane can make a neat zigzag or rippled pattern.
Cheryl's lesson on making a sort-of faux bargello effect with blends sheets (separated by metallic leaf) alternated and offset slightly (don't know if she took the slices from that side though) (gone)

variations, ideas, other mediums

....pattern: these strips can be offset from each other to create many patterns swirl upward, lay the next strip at least one segment higher than the previous one.... to swirl downward, lay it lower
...... patterns laid out in in a regular horizontal-veritcal grid will be linear ...e.g., one large chevron V (or an upside-down V) or more like U's if top is not "pointed"... or they could be zigzags or waves.... or any combination of those things
..........patterns can also be laid together in other orientations... e.g., radially to create a star, etc.

....color...could use only two alternating colors, or have every final row be a different color, or have repeats of colors, etc., etc.
....shape & size... could vary the thickness of the layers to be placed in block (instead of having them all bethe same thickness)
..........could vary the width of the slices (instead of their being all the same width)

......allow bargello pattern to fill the space or bea..., or only part of it
......cut the whole base-sheet-with-strips-on-it into puzzle pieces to rearrange with each other... or cut the whole sheet into other shapes with a blade, or cookie cutter, etc.

..... use grout (backfill?) between the strips?
...lori's squashed "bargello" canes; some like Seminole patchwork patterns--click on Other Uses for Tech.too)

*Cathyís many many bargello patterns (click on all pages, top right)
various zigzag V's ... different widths create the non-straight waves
various bargello patterns (done on plastic canvas with thin yarn)
hundreds of bargello patterns --
simple to complex (Google search),GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=bargello
Cynthia Tinapple's lesson on making a simple Seminole pattern --for more see, Canes-Instr. > Quilt)

lesson on making simple Seminole Patchwork pattern
various fancy bargello variations, some like Seminole Patchwork but colors used differently (some like cloth)
(text lesson) Complete Book of Seminole Patchwork

....(flattened or very thin)

DB:move other here?

flattened completely:
Christel's female face cane slice plus added hair+ background ...onlaid, then flattened onto a long bead
.....she cuts an oblong shape with a curved long blade from a thick sheet of clay
.......lays on some "background" (silver leaf, here and there)
...... lays on a face cane slice... adds other decorative slices (including a "bodice") onto the bead surface
...... also adds a small rope of gold clay, curled at end, around the face for hair
....she then flattens all slices and onlays by placing waxed paper over the bead, rubbing over all with a tongue depressor
.....trims any excess clay... rounds sharp edges
.....shapes the bead from the underside to make the pin little hollow on the back... bakes...sands edges flat
(...also adds bit of Gelly Roll pen coloring and a layer of liquid clay & bakes... + a clay backing and pinback + rope frame, pressing flatter near back side with finger)

"slice painting". . . very thin (and often very small) cane slices, flattened completely ....(individual slices from single canes placed on a clay base one at a time to create an image.... for example, petals of a flower, groupings of leaves, scales of a fish/dragon, etc.)
.. overlapping them or not.... reducing the cane for some parts or not
(see much more on this in Canes-Instr > Flowers > "Slice Painting" w/ flowers & leaves... and also in Canes-Instr > Later Manipulations > Slice Painting )

flattened somewhat... can also "onlay" cane slices, ropes, other thin bits onto another clay surface and flatten somewhat
...Billie's objects covered with patterned clay, on which many different clay slices are partly embedded (the patterned clay background creates a much more complex look)

add details or elements onto sheets or individual cane slices
some possibilities:
....faces/heads: facial features lips/eyes added to blank or partially completed face slices, etc.; or hair, clothing (whole areas like collars/hats/shoes or just embellishments on them, pockets, etc., accessories)
... landscapes with clouds/trees/rocks, house details like windows/shrubs
...(any bas relief type things might give inspiration too)

--"floating canes" made from onlaid, flattened slices of translucent & opaque clays in one cane, can be found in Canes-Instr. > Translucent

--flattened twisted ropes of mica-based clays... in Mica > Mike Buesseler
(or flattened twisted ropes of regular clays)

MUCH MORE on this general technique is currently in Sheets of pattern, under Flattened Pattern sheets
(....cane slices....misc. ....shreds & bits --Rainforest, watercolor-torn sheets, etc.)

NON-Clay materials for onlays

metal.... Some of the first book(let)s that Fimo/Eberhard Faber came out with had onlays made from other materials.... chains (necklace type), cabochons, other mixed media
....Helen B. places small metal shapes (charms, brads, medallions, etc.) onto clay shapes (near the center)to act as simple focal points
...........Helen B also uses single metal-mounted pearls, etc.
...*catbyte's onlays and shells, pearls, etc. (website gone)
... Christina's version of this technique for a pin, using a faux stone (hers was an "opalgeer" --see lesson in Fauxs > Opals) surrounded by a piece of chain, leaves & vining, a few rhinestones, and a rope framing

Stones or other things made of glass would be interesting too.

Pax's seed beads laid within filigree lines.. and metal seed beads dotted around clay ball (halfway in clay, holes to sides) and glass pebbles onlay ...

Karenís filigree+ beads (gone)
(other examples of using beads, etc., in websites on this page above)
(see more in Mixing Media > Beads)

When I've used the cheap plastic rhinestones, I glued one onto the end of pen cap so I could make an impression where they would go in the finished product. After baking I superglue them into place.
...I saw someone put plastic rhinestones into a sheet of clay (fairly deep) and they didn't melt during baking though ...
....see CD Shards below

I took a class one time where we cut small shapes from the Friendly Plastic and baked them directly on to the polymer clay. We made light switch plates and they were really cool. Jeanette (softened, but didn't run?)

mirrorwork dress (shisha)
Garie's white ceramic tiles with scene onlays
Irene D's (fatbak) onlay on textured tiles

CD shards & Other media

use shards for mosaics (see Mosaics)
see shisha mirrors used for onlay/embedding in Mixing Media

clear, round and flat glass marbles and pebbles can be "crackled" to create some interesting effects, then used as onlays (info about doing that is in Misc > Cracked Marbles)

more on CD shards used for pins in Jewelry
more on CD's & using them for making clocks and altered CD's, etc., in Covering

The material that CDís are made out of will withstand the heat of the oven (at our temps only?). You can use pieces of the shiny CDís as onlays.

Sara Janeís pieces with CD onlays, etc. (website gone)

They can also be used in your garden to scare birds or whatever away - they evidently dont like the reflective qualities. Kathy

learnthat's idea: use shards to make a disco ball (make it rotate, then shine a bright light on it)

cutting CD's
(see more on cutting these in Covering > CD's & Clocks)

Sputnik's longer explanation of cutting CD's & pins made with them
RuthAnn's stamped and colored CD shard pins, cutting, lesson

I discovered that you can use only commercially created CDsóthat is, do not use Read/Write CDs (the backing peels off when you cut them). Ruth Ann

A stamper friend told me about this method and it works (if you have a heat embossing tool, warm up the CD slightly which makes it more pliable and easy to manage;
.... if you don't have a heat tool, submerge it in very hot water a minute or so; holding the CD with a wooden spring clothespin or hemostats will protect your fingers)
If you would like to cut the cd into parts you must make some hot/warm water not boiling... put the cd in the water and wait a few minutes... then you can cut the cd with no problem (with ordinary sturdy scissors or kitchen shears).

(even without heating the CD), keep your scissor blades at about a 45-degree angle to prevent the plastic from cracking ...Ruth Ann

kitchen scissors don't work without heating the CD though... they leave tiny little line fractures evenly spaced around the edges (unless that's what you want). pvc saw doesn't work, it shatters and fractures the cd into unmanageable shards.
I found the easiest way to cut them was to score with either a heavy box cutter or glass cutter (or Exacto), then snap off pieces away from the score with flat nosed pliers. The pieces don't always come off in one piece, and it works better for fairly straight cuts, but it is much easier than (regular) scissors. Sara Jane
.. cut (or drill?) with the "wrong" side (facing up) - the side you don't want showing - because cutting sometimes makes little cracks. . Michele
BTW, when you cut them, go slow, and do it over a basket, to catch 'shards' that pop off (and wear glasses?). . .I also think if you can catch thin slivers, you could use them as inclusions...they give off quite a shine! Debi

I have a Creative Versa-Tool (a wood burning tool) and I use the hot knife tip in is slow, but not to much so. It sure does the trick and no cracking. Before that I would stand at my stove(gas) and heat up my xacto knife. This will cause some beading of the plastic but that pops off easy with pinching between the fingers. You can also melt right through them with the tool forcutting stencils ). . . . . . Using a Versa Tool for this will cause your tips to turn black from the plastic, but with Easy Off and the tool hot clean up is pretty easy. cajunmermaid
...the Dremel variable speed drill doesn't work... it either melts (if you're going at hi speed), or fractures and flies everywhere on lower settings.
.......however, if you're trying to drill holes in the cd pieces for effect, the dremel tool is dandy

When i first started cutting up cd's, i really got into it one night and ignored the discomfort in my ctting hand where the handle pressed against the web between my thumb and forefinger. i damaged the nerve there very badly and was unable to cut with scissors with that hand for almost a year.
so - cut just a few at a time, and bag the scraps you get for another project down the line!! Sunni

Use Gold Pen-touch calligraphy marker OR gold Krylon leafing pen for coloring the edge of CD's. Sputnik

MISC. onlays & info

molas.... layers of clay can be used to make a mola in the traditional way, or just capture the look of a mola in canes or onlay. (In general, larger patterns are cut from the top layer and, progressively, smaller patterns are cut from the successive under layers.)
Janet Ferris' mask using some mola effects (gone)
I just borrowed our whole set of Kemper cutters from my partner to try some ideas for the mola swap. Gee. Now you have me thinking . .Becky
Looking at the photo on this page of a Tibetan pattern made me think a "faux" mola made with clay strings from a clay gun might be equally interesting...
There are many websites that show real mola patterns. . I saw a Dover book called "Molas" also

raise each layer (or clay sheet shape) up to create the illusion ...layering the bits on top of each other with either thick dots of glue or little bits of rubber cushion (or bits of clay) - so the cat and mouse are over the table and the bow is over the cat. Sort of like the 3-d decoupage you see about.

for onlaying ropes, shapes, etc., onto a tube bead before rolling over a clay surface to make a long strip of impressions, see Stamping > Stamp Rollers

onlays can also be turned into a flat-surface (without flattening it ).... by laying pieces next to each other (puzzle style) on top of a backing sheet... excess backing sheet is then trimmed away from the outside areas, leaving only the flat puzzle-pieced image

I'm the only one, as far as I know, who does this - I put on a couple of thin coats of Future and then let dry overnight. I'm convinced that this makes the item stronger (or at least less prone to chipping) because there seems to be a blend of polymers that just curing then "futuring" doesn't give it. . . The sheen is a more gentle one, but buffs nicely to a higher one.
I discovered this technique due to very hot hands and the need to hold a bead in one place for a long time to do inlays and bas reliefs...if I apply them the next morning after the coating has set on the bead and before curing, I don't leave fingerprints. Kelly

other "onlay" effects could be dragon scales, etc ,.... small triangles or other shapes pressed onto faux ivory