Because polymer clay is flexible, you can stretch it, and you can color it with a huge array of art materials, it’s a natural match for making crackle effects. While crackle in the natural world usually is connected with age or deterioration, you’ll find that crackle can also be refined, contemporary, or sophisticated. This tutorial takes you through the 7 major ways to create crackle effects and explains the materials and processes that you can use.
This is not, however, a step-by-step project tutorial. There are no finished items to create. I thought a long time about the best way to convey this information to you and I finally settled on the enclosed format. Most crackle processes are just variations on a theme, and to step-out dozens of variations would just be annoying and tedious to read. I didn’t want to limit this tutorial to just 8 or ten crackle recipes. As with all my tutorials, my goal is to teach you to understand the materials and the way they work so that you can apply the information and techniques to your own preferred type and style of project. I’ve tried to give enough information to serve as a jumping-off point for your explorations. Note there is a Crackle Gallery that gives a quick overview of how I made each crackle sheet or item.
There is also a user gallery where you can upload your crackle photos (and what you made with them). If you have any questions, there is a private Questions and Discussions section where you can get help from me or other owners of this tutorial.
Note: If you prefer a PDF download, you can find the button for that in the Crackle Resources section.
Below is a table with each of the sections and topics listed. You can navigate from here, or you can use the navigation panel at the right (or below if you’re on mobile). At the end of each topic and section will also be buttons to help you get around. Thanks for joining me here. Now let’s get cracking! (Sorry…Dad joke…I had to.)