Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Polymer Clay Journey: Making Your Own Colours

Well, I told you about my experimentation with mixing polymer clay brands. Now, I want to share a short video about experimenting with colour mixing. I don't mean mixing one colour of polymer clay with another to achieve yet, another colour. Nope, I mean trying to turn say white and/or translucent into an actual bright colour. I had already dabbled in mixing translucent with alcohol inks and mica powder, that has been done by others and worked fairly well if you want pastel hues. Maybe I did something wrong. It baked well and has lasted.
Watch The short video below

This experiment arose when I was wanting to order a slew of colours from a polymer clay store in the USA, but since our dollar is not doing so great, I thought about how I could try to save a bit by mixing my own colours using white. For some reason, I chose to mix translucent promo clay with Premo white. I wish I could have recorded the entire process, but I assume boredom might set in for the viewer. So this video is a brief description of the materials I used to colour the clay. I did post the raw verses baked variations of the clay, because baking it, is the true test. It seemed to work. I used the following to create colours, sometimes I combined more than one medium. If you try this, and I suggest you do, make sure you try adding colour little by little. Keep an eye on how squishy and gooey it may get. It all depends on what you are hoping to achieve.

All I know, is yay, it worked. Regarding acrylic paints, experiment because they are water based and I found that turquoise craft  paint was thick and worked well, no, I didn't let it dry, it was mixed in wet, as was everything else. And other acrylic paint, lime, was too water and did not work.

When using dry and oil pastels, careful shave the colour into a powder like substance. Avoid making chunks or it won't mix in. Unless, you want that chunky texture.

Oil Paint works really well. But, be careful because as you can see in the video, it can loosen the polymer clay a lot and make it too ooze to be used. So be cautious. If it gets to wet, you can try absorbing some of the extra oil by laying it between printer paper. That is what I have learned from many great You Tube tutorials. Not regarding oil paint in clay, but just if your clay from the package is too soft to hold the shape you want.

Pigment Ink, I used silver so it took lots and lots, and in the end it turned the clay pale grey. I had to blot silver from the pad directly onto the clay to get anything that looked like silver. But, know that you can use pigment ink on your polymer clay when it is raw and bake it.

Inka Gold is one of my favourite wax or water based pastes. It comes in really nice bold metallic hues. It has a tendency to dry out, but I learned that you can add warm water with a folded up baby wipe or I used a paper towel. Close the lid and let it re-hydrate. It can be mixed into the clay, and also used on the surface. Most add it once baked, but I tried it raw and nothing bad happened. So experiment. I did mix it using a bit of craft paint it worked okay and stayed true to colour when baked.

Alcohol ink, is something that isn't in this video, but like I said, I used it before and it works well to colour clay. It can be messy, but as you know, I like messy. It is wonderful to feel the clay and mix it in by hand.

Mica Pigment Powder also known as eye shadow basically, can also be used to either accent a piece of raw clay as well as be mixed into raw clay to colour it. Metallic or Pearl clays by PREMO and other brands are created when translucent clay is mixed with a lot of mica powder to give it that shimmery effect. Maybe they add other pigment, not sure.

A combination, alcohol inks, mica and glitter.

Hope you there is something useful for you here. I would love to see your experiments in colourizing clay and any other creations. Also if you have thought, comments or questions, please write them below and don't forget to like, subscribe and share this if you like :o)

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