Website Weekend brings us a little closer to our community

After another successful Website Weekend, we have some new swag to add to our Mm collection! Patrick Schmidt is a recent graduate of Website Weekend and runs a few projects, including Open Clay Project and Open Fine Arts Gallery in Berkeley. He made us some keychains with the Mm logo using a very interesting technique.

The process he used is called millefiori, which was originally known as a glass technique, but is now also associated with polymer clay.

CaneThe first thing he did was construct a “cane,” which is a big prototype of the 2 dimensional design, but as a 3 dimensional shape.

ReducingThen he pressed and pulled the clay to elongate the cane. This is called “reducing.” Some shapes, like circles and triangles, reduce better than others. This is the hard part of the process, as it is very easy to distort the creation.

Slicing the caneWhen the cane was reduced to the size he wanted, Patrick then used a razor blade to thinly cut it into slices. For our keychains, he added them to another piece of clay, then baked them in an oven for half an hour. After the metal key rings are put on, they are done!

keychainsPatrick uses this technique for jewelry, but also as a great educational tool. Chromosomes, DNA, and RNA can be easily visualized when created using this process.

This was such a cool process, and if you want to learn more, Patrick teaches a free class every week at his art gallery in Berkeley. He will also be teaching classes with Make SF and Workshop Weekend, where we first met him and where we also run a class!

He will also be having an art show this coming Saturday, February 2nd from 6-9pm. Try to stop by, say Hello, and learn a little bit more about the art in our community.

Patrick at Open Clay Project