Gen. info & photos for many fauxs ......books,videos
+ amazonite
coral + cinnabar + carnelian
lapis lazuli
rock-like rock/stones
...granite, sandstone, pebbles, etc.
shells + white-translucent shell
terra cotta, earth clay
lava + pitting
marble ....alabaster
abalone, Mother of Pearl
feldspar, moonstone, labradorite
tiger eye
clear-ish gems & stones
dichroic glass

water + bubbles + glassy effects
....all metals... gold/bronze/etc...silver-pewter...copper & verdigris
Ancient & aged looks + patinas, antiquing
More Websites (many fauxs)
OTHER. FAUXS at GlassAttic:
.... ivory.. turquoise.. wood --as well as inclusions of various kinds to create stone looks--
have separate pages of their own at GlassAttic ( see Faux-Ivory .or Faux-Turq-Wood .or Inclusions for those)
.... animal skins... all simulations are in Canes--Instruc > Animal Skins


GENERAL INFO for many of the fauxs

Translucent clays are used in many of the faux recipes... in different amounts depending on opacity vs. translucence desired
..... diff. brands and types of translucent clay will produce somewhat different results, however

Most "natural" items we simulate (rock, gemstones, wood, etc) will need at least a little transclucent clay in the mix to give them a bit of depth, especially if later polished....using the translucent will give them a less flat/opaque look and more of a realistic look.
....some natural items have tiny irregularities in clarity (little areas of opaqueness) in them (faux jade, e.g.) simulate these materials, it's best to use a translucent clay which will plaque (or "moon") ....all the currently available translucents will plaque, I believe, except for Premo's Bleached Translucent (now called Frost) --Premo has two translucents: the one called "bleached-Frost" will not plaque, or will plaque very little
........although plaques can also be introduced in any translucent clays by conditioning (warming and stretching) the clay with damp hands or introducing a little moisture in other ways
(....see Translucents for much more info on brands & using translucents)
...Kato Polyclay bakes up with a natural sheen, so may not be suitable for some fauxs

...more transparent colorants would be alcohol-based inks (Pinata, Adirondack) and artists' tube oil paints
..........these can be mixed into all-translucent clay to simulate many of the stones listed below (jade, amber, marble, rose quartz, for example)
(see Paints and Letters-Inks for more on paints and alcohol inks)
.......more opaque colorants would be most regular solid clays, acrylic paints, and various inclusions
all kinds of inclusions can be used to simulate the color, shimmer, or visual texture in many fauxs order to be seen well down into the surface after baking (and especially after sanding/buffing), inclusions are usually mixed into into all-translucent clay or into tinted translucents
........ some "inclusions" would be powders such as mica, embossing, eye shadow, blusher, oil pastel chalk, dirt, ground spices... as well as crayon shavings, flaked herbs, polyester opalescent glitters, flakes of metallic leaf, grit of various types, etc
(see Inclusions and Powders for more on inclusions)
...Colorants can be mixed into the clay completely, or be marbled into the clay, or it can be dripped onto sheets here and there in dots or patterns then shaped or marbled, etc
... leftovers from techniques using translucent clays can also often be used

gashes (to create aged or distressed look), lines, or other impressions (stamped, carved, etc.) can be created on the surface of many types of raw or baked clay faux stones
.... these gashes/lines/impressions can also be antiqued or backfilled if desired
(for much more on techniques of antiquing, highlighting and backfilling, see Faux Ivory and Molds and Carving, etc.)

definitions, categorizations, and lots of info on various types of "gem"stones... and some photos
....I can't totally figure out what the differences in definition and classification are for the different "stones," "gemstones," and "rocks"... so on this page I'll just list most stones which are used decoratively in jewelry, etc..., in separate categoires (those for which I info anyway).
...the category called "Other Stone(s) & Rock" will have the more rock-like fauxs, not so traditionally used for jewelry, etc
...turquoise and ivory have their own separate pages (Faux-Turq & Wood ...Faux-Ivory)

REAL stones of many, polished stones (alphabetical) (by name, more enlarged)
Kathy G's photos of various stones

I love to use the Fire Mountain catalog for comparing my mixtures of 'natural stone' to their pictures of the real McCoy. Dianne C.

Books + Videos/etc.

Tory (Victoria) Hughes is the "queen" of faux techniques; she originally introduced many of the faux recipes and techniques which are now so well known
: she has a number of separate videos on making fauxs
Recreating Turquoise & Lapis... Recreating Bone & Ivory... Recreating Jade... Recreating Amber & Coral... as well as Metallic Surface Techniques for faux metals),
. . .BOOK: Polymer: The Chameleon Clay ... it has
at least one version of each of the above fauxs is also covered in her videos, plus shell and onyx
Tory Hughes mentioned she would be publishing her new techniques for faience and agates in Ornament magazine soon. Katherine)

Irene Semanchuk Dean's BOOK: Faux Surfaces in Polymer Clay: 30 Techniques & Projects That Imitate Stones, Metals, Wood & More has many fauxs:
Malachite Lapis Lazuli Tiger-Eye Turquoise Opal Jade Balinese Silver Bronze Rusted Steel Pewter Copper Verdigris Bone Abalone Cork Mother-of-Pearl Leather Burled Red Maple Cinnabar Jasper Slate Marble Agate River Rock Celadon Dichroic Glass Faience Cloisonne Raku Scrimshaw on Faux Ivor, and "Basse-Taille Enamel"

Carol Blackburn's BOOK: Making Polymer Beads has good lessons for fauxs (coral, amber, abalone, and veined marble, were especially mentioned by some, but there are 16 fauxs altogether)


opaque amber (mostly):,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=amber+bead
..Tibetan amber (mostly),GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&start=100&sa=N&ndsp=20,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=Tibetan+amber
...copal (likened to amber)
transparent amber:
transparent with trapped insects:

COLORS of natural amber:
......some is opaque in shades of yellow and orange (varying from pale yellowish brown to a warm orangey color.. "butter" amber is popular
......other amber is clear/transparent (sometimes with trapped insects)
...Some believe the color (of different ambers) is related to the type of tree sources:
.......Recent pine trees produce golden yellows, white, ivory-colors, and occasionally a blue resin. Scientists at the Polish Museum of Science believe that reddish tints are the resin of deciduous trees, such as cherry and plum. Dominican amber with a reddish tint is thought to be related to a leguminous source.
...Natural amber, regardless of color, may darken to a mellow brown after long exposure to air; pressed amber may turn white as it ages.
...Amber color preferences vary from country to country. The transparent reds and greens are thought to be the most desirable colors in some countries, followed by the transparent yellows. The warm, transparent, orange color seems to be a desirable color for many Americans.

many FAUX AMBERS (opaque + translucent):,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=faux+amber

Tory Hughes created the original faux amber in her video: Recreating Amber and Coral ...
....(see samples of her ambers below, in Examples)

Tory's recipe used Fimo's "Art Transparent" translucent clay (a non-bleached translucent), and golden yellow ..... plus a teensy bit of magenta or violet (...exact proportions depend on what effect you are going for and how you are doing it.)
for making the buttery-looking amber on one of her (Tory’s?) tapes; basically it's equal parts of Fimo golden yellow and 00 art transparent, with a little bit of orange... I've also used a little bit of a red-violet to slightly neutralize the golden yellow. . . . the colors need to be left slightly streaky.

Kathy Gregson's mini-lesson and recipes for Tory's amber --and interview re various stones

dark amber: 1/32 block #1 Orange, ½ of 1/64 block #23 Bordeaux (dark red), ¼ block #15 Yellow ...mix together, and then add: ¼ block 00 Art Translucent ...mix together, but can leave streaky
light amber: 1/32 block #23 Bordeaux, ¼ block #15 Yellow... mix together, then add: ¼ block 00 Art Translucent...mix together but can leave streaky
.....When forming beads, leave some of the fold lines....can texture with an old piece of bark or wood. ...make the beads irregular in shape.
......the old beads frequently cracked and folks repaired them with a piece of wire (you can simulate this by forming a wire in a zig-zag pattern with a small foot on either end....push the feet into the clay over a fissure.... remove the wire while baking and then glue it in later). Kathy

Elizabeth has a lesson on making amber, with dark cracks, using inks, highly polished
.. . . she uses Pinata brand inks (see Letters-Inks) to color 3 diff. brands of translucent clay (including bleached Premo) to create base mixes (each brand should plaque and yellow differently)... each translucent sheet has random ink splotches of yellow, plus orange, red, & brown dropped on it, then it's mixed in completely)... she then mixes small amounts of each into more translucent to make three diff. logs which are twisted together and marbled, then formed into beads
...finally, uneven cracks are cut into the beads and dark inks are inserted with a tiny syringe; they are left to dry overnight, then the cracks are pushed together and the beads re-shaped; then baked, sanded and finished, I'm trying a Capri blue-green agate with this method. Elizabeth
...(for ways to make a thin-nose eyedropper, or to adapt a regular dropper,
see Letters-Inks > Inks for Tinting) . . . although Elizabeth uses syringes too

I was playing with Bunny's faux ivory recipe, and ended up using layers of FIMO Art Translucent, Premo translucent, FIMO White, Sculpey Ivory and FIMOSoft Beige.... different thicknesses, stacked, cut, restacked, then marbled pretty well. It looks like a block of a solid eggshell color....
...... But, if you then bake it for 8-12 hours, it does wierd stuff ...16 hours gave me "ebony," believe it or not, but less time gave me really interesting color combinations --- all in the same piece! ...amber, a purplish color and very dark brown (all from that off white mixture, baked at the right temp, but for too many hours. Strange.) ...I'm going to carve and backfill a few of these, then I'll post them where you can see them. It would be neat to combine with petroglyphs. Elizabeth

a good faux amber recipe is a largish chunk of translucent, and a LITTLE bit (pea size, even split pea size!) of golden yellow , plus a scraping of red, or (brown for darker ambers) ...It should look pale lemon sherbertish, as it darkens considerably when baking.
....And for the last 5 minutes or so of baking, I defy the rules and also push the temp to 300 degrees....yes, it burns it JUST A LITTLE ... and hey, it looks like amber.

I start with a base of about a half block of Fimo's Transparent, and experiment with an a half block of Cernit's yellow #021 and about a pea size Cernit red #012. ...I just play around with those bases because in nature there is a great deal of variance anyway. DLG

For my amber, I used Tory's receipe and just changed the shading slightly...used ocher acrylic paint to antique before sanding.... Dianne C.

tinted with Kato Concentrated Colors
....I recently got the new Kato concentrated colors (red, yellow, blue)
... mixed small amounts of yellow and red together, each about the size of a 8 mm bead (I discovered that red is far more powerful than yellow, so next time I'll start with more yellow and add small amounts of red.).. I mixed till I had a rich yellow orange.
....I added a teensy bit of blue (just a speck) to tone down the orange slightly.
....then I divided that piece into 3 parts, and made one more yellow and the other a little more red, so I had three small pieces the size of my pinkie fingertip that were 3 varying shades of yellow-orange.
....Then I took some Premo Frost and divided it into thirds and mixed in the various colors.
The cool thing is that a little of the concentrated color goes a long way, so you get your color and also keep a lot of translucency.
(Earlier I tried making my colors with Pinata alcohol inks mixed into translucent, but I didn't care for the colors I got with that method). Linelle


Tory's various shades of amber dark yellow, . brownish, even red ...some with inlay s, cracks, etc... plus interview
Karen O's various shades of amber, with distress marks, etc

Tricia D's yellow & orange amber, with cracks and antiquing ... not polished
Sera's very yellow amber, with cracks and turquoise inlays
Desiree's dark yellowy orange amber with cracks, wire inlays, turquoise inlays, and antiquing
Claude's amber, small spacer beads (cut from a baked log)
amber from Mile High guild, crack with "wire holding crack together"
Celie Fago's amber and coral (from a June 2000 class announcement) (gone)

Spices like turmeric might lend a WONDERFUL enhancement to the faux amber techniques ....laughmoon
...I used paprika imported from Hungary (good stuff!) for inclusions, although no one told me this would work!!! H2Obaby

"gold layering" is just amazing, like magic! I'll bet it would make great amber! ... you could also paint a little insect between the layers .
. . . press a shallow texture into a sheet of gold Premo and bake .... accent the recessed areas with burnt umber acrylic, and the high points with Pearlex bright gold mixed with Flecto (let dry completely (the TLS is a little cloudy brefore it is cured but you should be able to see through it a bit) now you have a bunch of different colors of gold... then fill it with TLS in a couple of coats ... the effect is almost holographic .....Jody B. (Jody's video, Exploring Liquid Sculpey)

texturizing faux amber with bark is really cool.

If you want a more translucent amber though, you could try the method Jenny Bezingue discovered by accident ... plain translucent Sculpey... baked at 275 degrees for about two hours!

clear amber amber is made with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel, a clear embossing powder, which is melted --found with the stamping materials). It can be melted with a glue pot or a heat gun. You can also pour the UTEE into most molds such as (2-pt silicone molding materials).
...or could also use 2-pt resins or even Future, etc. instead (see Other Materials > Resins and Resin Simulations)
...I am also trying to figure out a way to make them by using a thin sheet of translucent clay wrapped around a center of liquid clay. Skye
...besides amber, I am currently working on a faux amethyst, reticulated quartz, fluorite, garnet, labradorite, and others.


real jade (all types, colors),GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=jade

Real jade actually comes in many colors, as well as shades of green --almost white, grayish, brownish, purplish, brownish-yellow, dark brown, etc, but some of those may be dyed.

Most faux jade made from polymer clay though has generally been made some type of green (so far, anyway)
.... by using translucent clay tinted with a small amount of greenish clay (and perhaps tiny bits of other colors)
........the clays are usually marbled in some ways, but usually never mixed together totally.
...but other inclusions can be used to create the color in the translucent clay instead of green clay (green embossing powders, inks, crayon shavings, etc.)

Since real green jade comes in so many variations of green-ish, one or more greens may be used (alone, or marbled together) --e.g., bluish greens, yellowish greens, toned-down greens, etc
...some clayers like to add very small bits of purple or orange clay to tone down the green, and give the jade visual variation

The jade recipe is really not as critical as the technique used... the recipe merely requires a very small amount of green, pink, yellow, (orange, ) purple and/or black... (take your pick as jade comes in many colors). trick is not to use too much of a color when combining with translucent
...jade's color characteristics can be very subtle and beautiful so color changes in your pieces should be very gradual (expcept for imitating flaws like those black flecks)
. . .visit a lapidary shop or rocks shop or jewelry shop some sort and study the various samples of the items that you want to imitate. Desiree

The simplest way to make faux jade is just by mixing a bit of any green clay into a lot of translucent clay, then marble it.

Before baking, faux jade can also be stamped, textured, . molded, or even sculpted (which may appear "carved")
After baking, it can be shallowly carved into (then backfilled if desired)

...also after baking, the dimensional areas (carved, textured, molded, sculpted) may then be "antiqued" by rubbing with paint (usually brown, red, or white) which is wiped off of the upper areas, leaving the paint only in the depressions
...the upper areas can then be sanded and buffed to a sheen or shine also, if desired

Faux jade may also be given a polished look if desired (from a slight sheen all the way to a high gloss), usually by sanding and buffing
...textured, stamped, molded or carved faux jade will have higher and lower areas, so sometimes only upper surfaces of those are polished (depending on how deep and close together the texture is)... this increases the illusion of some real jade items also because generally they're worn smooth wherever they're handled or exposed.... the crevices of those items also may have a bit of dirt accumulated there, or at least they aren't smoothed from wear, so it can work well not to give them a sheen or shine (also increases the 3-D effect if they're dull looking while the upper parts are shiner).
........or textured items may be polished all over (hills and valleys)
...or liquid finishes may be used to give a polished look (sheen to high gloss)

r the jade can be left as is from the oven (matte)

translucent clay is a necessary ingredient of making faux jade, but the types and brands of translucent clay can differ:
...some translucent clays are clearer than others after baking (e.g. Premo's Bleached Translucent --CFC 06), but most others "plaque" to some degree.
...this plaquing is desirable for most simulations of natural materials, because the tiny opacities and variations in translucency are often found in stones and in nature
...the plaquing is said to be caused by moisture in the clay expanding
....Tory Hughes suggested that if you want maximum plaquing, you put your pieces in a hot oven and subject them to that drastic temp change quickly
for much more on plaquing, as well as more ways to increase it, check out Translucents > Plaquing )..

If putting faux jade on top of a different color clay (or other material else), Elizabeth suggests using a coating of white (acrylic paint) under the jade so that it won't be darkened or have other color changes.

The original technique for simulating jade came from Tory Hughes... her video making diff. looks of jade
...she also has a lesson by Tory in a very old issue of Ornament magazine... and now has a book on fauxs, but not as many methods?

various colors & types of faux jade, by Jacqueline G

jade items by Kay with black speckles, some as bicones with heavy plaquing

various jades... Kathy G's white or red antiquing on various colors of jade... Virginia B's deeply stamped or molded jade partly filled with light clay... and Nathalie's sculpted bear with heavy plaquing

Marcella's unplaqued jade, carved with brown antiquing
stamped-scene jade pendant, heavily antiqued with dark red-brown paint... upper areas sanded then buffed (very bottom left of page)
Heather R's molded or stamped jade items... some very dark green, some lighter gr een (some with red antiq)

sculpted then onlaid faux jade leaves on a covered BOH (using embossing or other powder? mixed into translucent)... also stopper and neck ring
(2nd row)

Cheri O's beautiful sculpted flowers and leaves (almost all translucent) on a small vessel made of heavier-tinted greenish translucent ...could be "jade"

Linda's covered tin (light jade) with onlaid sculpted dragonflies
Marty W's very pale jade sculpted as tiny dragons
Dotty's beautiful molded face and sculpted leaves... also small-bead "trim" (later antiqued with brown) (near bottom of page)
Sherry B's sculpted jade mini mask (bottom right)
Claudine's mottled colors of jade in fan-ish bead shapes for necklace... carved, and backfilled with white clay (or acrylic?)
Irene's carving into jade, before applying red antiquing

Debbie's flat jade donut pendants, with bit of shaped gold (paint?, leaf?) embellishments
Gerry's very green jade as book cover (with faux ivory, etc. atop)
Ellen's speckly faux jade chain links

Darla's molded jade?....with inclusions of some kind... antiqued with red/orange (gone)
Linda T's faux jade mask, with carving and paint (website gone)
Darla's woven jade-like clay over an egg (egg dissolved with vinegar) (gone)
Judith Skinner's jade pieces based on Tory & Kate R info
(gone... eventually at
Karen O's various faux jade donuts
(gone..look at

lessons & recipes... using clay

Elizabeth's lessons on mixing jade by marbling two jade recipes (see top of page for recipes)
...she flattens a wad of it under deli wrap with a roller till 1/4" thick (..can add a few sprinkles of black clay or embossing powder first)
...she also textures her jade with a texture sheet ...and antiques it after baking (.... then surrounds it with a faux bronze bezel) (requires Acrobat Reader)

Adria's lesson on making tri-colored jade ...using 3 green shades of tinted translucent (one bluish, one yellowish and/or olive, and one fairly light)
...each sheet rolled as thin as possible (even further stretched)... then cooled
...then torn into random shapes which are piled loosely together, then compressed (no twisting, etc.)
...choose an interesting area to press into a mold... bake ... antique with burnt umber

Jennifer (ExpressionsInClay's) lesson on making jade with 5 different colors and diff. proportions of translucent (white, yellow, green/black, green/black/white);
...freeze, then chop all but the white (grate it) into smaller bits... roll or pull and smoosh, then roll until satisified

Kathy Gregson's recipes for jade, and interview re making stones

Kathy's recipes & Melissa's tips

Faux jade is easy... jade comes in so many colors that you can't go wrong!
...I use .translucent with green & a tiny bit of brown ... mix well.
...add tiny pieces of black & purple (brown will do too)... mix in & make a snake, folding in half over & over until you have tiny thin stripes of black & purple going throughout can add speckles of black at this point if you wish, but it is not necessary
...after you make your Faux Jade item & bake it, age it with burnt umber acrylic paint. That's it! Barbara

Can anyone enlighten me as to the appropriate technique to combine the colours (pale green, tiny amounts of pale orange, pale purple (with) black (specks), if I remember correctly) to get a 'jade' effect instead of a swirled, marble effect?... I ended up just blending the colors completely, which was a really great color, but what I was going for! Melissa

I have seen the Tory Hughes tape, but for Jade, I prefer a different formula ...cernit olive green combined with Fimo ART Transclucent. You have to experiment, but a pea size cernit+gumball size Art T. Add more or less transclucent according to desired value.
...most faux formulas result in a very soft, almost sticky consistency because of the use of translucent clay
...the translucent, when baked,produces a crackly affect (plaquing). DLG

I use about a pea-sized ball of green (or green mixture) to 1/4 block of transparent Fimo 01).  You can vary this by a bit more or less, depending on the shade/effect you want.  Remember, jade comes in all different colours/shades.  I'd suggest making a smallish batch and baking a couple of samples - perhaps a bead and a flattened piece - to see how it looks.  Then you can decide if you need to add a bit more transparent or colour. Vicki:

Try chopping (or making ropes, etc.) your bits of slightly-differently-colored translucents and combining them, possibly covered with a greenish translucent; fold, roll, squish and otherwise manipulate till you get something you like ..

That particular jade is a medium green color. It is made of Fimo. The recipe is 1/2 block OO Art Translucent, 1/64 block of #5 Green and 1/64 block of #9 Black. If you want to make a larger batch like I do, 8x that recipe is 4 blocks of OO, 1/8 block of Green and 1/8 block of Black. All the recipes I use are over on the Webpage (at PCC), click on the chat I had on Faux Techniques. Just remember with Jade that the unbaked clay looks nothing like the baked clay; bake a piece before you add more color to the recipe. Trust me on this. Kat

I love it when a mistake turns out to be a good find. I got too heavy handed on an ancient bronze patina and found that it makes a rather nice jade. If you want the surface to look matte and old, a sparse stippling of two shades of Liquid Sculpey and perm. green artists'oil paint over a dark metalic gray base, does the job. If you use a more generous amount, the colors merge a bit and look like jade. Since the LS is self leveling, it can be sanded with 1200 grit paper and buffed to a rich gloss. Jody B.

I use my small cheese grater to make the black speckles for faux Jade (a la Tory Hughes) now that Fimo's black clay is usually softer than the dry Fimo she use to use (she simply rubbed one chunk against another to get black crumbles)...

other ways to create jade... (inclusions)

Mix green Granitex clay (which has dark green "lint" inclusions in it) with translucent Sculpey III and a bit of Leaf Green Sculpey III, for an easy jade imitation. Donna Kato

I use alcohol inks ( and brown) to color translucent clay rather than using other clays ...and the translucent clay gives me the plaquing
...the result are rather good. Claudine
...or use artist's oil paints, though alcohol inks would be most transparent

Use green colored play sands in translucent. . .
.....Lindly Haunani. . . adding (craft) sand (available at craft stores) to clay. . . . I've found that a concentration of 3/4 teaspoon per ounce of translucent clay is a good saturation level. When researching additives I've found mixing a scale of different concentrations invaluable. Many work best at 1/2 t or less.; green can be good for faux jade...
....Lindly's lesson on using green sand to make faux jade is on same page as the crayon shavings page link in paragraph just above
Tinidril's jade made with green and purple craft sands in translucent Premo (one antiqued with Geis oil paint)

The best jade I've found is an embossing powder called Verdigris mixed into Fimo's ArtTtransparent 00 ...several companies make the embossing powder…

Or add another type of inclusion?... like an herb or a spice ....or maybe dryer lint, etc? DB

Lindly Haunani has a technique for create jade from crayon shavings incorporated into translucent clay.
....when baking this clay, care must be taken because the outermost bits of crayon will melt (use a paper towel underneath to absorb any runoff).
....more than one green may be used in a separate translucent mix to combine next to the previous green, giving the impression of slightly different pieces of jade. Diane B.
....I really dislike using the pasta machine for chopped crayons--takes forever to clean the machine.?—Dianne C.
Lindly Haunani's lesson on using crayon shavings to make a faux jade pendant

AMAZONITE ... some is similar to jade

green --some like jade, some more greenish turquoise.... many have whitish streaking

real amazonite:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=amazonite



real coral:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=coral+bead

Karen O's coral beads with distress marks which have been antiqued
Judith Skinner's coral, turquoise, ivory, jade
Greg's coral, turqouise, and reddish-brown stone
(website gone)
Paulo's coral with inlays

Kathy Gregson's recipes for polymer coral, and interview re stones, and samples

(look somewhere at

Dominique's muted coral? or other reddish brown, orangey, or carmel-colored stones... with carved gashes, etc., antiqued with light colored ____ (photo with giraffe)

Red, yellow, white, and translucent . . . marble them together.

try this (with FIMO colours---) red as your base, then add a bit of yellow, the LITTLEST bit of black...this makes blood coral. Add white to get to the lighter shades. . . I did this to make miniature "branch coral" for a mermaid doll's necklace. Sarajane

I took a workshop once with Australian artist Michelle Fanner, and she gave us a formula for a beautiful medium coral -- mix Fimo white with Fimo brick red in a 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately, Fimo dropped brick red from its list several years ago! (see Clays for recipes for discontinued colors) . . . try to experiment mixing with white and see if you like the result for coral. Lorraine

Amber varies, Start with a base of about a half block of the reg, Transparent, and experiment with an a half block of cernit yellow #021 and_about a pea size cernit red #012_. For coral replace the yellow with orange. If you prefer fimo, the formulas get complicated. I just play around with those bases because in nature there is a great deal of variance anyway.DLG

For coral, it's important to get the color(s) right, so here goes: (I think this is from Tory Hughes) The basic mixture is 4 pts red, 1 part orange, and 1 part art translucent. Begin forming the shape and then lay some thin lines of the translucent onto the surface and stretch it a little. Mix by gently rolling it on the work surface. Be careful not to twist the transparent lines. If they start to, stretch the piece. The piece should be textured some before baking (emboss ridges, little pits and scratches here and there on the surface). After baking, finish by applying burnt umber acrylic paint. Wipe off the surface. Bake carefully so as not to darken the translucent. When cool, gently sand with 320, 400 then 600 wet/dry sandpaper. Buff on a buffing wheel if possible. (Dotty, through Cane Jane?)

Another added benefit will be that I can combine veins of (faux) opal in "stones" which never otherwise would have had any... coral with opal matrix..... this has some very real possibilities... Kelly
veins of gray/black? --to toned down blue-green add violet, orange, & black

faux coral & other reddish....from Mile High guild's simple coral tube beads using salt . . . clay on needle is rolled in salt (and indented), then baked; afterwards the beads are cut-broken apart and dropped into water to allow the salt to dissolve, leaving behind a pitted coral surface (various pitted natural stone beads...also look down about 2/3 of the way for the large orange bead)
...see also below in "Lava" and Pitting

coral and turqouise are good for inlay too.
(see also Faux--Turquoise for using crumbles of clay as inlay)

for Fossilized Coral, see Agate below (it's an agate-looking stone, often brown or sometimes other colors in background)


real cinnabar:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=cinnabar
. . .color is a bright scarlet or cinnamon red, to a brick red (it is the principal ore mineral of mercury... isn’t used and/or produced any longer --ever since they discovered it leads to mercury poisoning-- what you see nowadays that people are calling real cinnabar is usually carved and lacquered resin. ).
...Tsuishu (carved cinnabar) is a technique in which lacquer is applied layer upon layer on to a wood core, and when the lacquer reaches a certain thickness, engraved with elaborate designs.
Sarajane's lesson using Premo's cadmium red, stamping, and antiquing with black acrylic paint
...I am thinking of using Premo Cadmium Red mixed with a little black. Heather R.
...I mixed alcohol-based inks (Pinata, Adirondack) into translucent clay for a mokume gane stack... I used leftovers from the stack squished together for a really neat faux cinnabar. Jeanette
....Barbara N's stamped faux cinnabar (not antiqued)
...Another idea for faux Cinnabar...use a deep red-burgundy and add coarsely ground black pepper...perhaps also add some microfine antique gold glitter for a bit of sparkle. Dianne C.

...I have mixed the pinata inks into translucent clay for mokume gane and it's subtle but effective.....The leftovers from a stack using the pinatas I squished together and came up with really neat faux cinnabar. Jeamnette
...I really like the 'cinnabar' technique idea mentioned by Porro--covering (a dark black or brown? color) with another (reddish) color and then carving through it to the bright color. Jeanne?


real carnelian:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=carnelian
...(all colors of carnelian --red-orange to dark red--Campbell's soup label to red-brown)
...some carnelian is more transparent, some more translucent... some have a waxy finish rather than a high-gloss finish

Carnelian is a clear red-orange chalcedony --a crypto-crystalline (extremely finely grained) variety of quartz
...Do you prefer the orange-ish or gold-ish tones, or the blood-red tones of carnelian?
...... (my bestest beadshop buddy) said the redder ones are a higher quality. Catherien

authentic carnelian has an orange cast to it. ...some faux carnelian beads I picked up are almost a perfect Premo cadmium red. .
... the brighter carnelian looks like it could be coral, as well...and for that one, I use Premo cad red with transluscent and a touch of black. Patti

however, a little Buddha statue I picked up in an Asian store is that very dark blackish-red, which is the color tone I personally prefer because it has an "old" look
....... for that one I've been using Premo alizaron with some classic red mixed in. Patti
....some are really dark on the bottom like a Skinner Blend w/ black . patsy

To make faux carnelian ...use a dab of crimson or dark red, some orange, and translucent red Fimo. Ed

I've gotten a really nice carnelian-type red using translucent Premo and Pinata alcohol inks (... I think I used Santa Fe Red, Tangerine, and Sun Yellow --and maybe a drop or two of brown? to get the nice dull orange-red ) buffs up really beautifully too. Lisa

I heard that real carnelian is rarely used to make jewelry pieces anymore because it causes high quantities of lead, which is toxic on the skin so pretty much all the "carnelian" you see isn't really carnelian, unless it's in a museum. Now, that was just one article and I've seen lots of items claiming to be real carnelian, so am not sure what whole truth is. Patti

LAPIS Lazuli

Kay P's lapis examples (more purplish blue, with distinct bits of translucent, gold leaf, etc.)
Tonja's lapis donut pendants (not as visually chunky)
...REAL LAPIS:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=lapis+lazuli

lesson: --2-3 colors/shades of dark blue
--hand chop before conditioning it very finely (keeps the angular edges, as opposed tousing a food processor)
--lay in gold sheet and chop withthe blue bits
--mix 1 part mixed blues to 1 pt. translucent (althought the bluer, the more expensive); maybe some gray in translucent
--sand/buff with dry steel wool 0000, after wet sanding with sandpapers
--form piece (don't roll or cane) . . . . Tawna

Desiree's lesson uses about 5 shades of blue (blue pearl, blue, ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, and navy blue) plus translucent clay and gold metallic leaf
...she hand chops all the clays (which need to be stiff, or cool or leach them) to get "sharp" edges to the each color... when almost chopped smal enough, she adds pieces of gold metallic leaf to the pile and chops more
...presses all the bits into a wad, then beats the wad into a loaf shape (with an acrylic rod, etc.) to preserve the sharpness of the shapes
...cuts off slabs or cubes, etc., to form into pendants, round beads, etc....then sands and buffs

could also grate the translucents or blue clays
.......Kathy W's lesson on making lapis by stacking layers of blue and violet clay with gold leaf, then grating it, and combining with grated translucent into long cane (cut into lengths, then rolled into beads)

Nora Jean used Premo's UltraMarine Blue clay and gold Pearl Ex, and sheets of Premo's gold clay.
...she layered... reduced... sectioned then reassembled... reduced (gone?)

Kathy Gregson's recipes for lapis ....(and interview re stones)

Donna Kato suggests using cobalt-colored embossing powder in translucent clay to simulate lapis lazuli . . . it's a deep blue with gold flecks ...PSX is best
.....ex's of sparkly embossing powder used in other stones

could use a "granite" clay (FimoSoft)... then color it blue with alcohol inks or artists' oil paints? (Cernit's various "granite" colors)
also see recipes for various ways to simulate "granite" (which also contains translucent and sparkles) below

Arnold Grummer's Iridescent Flakes ....they were $2.50 for about a cup-sized bag
...may be available at craft stores too; ... JoAnn's, with the paper making supplies. Jenn
... . . .lots of other cool things too..glitters, powders and other inclusiony things. Lorretta
....I made some rose quartz and lapis lazuli cabochons. . . even in person you can't tell they aren't real stones until you pick them up... the light weight gives them away. Catherien
...she also uses a coffee bean grinder to chop the flakes smaller
...and suggests Rauch Sparkle Flakes as a possible substitute

(discontinued clay color?)...or just use a "stone" clay color (like "Lapis") ... was included in Fimo Soft's 24 "Fashion Colours"

lapis without sparkles inside (...or could add sparkles just on top):
...Marina's lesson on making a dark blue "stone" by highly marbling a number of blues, then cutting cross-sections of the resulting ball or log where the pattern is very tiny and random sand is very fine and could be used as an inclusion for speckles

metallic powders on surface, but no sparkles inside
...Varda's faux lapis scarabs and beads necklace (using blue clay ...with Pearl Ex,etc. on top for overall opalescence?, or just Skinner blends?)
...I was trying for lapis. I mixed dark blue pearl Sculpey III (...Premo has a dark blue Pearl too) with (I think) blue Fimo
. . (after I formed the beetle), I brushed a little blue Eberhard Faber real-metal powderall over... then did the same with a lot of gold powder
. . after baking, I sanded it until I liked the degree of metallic effect left in the grooves, etc. (so most of the powder was sanded off). Ed

Denise S's King Tut mini mask ... lapis has lots of translucent or trans-white bits visible in the mix, and "gold" mica clay too?....molded or sculpted... onlays of bright gold strips, etc.

I was told by someone that their Lapis Lazuli jewelry faded very badly (in the sun or UV), so be cautious with that particular color (*Classic* Fimo’s Midnight?). Desiree


real azurite:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=azurite,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=azurite+bead
dark blue to a more brilliant blue ...similar to the composition of malachite
often invaded by malachite, etc


real malachite:
(see also Azurite just above which often occurs with malachite)

Lorieo's striped malachite, with a little gold, rock amulet

lesson: To make straight grained malachite, simply roll logs of varying shades of green, white, and black.* Stack to form a single cylinder and roll rapidly between your hands, then twist and compress to form a striped log with the stripes perpendicular to the long axis of the log. Flatten and run it through the pasta machine so that the stripes are perpendicular to the rollers. This last technique is a variation of Donna Kato's. You can use it for ivory and wood as well. Her book, The Art of Polymer Clay, is one of the best. Great photography, concise text, and beautiful work. Katherine Dewey

Donna Kato's lesson: 2 greens --make fat log from lighter one; divide darker one into 2 snakes and place on opposite sides of log; smaller white snake on one side; lengthen & twist; double fold (=4); snake; roll toward middle until fat log again; flatten and put through pasta machine.
Some people use 4 or more greens. . .

Marie Segal's malachite, made like her lesson on "faux abalone", but using no Pearl clay (many layers/colors in stack...cut face of loaf with wavy blade) ...(or could be any amorphous swirling) in mosaics on boxes, trays (go back to page 1 for lesson)

Nora-Jeans lesson

There are two approaches to malachite:
To achieve the circular growth patterns end on, roll a long rod of white blended with translucent and wrap in successively darkening shades of green, finishing with a blue/black wrap. Reduce so that the wrapped log is tapered. Cut and stack with an eye to shaping a block, packing the logs with variegated green sheets in between to create a swirling pattern. You've got a malachite cane, one of the few that I can make. . .
....Use the same technique for azurite and burl.

Sue Heaser has a method of indenting a multi-wrapped cane which she uses for "agate" (see below), but which would also work well for malachite?

I've found that the Fimo Soft color "emerald" is the best one to start with when making's a blue-based green. From there, I just make a slab of different shades of it...adding white, black...I also tweak the color some with yellow and even a tinge of red to dull it a tiny bit.. . . then run the whole thing through the pasta machine to make it a really skinny striped slab. From there you can do the old mokume gane thing to it and you'll get lines and bullseyes. Like I said, it's challenging to get the right color and "tightness" of the's been the hardest faux for me to make so far. riverpoetess

Alan's lesson on making "botryoidal'" malachite with 5 random bullseye canes and a couple of randoms stacks, made with greens (many shades made from yellow/green/blue/pearl and black or white) .
. . 'botryoidal' just means like a bunch of grapes...there's always some layered mineral which joins the 'grapes' together. The important thing I've found, is to keep the thicknesses of all the sheets rough - no pasta machines in nature! Alan

... I bet you'd make a perfect burl walnut just by changing the colors to browns. Katie


Ann’s (purple) "agate" cane (website gone) (agates) (agates) ("picture" agate)

(see also Barbara McGuire's bead above in Marble)

New Imitatives Demo by Tory Hughes that I went to she mentioned she would be publishing the techniques in Ornament soon. The new imitations were of Faience (sp?) and agates.

…agate can also be done with a technique similar to malachite using lots of translucent and earth tones. Sherry

fat log of translucent; 3 small snakes (dark brown, ochre-ish?, rust?) along log, equidistant from each other; roll snakes and twist; roll and twist again (bend over 2 times and roll again if want to break up regularity of stripes); cut chunk off resulting fat log; close clay over inner surfaces; roll into ball (looks like agate); …Donna Kato's tech.

moss agate shouldn't be too hard...lemme think a sec...A lot of white mixed with translucent, a bit of green, a bit of black in the processor all together. Moosh it, but don't blend. Cut off chunks and roll into beads.
...Maybe green dryer lint, as my REAL moss agate ring has a spidery texture to the green inclusions

Jenny's lesson on finely patterned granite-y agate..look like geode slice (hers makes a cane and she cuts slices), using (refrigerated) grated clays --translucent on large-hole area, white in smaller hole-area, and a bit of color if you want on large hole)-- this is grated again after rolled into ball and refrigerated again; she then rolls into a plug and adds various layers of translucent or trans-tinted clays before slicing
..."A geode is a sphere shaped rock which contains a hollow cavity lined with crystals. A geode which is completely filled with small compact crystal formations such as agate, jasper or chalcedony is called a nodule. The only difference between a geode and a nodule is that a geode has a hollow cavity, and a nodule is solid."
... the technique for the center could be used for many finely broken up or swirly effects

Tonja's agate shapes (many wire-wrapped) as pendants
... some more grayish-brown, some more reddish-brown --with black streaks, and probably a plaquing translucent

Sue Heaser has a technique for making agate in her book Polymer Clay Techniques that's similar to the circular malachite above. She surrounds a translucent log with wraps of different colors, then presses into the log along its length with a butter knife in a number of places to press the layers inward randomly.

I like the stamped mokume, too - with greens and browns and warm-toned metal leaf, it tends to look like some exotic agate. Elizabeth
(see also Mokume Gane/Paints/Lumiere oil paints for more)

Next, I'm trying a Capri blue-green agate done like this (with inks). Elizabeth (see above in "Amber," for Eliz's lesson)

Tess' organic swirly effect . . .lesson on using 8 small clay rectangles of diff. colors, on which she puts various Lumiere paints and Pinata inks (allowing them to sit no longer than 30 min), adding leaf here and there before stacking, cutting and restacking sev. times (she presses down pretty hard in between re-stacks to create waviness); the cuts her stack with a wavy blade

Desiree's "sparkling moss agate" bead (& lesson) ....(Moss Agate - sort of.) Moss agate looks like a piece of milky glass with flecks and clusters of opaque black spots....I just rolled out a thin sheet of translucent; sprinkled it with finely chopped black clay and PearlEx copper mica powder; rolled up the strip and did the 'Buesseler cut'. (see football cut in Beads). Note: They're not really accurate simulations of moss agate because moss agate doesn't have sparkles of copper bits in it ... I wanted to see the effect of cutting across the different cane layers. Desiree
.....Jainnie's variation on Desiree's sparkling moss agate....For mine, I applied sliced pieces from the rolled up sparkling moss agate cane onto a translucent base. That way I can control, somewhat, the way the design turns if I want diagonal lines of black, etc.
... for others, I used blue-green pearl ex, or a combination of copper and yellow/gold pex colors.
.... little leftover scrap pieces after cutting the bead shape were used for yet another! Jainnie (click on Gallery, then Pendants)

"Agatized Coral" (Florida's state stone --Chalcedony Pseudomorph after Coral; ...over a long period of time the carbonate of lime skeleton was replaced by the mineral quartz; this process also happens to wood creating petrified wood.)
"Fossilized Coral" (some are "Petoskey stones" --Hexagonaria percarinata)
....Michigan’s state gem, the petoskey stone, is actually a fossilized coral. West Virginia fossil coral was also designated a state gem --Petoskey info (info about these stones) (many enlargeable photos of patterns) (many photos--click on Oval or on Round cabs)
(...Modern corals deposit a single, very thin layer of lime once a day. It is possible to count these diurnal (day-night) growth lines. You can also count annual growth. So, given the right piece of coral, you can measure how many days there are in a year. These measures can equally well be done on fossilized coral. For example, coral from the Pennsylvanian rockbeds have about 387 daily layers per year. Coral from the Devonian rockbeds have about 400 daily layers per year. In the Cambrian, a year was 412 days. One Precambrian stromatolite gave 435 days per year...)
........ lesson by Darla on "fossilized agatized coral"
. . . What I found that works best (and I tried a LOT of different ideas) is to use mostly dark colors for your back ground, and not just one color, but a mix of colors that contrast nicely. ..I found that light colored base clays didn't work well, neither did gold or silver leaf...
I used Elissa's mum cane as a background on the blue and red (background) ones.
After I get my background layer ready, I put very, very thin layers of my translucent coral cane over the back ground, not completely covering it, but close.
I run it through the pasta machine again to smooth a bit (rolling a brayer over would be fine also)
Then I put on a top layer of the translucent cane, sliced thin, but not paper thin -- and I cover the entire top. any slices that don't come out whole I save to "smoosh" into any spaces between the slices on the top layer,
then I run it through the pasta machine again to smooth some more.
I cut out my cabs and baked, and the most important thing to remember is to pop them right into ice water after baking! The colder the better -- I set up my ice water about 15 - 20 minutes before my clay is finished, that way the ice has started to melt and makes the water super cold!
Then I sand, sand, sand from 400 to 1000 to 1500 to 2000 grit and then I buff with a peice of denim. Darla

This is some faux something or other :)....The recipe for these was translucent premo, green/blue pearlex and some gold leaf stuff. In real life, they are a very pale green - almost like an opal. Sera
...They look almost like some light colored faux agate I got once when I was trying for faux bone... somehow, a bit of green clay got mixed in my project, and it turned out nice. It wasn't the faux bone I'd hoped for, but it wasn't a disappointment either! Jodi
...I think first of old ivory or perhaps a jade? Catherien the onyx on an antique clock that we have. ol' rebbie

Jenny's lesson on finely patterned granite-y agate..look like geode slice (hers makes a cane and she cuts slices), using (refrigerated) grated clays --translucent on large-hole area, white in smaller hole-area, and a bit of color if you want on large hole)-- this is grated again after rolled into ball and refrigerated again; she then rolls into a plug and adds various layers of translucent or trans-tinted clays before slicing
..."A geode is a sphere shaped rock which contains a hollow cavity lined with crystals. A geode which is completely filled with small compact crystal formations such as agate, jasper or chalcedony is called a nodule. The only difference between a geode and a nodule is that a geode has a hollow cavity, and a nodule is solid."
... the technique for the center could be used for many finely broken up or swirly effects

ROCK-LIKE ...(stone... rock....pebbles)
(see also Inclusions pages)

Some "special colors" of polymer clay already come in stone effects ...(see more on these in Characteristics,clays > Special Colors):
1. Fimo's Stone colors (now discontinued but may be some left on shelves) ..granitey, composite look, speckledly... good effect
2. Sculpey's Granitex ...fibers...looks like lint inclusions....soft effect
...I tend to use acrylic washes over the Granitex to get a more stone color. I find that Granitex makes beautiful stone if you just give it a light wash of a really dark color that complements.
3. Cernit's Nature (Granite) colors ...fibers and speckles, muted colors
... Wow! I have found that Cernit's Nature Colors DO look a lot like stone, and they are really pretty, to boot
.. . . they have the names granite (pale grey and very speckly), savanna (beige), agate (a pale green), quartz (dark greywith transparent), and sienna ( a lovely terra cotta). They are all full of tiny fibres and speckles. I like the fact they are very muted colours - they really do look like stones in colour....When I feel the need to make stone-looking stone, I generally mix in sand or dirt as well... and

POLISHED stones especially
...Marina's lesson on making a dark blue "stone" would work well for any opaque stones which have been cut and polished
(she shows some finished "stones" in colors of brown, light blue-green, and dark blue in her jewelry)
...... she highly marbles a number of blues, in this case, then cuts cross-sections of the resulting ball or log where the pattern is very tiny & speckly ... examples:
.....also see above in Lapis, Agate, Jade, etc., for techniques which can translate to any color polished stone

Irene uses many fauxs (esp. rock-like ones) as tiles (look under Older Work)

examples of faux stone:

Cheryl H 's veined faux river rocks
Kim Cavender's polished rocks-pebbles-- various colors & kinds
Tom P's faux pebbles display stand

various faux pebble stones by Hetty (only one? real rock in photo?)
smooth "stone" face
(click on Mister X)
Sherry's stone mini mask face
Ed's smooth stone head (website gone)

Irene's rock-like stone slabs, etc. ... various types and colors
(...some with embossing powders, sponge painted areas, distressing/antiquing, etc.)

Hetty's boxes with outer rock-like surfaces ...various techniques, but at least textured. has verdigris coloring added in layers, then textured with a broken toothpick

steph's lesson with potting soil. . . i began with a sheet of clay the main color of the rock
... then I rolled pieces of a color a few shades deeper on the thinnest setting, and tore those up to place on my sheet very randomly
...i then added a little black or a dark color, very thin and in small pieces
... i then sprinkled on just a little potting soil, and twisted it into the clay until i got the look i like (you can add more later too) comes out different looking depending on how much you mix the colors and mix in the potting soil (I use mine to make beads). steph

Maureen's lesson on pebbles & rocks
.....marble together granite, jasper, white & translucent clays (she uses FimoSoft)
.....flatten and fold over (same direction each time) until sufficient layers of thin stripes are created
(...for rocks larger than 1", she covers an alum. foil rock shape with the clay) against rough real rock for texture
...rock's colors can be varied by using or adding adding other colors... photo shows brown),1789,HGTV_3352_1399774,00.html (figure E)
(see rocks in photo of finished project)

Jeanne D's lesson on making stone with Granitex or Fimo's Stone colors, or marbling
... then molding or stamping them, or making into roses, pendants, etc.
Marie R's rock-sculpted gargoyle

granite (summary)
.......granite has many variations in color and mix, but here are some possible combinations to use:
... As a base, use translucent clay only (or tinted translucent), or translucent mixed with bits of regular clays like white, gray or other colors)
...the clays can be chopped up or grated, then pressed together ...or you can go with more of a marble-mixed look some possibilities for inclusions in the clay:
...colored sands (e.g, natural, pink, black) ...embossing powders
...herbs, spices, dirt, natural materials (crush or grate if necessary to create bits and flecks) ...e.g., black pepper.... Old Bay seasoning... bark, twigs ...dust from box of tea bags
....many of Marie Segals "mix ins" look like granite
.....if you let alcohol inks get completely dry on a sheet of clay before trying to mix them in, some of the colors remain in little flecks ...(Rainforest green, sapphire blue and the brown colorsof alcohol ink will fleck) ...acrylic paints can allowed to dry on raw clay, then stretched to create small bits and flecks get smaller bits and speckles of clay, use a firm clay (like FimoClassic, or leach another clay till it's "drier")-- then grate it with a small grater, or break an unconditioned bar into two pieces and "grate" them against each other
possibilities for sparkly inclusions in granite:
...fine-grain silvery glitters (the type often used on clothing)
....bit of silver or gold FimoSoft "glitter clay"
....sand will look more sparkly if the baked clay is given a high gloss finish
....sparkly embossing powders (middle of page)
....some mica powders will work, especially the larger flake ones
....tiny bits of metal leaf...can chop with the clays (if too sparkly, can cover whole mixed clay with very thin translucent, then stretch even thinner)
gray-black granite.. large portion of white and a TINY amount of black to make it just barely grey... then add black embossing powder until it looks right.Cathy
many photos of real granite

Jenny's lesson on finely patterned granite type agate..look like geode slice (hers makes a cane and she cuts slices), using (refrigerated) grated clays --translucent on large-hole area, white in smaller hole-area, and a bit of color if you want on large hole)-- this is grated again after rolled into ball and refrigerated again; she then rolls into a plug and adds various layers of translucent or trans-tinted clays before slicing

jasper ... I recently mixed some "mystery" embossing powder (a mix of black and gold) into light brown clay and ended up with something that looks like jasper ...sure made some cool little pebble beads. jilla

torn pieces of clay sheets can get ragged edges on the sides of clay sheets by tearing the sheets rather than cutting them
...... tearing works best for "dry" clays like FimoClassic, old clay, or leached clay
(for more on tearing, see Sheets > Watercolor Effects)
...collaged layers of various rock-like sheets, some torn (middle of page)

crumbled-broken rock in sheets
...your theory about large chunks scattered around on a (base) sheet sounds good . Catherine ...
...chop up some clay (mica or pearl-mixed clays will show a more 3-D crumbly look)
... then run your pressed-together-chunks through a pasta machine or brayer it flat
....the edges will also be very ragged, and the sheet will look stonelike

more old rock
...I recently mixed some clean kitty litter into my polymer-clay and got a kind of a prehistoric look!.... It is more coarse than sand, but gives a nice texture.
....a nice just-dug-out-of-the-fossil-bed look can be given by gently pressing crumpled aluminum foil into the surface of raw clay, removing the foil, curing
...... then giving the cured product a liberal "patina" of burnt umber acrylic paint.... wet-sanding, and polishing with a dry muslin buffer.
...Gwen Gibson's various fauxs, especially carved and aged rock beads and aged wood, etc.
Gaynor's various fossils
more fossils from Midlands Region British PCG:
...PoRRo's faux ammonite fossils
...A bunch of my clay developed cracks in a number of places while I was making some (larger, solid clay) faux stone pieces... I used the cracks and made them into very old looking beads which really showed the cracks
..... I (antiqued) took black acrylic paint and put it all over each of them. I used a stiff brush so I could jab the paint as much into the cracks as possible and I "mushed" the paint around leaving a thin layer of it all over the bead.
....When the paint was completely dry (I used a heat gun to dry them).... I sanded them with a 320 grit wet/dry sandpaper, then a 400. ....After that I buffed them and wow! ..I loved them, and made whole necklace using them. Dotty
(for more on making cracks even intentionally, see Heads > Cracking)

(.....for more ways to create aged or archaeological effects in rock, etc, see below in "Aged Effects")

Maureen's lesson on rocks & pebbles with striations of FimoSoft colors (granite, jasper, white & translucent)
. . .marble-mix colors..flatten and fold over repeatedly (same direction each time) until sufficient layers appear
(...for rocks larger than 1", she uses a a alum. foil ball armature underneath...unnecessary for pebbles)
...then press against a rough real rock for texture (...add other clay colors for natural variations in color),1789,HGTV_3352_1399774,00.html (Fig E... which looks like the faux wood she also used in this lesson, but supposed to be rock)

sandstone : 1 part Ecru, 1 part White, 1/4-1/2 Brown Granitex clays..... brown, copper, or white embossing powders are another nice touch for sandstones and shales ....for additional texture, add sand to it ... or grind up baked clay made from the blend above (and add that). kadewey successful recipe was numerous scraps of brown,ecru orange, yellow and, believe it or not, GREEN !! Clint
.........I add green to my sandstone too...kind of a dull minty green actually. Lynne
... faux sandstone... made by mixing coffee grounds into ecru Premo clay.. . . I've also made a more marbled sandstone by mixing coffee grounds into ecru clay and other shades of brown and stacking them up (heavy on the lighter shades, but including some darker shades) and twisting them, and cutting into the center for some nice striated swirls. Emily

flecks..... if you let the Pinata (alcohol-based) Inks (or other inks or paints?) get completely dry after painting them on the clay, then mix them into the clay, (the dried ink will break up and) some of the colors remain in little flecks. ...(Rainforest green, sapphire blue and the brown colors will fleck, that I can remember... but some of the others will blend completely.) Eliz.'
(see more on this in Letters-Inks > Inks for Tinting)

see above in "Agate" for a swirly effect created with inks/paints and a wavy blade

TEXTURING a surface:
use quilt batting to texture a chaotic sandstone effect onto faux pebbles (...batting also polishes sanded polyclay by hand extremely well). Sue?
...the idea of rolling the surface with salt to give it a rougher texture look was amazing, so thanks! Clint (then wash it off)
...I texture with a piece of REALLY rough's actually a sanding disc I guess...36 grit from Home Depot. After you smooth the joints and everything, you texture it again...also, ripping the sheets and placing them on top of each other is what gets you that bumpy unevenness...Lynne
...fatbak also stamped and molded and antiqued her faux sandstone for a box ...gone??
....Jayne H's sandstone-looking mokume gane with shades of brown, beige and red

ADD TEXTURE with inclusions, or on the surface:
...add grainy things like sand to the clay (or a layer of clay on the surface)
(see Inclusions)
grind up or grate pre baked clay, and add that

Susan F's lesson on making faux rhodochrosite (rhodofauxite) or any stone with the "dragged lines" or combed paper method (see Sheets of Pattern > Dragged Lines for details) for simulating stone beads

INCLUSIONS mixed into translucent clays, to simulate rock
Marie Segal’s extensive inclusions samples ...7 pgs

Kris Richards' lessons and many inclusions (do not use Beedz or Jones Tones foils to mix in pasta machine though!)

You can use colored play sands as an inclusion (at craft stores) for creating jade, granite
My current favorite is Old Bay seasoning mix.... Mixed with translucent it really looks like stone.
Mix in the dust from bottom of a box of tea bags - lovely tiny speckles (I describe this technique in my minis book to simulate stoneware clays). Sue?
........(see more in Inclusions > Websites)

Donna Kato has suggested using these (embossing powder?) combinations to simulate stone:
--cobalt powder in translucent clay to simulate lapis lazuli
--Weathered White into black clay for black granite
--verdegris into translucent for green granite

Heather's lesson on mixing brown embossing powder into translucent clay ..... to use as an onlay of "sand"

...for some stones, can be best to use more than one color or shade to get variation in the coloration

embossing powders used as inclusions in translucent clay to make (roughly shaped) buttons (stone-like, jade-like, etc.)

I use embossing powders on top of raw clay all the time. They bake just fine, giving a pebbly effect on the surface. Dotty
Most (all?) of those embossing powders when mixed into raw translucent clay and baked had tiny explosions of white all over the surface of the clay after baking, and many of them changed colors or otherwise looked different from their unbaked state. ...I think the amount of explosion may have depended on the baking time, but the white bursts could also be reduced by sanding after baking.

I mixed clear embossing powder into black clay, and baked it. The result was a flat black sheet that looked like water droplets had been baked on it!
....I then attached on top of it another piece of baked clay with TLS (squashing it?), and rebaked it ...(came apart easily?) this time the water droplet thingies kinda merged together into droplets with less circular, more random shapes (also, after the second bake, the EP has become waxy. I can peel it off like wax, and it is quite soft). Sera x

to create a sort of bleached rock look, Donna also likes to use white (embossing?) powder in translucent clay
....after impressing with an ethnic or abstract stamp, she bakes, antiques with a diluted white acrylic paint, and sands the top off

Here and there you could try tinting your clay-and-inclusions mixture with the powder from grated charcoal or artist's pastels... scribble vigorously on a scrap of sandpaper, then transfer the powder to your clay piece (before baking) with a Q-Tip... or if you're really brave, just blow it on. Suzanne I.

You could use pale pink, pale violet and little gold spots, for example as flashes of mica in your stones. PoRRO

For wonderful glass-like sheets of faux stone, I bake the clay sheet between 2 ceramic tiles ...this also causes sheets to be completely flat, with no bubbles ...I also usually weight the top tile with a heavy casserole dish.
.....the important thing when using tiles is to allow about 20 min extra baking time to allow for the tiles themselves to heat up and for the heat to penetrate to the clay
(...I often use this shiny sheet for making a form of marquetry of stone or wood, among other things). Sue (for more, see Mosaics > Pietre Dure)

make individual stones or bricks... for building things like stone fences ...walls for houses or castles, etc. (see more on this in Houses-Structures)
...or for making stepping stones, dirt pathways lined on both sides with stones, etc.
...Fimo's Lapis clay color (by itself) makes cool stones for building. Kim K.

fake polymer clay rock with one large eye on it, by Devil Ducky... large eye was plastic so not baked with the clay --eye impressed in raw clay, then glued back in after baking (or could make an eye with clay --see Sculpting-Body > Eyes > Clay Eyes, or use a glass eye)
...foil-ball armature underneath.... could use a paperweight, or outdoors, etc.

lichen cane ...translucent rods and lightly-tinted green translucent rods in center, surrounded by darkish trans+ green, wrapped with light translucent green

Valerie's high relief stone wall and stone ovens in clay "painting" created just by impressing lines into clay sheets ...and ( Paintings)

many photos of REAL STONE ...granite, sandstone, marble, slate, travertine


There are various types of sand we might want to simulate
.. very white & slightly-sparkly beach sand, off-white or more brownish desert or beach sand, very fine sand, more grainy sand, dune sands with ripples/etc, colored sands (volcanic, fantasy), etc.

A suitable color of clay (white, offwhite, or brownish...with or without some sparkliness or shimmer ) could just be textured with sandpaper, tiny pricks of a needle, a texture sheet (possibly even made yourself, from real sand or salt), crumpled aluminum foil, etc., depending on how close-up they're viewed and their natural texture.

Sparkles or shimmer could come from various things inside the clay (especially if using translucent or trans/Pearl clay), or on top of the clay... e.g., mica powders, fine-grain opalescent glitters, even pearly acrylic paints

Graininess could also come from mixing actual sand or salt or sugar, etc., into translucent clay or trans-white clay, or liqiud clay
....or those things could be applied to the top of the clay and pressed or sealed on
...or there could be no graininess at all

I came up with a nice sand that's got great sparkle... colored sand with small amounts of TLS, just enough until it's thick and moldable --I mixed (dry) white sand with a little peach, yellow and brown until I got a realistic it where you want it.... then dab pearl-colored mica powder to highlight, and add sparkle ..might even use a little gold powder too. Marcella

(see more on using salt and sugar just below in Lava + pitted effects )

(see Faux Ivory for all bone)

Paulo's faux snake vertebra (website gone)
Paulo's faux bone heishi-type beads (website gone)


Alan's brown and white nautilus shells (somewhat opaque coloring) ...(DB: where are rest?)

translucent-white shell

You might be interested in a mix I have come up with. Layer white fimo, pearlized white fimo and translucent, having the white thickest, then pearlized enclosing a thin layer of translucent. Repeat layers and create a square log. The secret is to cut diagonal slices across the layers for the most realistic effect. After I create the log I slice the whole thing diagonally the long way, turn and recombine.

Jeanne R. simulates the variegation in translucent-whitish capiz shell (the translucent disks of which are often seen as wind chimes) (also look like dried seed pod of silver dollar plant/lunaria) create a faux-textured bead.... she uses Pearl clay (a mica clay), or translucent and pearl and runs them through the pasta machine with a piece of plastic canvas, which causes small bumps to be raised in a grid... the bumps are shaved off and placed onto a base clay ball then rolled smooth...

Using one of the opal, quartz, or abalone, etc., recipes above to create a pearly white shell, you can also carve, stamp or texture into the clay. . . . if the resulting low lying areas are antiqued or back-filled with white Rub 'N Buff, white acrylic paint, Diluent-thinned white clay, or even white Pearl Ex or Fimo Pulver in liquid clay or a finish like Varathane, it will resemble "carved" shell buttons, etc.

(for pearly shell such as abalone/mother of pearl, see below in Abalone)

TERRACOTTA + earth clay

3-2000 --Polyform is now making a terracotta colored clay in 2 lb boxes---that matches a clay flower pot.
..... Marie Segal gave me a hunk of the stuff to try. . . it hasn't been done up yet but looks amazingly like the real terra cotta pot it is resting in.... I think that it is even being marketed in 8# pkgs. mamadude
...I believe this is a "weak" clay after baking in any thin or projecting areas though, just like the original white boxed "Sculpey ."
(...this is not the same color as their small bars of "Terracotta" which are a darker brown)

color mixing recipes for "terracotta"
...mix a school bus yellow and a bright red to get an intense dark orange... add a teeny bit of green to dull the color, and then add white to lighten it up to the terra cotta you're looking for. Elizabeth
...Cadmium Red (Premo) + black... keep mixing in more black till you get what you want.... you can add a little white, too, if you want. This makes a good terra cotta range. Sarajane
...1 part red + 3 parts caramel (Fimo) gives a good true flower-pot-type terracotta color. Desiree
(for more info on mixing various kinds of "browns", see Color > Individual Colors)

Kathy H. likes adding pumpkin pie spice to translucent clay as an inclusion for an earthclay look

By the way it's fun to overbake (Super)Sculpey; a sun ray plaque I made came out burnt and looking a little like terracotta!

I have a piece of patch cement that broke up from a neighborhood sidewalk that makes a great terracotta brick texture when pressed into raw clay. After baking, I can bring out the texture further by antiquing with burnt umber acrylic paint. Jody

LAVA & pitted effects

I wanted to make some tikis out of polyclay. now lava is a very porous rock. Here's how.
.......I coated the tiki with salt (rock salt? or other larger grain salt than table salt?) and pressed them into the clay.
…...(later with some other ones, I put the salt actually in the shallow mold.... this reduced the process by one step and resulted in the TIKIs having a better shape
…... Baked the clay tiki... soaked the cooled tiki in water --the water dissolved the salt and left the pokemarks.
.......Now, since i'm working in a smaller scale I think I will try some ground up salt (or table salt?).. Lysle?
…After sculpting the original, you then use the original clay object to make a mold
...... knead the correct amount of clay for the mold, shape it to a near correct log, cone, block, or ball shape that will fit in the mold.
...... now make a pile of salt. Make sure your hands are dry, push your shape into the salt.
...... press the shape into the mold, then extract the clay from the mold (It should be easier then normal)... clean and trim any excess clay like normal.
.......bake then soak the salt away
..... I even did a batch using 50% salt mixed into the clay to see if I could get a sponge effect.... needs more work. (wet hands) Lysle?
...sugar will produce a finer grained effect's simple coral tube beads using salt
......clay around needle is rolled in salt (and also indented so can make tube beads)), then baked;
.....afterwards the beads are cut-broken apart, and dropped into water to allow the salt to dissolve, leaving behind a pitted coral surface (gone?)

Cecilia's necklace with pitting and antiquing on cat figure and on beads, using salt?... antiqued prob. with brown acrylic paint (click on Details)

silastones presses very large-chunk salt, Morton ice-cream salt, into her beads here and there
... also textures remaining flat upper areas with a finer texture (tiny beads glued onto a rod)
...bakes...then soaks to dissolve salt away
...also antiques (with brown acrylic paint) (May 24)

various pitted natural stone beads...also look down about 2/3 of the way for the large orange bead (gone?)

...see also other stones and natural items that can be pitted--e.g., stone & rock, bone, turquoise red-orange coral, amber, wood, etc.)
...see also Texturing


real quartz (as beads),GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=quartz+bead

For my (colorless) faux quartz, I use mostly translucent clay mixed with a touch of pink clay.. . . after you get the slightly streaky hue you want
...then add white for the veining. Don't mix this part too well as you want the vein pronounced.

Yes, I was able to do the quartz-like effect with the translucent Sculpey, and have several projects that have turned out fine. I've also done this with several other colors of clay, not just the Granitex. I've made some great looking 'stones' and jewelry pieces

Plain translucent clay rolled into irregular pebbles and baked looks a lot like quartz pebbles (not crystals, of course). Or maybe that's quartzite? Sherry

My quartz looks more like something quarried - that sort of granite-y rock with little sparkly bits of quartz embedded. remember, when you were a kid, you'd pick these up because they were pink and sparkly looking?) Anyhow, here's the recipe:
......I just mixed Sculpey III's translucent with colored sands (...I used natural sand , pink and black). You can get the sand at Michael's, it's generally displayed with the kids' craft supplies for sand art projects.
.....the key to getting a real quartzy look was to place the piece in a cool oven, bring the temp up v-e-r-y slowly to 250 degrees F, and let it bake for 20 minutes... turn off the oven, but allow the piece to cool in the oven for about an hour. This seems to minimize the "plaquing" in the translucent clay, and the low baking temp helps too.... I sanded it thoroughly... buffed it with the bench grinder
.....then I also put the piece back into a warm oven (maybe 200?) for 5 minutes - as soon as I took the piece out of the oven, I rubbed Future on with a paper towel. The finished piece was very translucent - certainly not transPARENT, but not bad! And the high gloss finish really brings out the sparkles from the sand. Patty

"Arnold Grummer's Iridescent Flakes" were $2.50 for about a cup-sized bag... (no weight recorded on the bag). Cat
....... . . .lots of other cool things too..glitters, powders and other inclusiony things. Lorretta
.......AG flakes may be available at craft stores too; ... JoAnn's, with the paper making supplies. Jenn
Rauch Sparkle Flakes are another possibility. Cat

**(also see opals below for more on sparkly inclusions)

Rose Quartz
....for my faux rose quartz, I use Premo translucent with bleach and tiny amounts of pink sand until I get the pinkness I want (the sands can be bought at Hobby Lobby or Michaels in the "kids" sections. They are usually sold for sand paintings or sand scapes)
....... after baking (see her technique just above), I sand and buff. Patty

Catherien's lesson on rose quartz cabachons:
...Grummer flakes in 1 block of Premo translucent, plus 1 tiny log Premo red (cadmuim red?) clay
(can use less of the red clay, or just pink clay, if want a lighter color)

Cat's revised version of that lesson... here she recommends using less red clay (Premo's aliz.crimson, or maybe cadmium red)
....and also chopping the flakes finer (in a coffee bean grinder) if you want smaller effects (messy but possible ... because of static may want to wipe out first with a dryer sheet to control some static?)
.....she bakes at 275 for 30 min per 1/4" thickness (under a tent of aluminum foil to avoid darkening), then ice water plunges while hot... sand/buff

Catherien's ex's of faux rose quartz and "white" quartz (gone)

Marbling in some white clay also helps to simulated real rose quartz... should probably be marbled in partway through the flakes or powder adding step?

maldalamama's rose quartz ... she also uses layers of translucent clay with inclusions of mica powder and iridescent flakes, plus different shades of rose and white clay (hers very red)

Fimo used to make a "stone clay" which simulated rose quartz, but no longer made
... Sculpey III's pink Granitex might be made to work in some way (it has pink fibers in it) by adding some shiny flakes or powders and more translucent clay?

all types of real quartz

(Jenny's lesson on good simulation of masses of quartz crystals are below in "Agates" --like sliced geodes)
(see also "Agatized Coral" below in Agates)
(see also below in"Rock-Like" stones for granite --which has tiny bits of quartz in it)
(see below in Clear Gems and Stones for using UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel, a product found with the stamping materials). to possibly make Skye's reticulated quartz)

(for somewhat similar rose petal beads.. inclusions in translucent... see Inclusions)


real marble... different colors and degrees of translucency, etc.,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=marble
... also do an Image Search at Google for carrera marble, or other types of marble

When I marble colors of clay to make marble, I first sometimes make the twisted "candy cane" that Otterfire talked about
... then I roll it out, cut it in 5 pieces, and put it together in a log again... repeat until I get the marble look I want

....I want sheets of mostly white marble with (not too many) veins of black running through it here and there (not too many). I've tried rolling two 1/8" dia canes of black, one 1/4" cane of white and twisting them together, over and over before pressing them out into sheets. I get too much blend and no "veins".
....(adapted from Donna Kato's imitation malachite) Try rolling a log of white clay, then adding snakes of black clay of varying thicknesses along the length of the log (make snakes of several grays as well? DB) (make the snakes fairly thin).... Roll the log smooth, then roll it further to extend it in length. Once it is longer, roll and twist the log. Once you've done this, fold the log in half, then in half again, then roll smooth. If you want further veining, or to have the veining less regular, repeat the roll and twist process..... Once you have achieved the desired veining, flatten the log and run it through the pasta machine, with the veins running perpendicular to the rollers (otherwise the veins will widen out). TheDormouse
(...see also Color > Marbling for more marbling techniques)

I find you have to be sooo subtle with miniature effects (are you working at 1:12?) I find the best marble look comes with mixing white and transparent until the streaks are really thin, then shaping. This, of course, gives the white Carara marble effect but it looks lovely.
For grey marbles, I mix a very pale grey using a snitch of black into transparent, then marble in a similar grey mixture of a snitch of black in white. The best results seem to be when there is no major contrast between the two colours you are marbling. All this gives streaky marble as opposed to veined marble.
For terrazzo or aggregate, grate the colours together, mush together, then grate again, then mush etc until the flecks are really tiny. (You can use contrasts for this one) Sand mixed in looks good too - but that's another effect.
For veined marble, wrap logs of transparent in white and press together the different sized canes, then slice. Vary the log and wrap for different effects, keeping subtle. Use already marbled mixtures for the logs...Sue Heaser

my doll projects on faux marble bases were a hit!

Sarajane's fancy Victorian dressing table with faux "marble" surface

Barbara McGuire demoed a pendant that was stamped, painted and sanded that was nice, but the part I really liked was the clay, looked like fused chunks of different colors of granite or marble. The problem is that I tuned in after she mixed the clay and don't know how she got that, and the web site directions don't seem to match the colors she used on TV...Gail
...she formed her clay into a pendant shape (a large capsule shape)
......then rolled it around in bits of gold, silver and copper leaf.... burnished it, I think
.....and then wrapped it w/ the paper-thin translucent clay. I guess you saw the part after that where she stamped it. I'm a little bit fuzzy on what she rubbed it w/ after that (DKs were talking!)... It was beautiful, wasn't it? I'm almost tempted to go crumble up some leaf...! ~aLisa
...(a bit more info)
......before baking, she rolled the bead out a little, which thinned out the translucent a little more.
......then I think she impressed her stamp into the raw surface and baked and used acrylic on top to antique the baked bead- wiped off excess paint and buffed ..... wet-sanded before buffing, to get the excess paint off.
.....the rock-like look seemed to be from the bits of leaf being muted underneath that thin layer of translucent
(blue seemed like such an odd color for the bead, but the little bits that showed with the leaf made it look more stonelike. Since the leaf bits were several different colors, it almost looked like agate after buffing) Randi,1158,CRHO_project_9808,FF.html (can't find new link)

Georgana's marble-look BOH with prominent veining, speckles, and lots of plaquing
Skygrazer's pink marble-look mokume gane scraps on pens
Denise in tx's two variations of colored marble on a clay couch... with very crackled metallic leaf (or paint), possibly in thinned out spiral cane slices


real alabaster:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=alabaster
usually gray, white or pink in color...compact form of gypsum of fine texture...
.... somewhat translucent and sometimes banded with minerals... colors like green, red, white, gold, cream and just about everything in between, depending on its location...often has internal grains...easy to carve or turn on a lathe
...colors ...
real Oriental alabaster, the alabastrites of the classical writers, is a translucent marble (calcium carbonate) obtained from stalagmitic deposits; because of its usually banded structure, which gives it some resemblance to onyx, it is also called "onyx marble," or simply, though incorrectly, onyx.,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=oriental+alabaster

Linda Goff's whitish and apricot alabaster (buffalo)

Cheryl's alabaster and onyx boxes, with molded filigree embellishments and one mounted fantasy stone cabochon
..lesson: they're mostly ecru, white, tan, shades of brown--any brand, any amount
.... since real alabaster is random, there's no need to be consistent. .. to aid in the translucency, i blend a lump or two of translucent (you choose the size) into each color first.... then just mash all colors into a lump and start rolling it into a fat log.... reduce until it's a thinner log, then double it in on itself, twist like a skein of floss, and do it all again until you have a streaky blend that looks good to you.
...then just roll out at #1 or whatever thickness you want on a pm and cover your box or construct one. and of course, sand through all the grits from 240 to 2000, and buff the bejaybers outta it
...each of these was formed over one of the little cardboard boxes you can get at michaels or hobby lobby or joanne's. sometimes i soak the boxes out, sometimes i just pull them out. olrebbie

My apricot alabaster is translucent+flesh+orange+red....teeny tiny bits of the last three. Catherien


I tried just a pearl clay first, but that didn't cut it. So I rubbed Pearl ex Micro-pearl on top after they were very smooth. It was just right, and looked passably like real pearl after having little seaweed bits draped around it, too.

I discovered that covering bisque colored Cernit with white pearl Pulver powder from Eberhard Faber creates wonderfully realistic colored freshwater pearls. Then after it's baked, I'd seal it with something, probably Flecto, as Future sometimes makes the pulver powder come off as you're brushing it on. (The pearl one I've been using is rather transparent, the color underneath still shows through some just with a nifty pearl like shine.) Dawndove

Pearl can be done with lacquered layers of pearlescent powder (Pearl Ex) mixed with certain kinds of varnish. . . . Tory Hughes had an amazingly real looking sample, but the amt. of work in it might not be worth it! I think she used real lacquer, many layers allowed to dry before adding the next. Sherry (no clay?)

I've been making metallic "pearls", which I want to string. I saw some at a craft show - some were real metal and some were just dark pearls. I'm starting metallic, then will go onto the other. Once again, they're just clay with Pearl-Ex, but a combination of colors to make a beautiful luster. They're very pretty, and if I hadn't made them, I don't think I'd assume they were poly clay.

You might try using black clay with Pearl-Ex Macropearl (#652). That comes as close as I could get to looking like black pearls. If it's too silver looking, roll the "pearl" in your hands a bit to reduce the powder on the surface of the bead. You'll get this luminous black surface that's pretty close to the black pearls I've seen. Dotty

.....I'm an absolute rank beginner in clay but have a background in jewelry making. The black pearls I've seen weren't really black. They were a medium dark bluish gray. They did have a sort of metallic sheen to them too. Donna/Des Plaines

lesson on making black pearly clay with black oxide powder and Premo Pearl (and colors from silver to dark gray) and

black pearls: My mix is: 1 part pearl clay, 1/4 part transparent clay, pinch black, interference blue PX. Mix the pearl and transparent really well, add the black, mix well, roll through pasta machine or flatten out with fingers, brush pearl X on the slab, mix, repeat a couple of time to get the pearlX really mixed in. add some to your palm and mix again. Make beads, roll the bead in a teeny bit more pearl X I've got a pair of black pearl earrings and this concoction made perfect black pearls to match. Ginny

black pearls: Take a pinch o' black clay, a sprinkle of Midnight Pearls (brand) Blue and add to 1/2 bar Premo pearl clay and mix well. Pinch off what you want and shape your pearl. Shake Powdered Pearls silver container, tap container on the table and open. Put a teensy bit of the powder that remains on the lid into the palm of your hand and roll the bead into it. Kim K. (for hematite, add more black)

ABALONE shell ... Mother of Pearl (MOP)

(also see the whole category of Mokume Gane, since many of the following ideas are based on that technique)

"mother-of-pearl" = the hard pearly iridescent substance forming the inner layer of a mollusk shell
"abalone" = one type of mollusk whose interior shell is lined with mother-of-pearl

Mother of pearl is the inside lining of shells. It is so named because when an irritant gets inside of a shell, the shell protects itself by coating the irritant with the same material of its lining (this is what creates pearls).
(na´ker) is a synonym of mother-of-pearl; it's the iridescent substance that forms the lining of the shells of some fresh-water and some salt-water mollusks. . . . Mother of pearl is composed of alternate layers of the aragonite form of calcium carbonate and conchiolin. . . . Among the chief sources are the pearl oyster, found in warm and tropical seas; the fresh-water pearl mussel, which lives in many rivers of the United States and Europe; and the abalone of California, Japan, and other Pacific regions.

The colors of mother of pearl (even from abalones apparently) can range from very light appearance (with very little pattern, with possible hints of pink or cream, etc.), all the way to a fairly heavily patterned, overall dark appearance (which often features light to dark hues and tints of blue/green/purple + black)

Laukkonen 's lesson on making abalone mother of pearl, using black (acrylic or artists' oil) paint on each mini-stack of layers, indented with fingers, re-cubed, then cut (or cut with wavy blade) --oil paint okay in this case because it's cured in the oven?
....Use same idea as this for lighter mother-of-pearl, but don't use black paint & don't mix black into the pearl or silver clay.
...Try it with sheets of translucent clay instead of Pearl clay.
...And instead of the black paint, try some of the new Lumiere Metallic Acrylics by Jacquard (let dry completely before cutting and stacking) . . . or Pearl Ex . . . or other colors of artists' oil paints (use like I did with the black paint in the tutorial).
....If doing these tho, you can put the paint or powder on every sheet if you want, instead of making small piles first. Chryse
...Chryse Laukkonen's eggs using abalone technique, and using as mosaics

(lesson) . . .This particular technique is for making the lighter whiter type, not the darker rainbow Abalone style. . . .You'll need the plain Pearl clay and Silver pearl clay, Shadow Grey Piñata ink, Baja Blue Piñata ink.
--Roll out the clay on the #5 or very thin setting of the pasta machine. Cut into rectangles of the same size.
--Cover the surface of half of the rectangles with the Piñata inks and let dry. Stack the rectangles, alternating between the gray and blue inked layers and the uninked ones.
--Roll the remaining pearl and silver clay into balls about the size of grapes. Place the balls underneath the stack of rectangles and press down on the stack so that you can see the shape of the balls underneath.
--Then scrunch the pad of rectangles and balls snuggly together.
--Slice off very thin slices from the top of the pad with a sharp blade and set them aside on a piece of waxed paper. --Cover whatever you like with the slices.
.......To cover a box, roll out a sheet of the pearl clay on the #2 setting, lay it on waxed paper, and cover with the slices. Lay another piece of waxed paper on top and roll the sheet smooth with a brayer or acrylic roller. Use the sheet to cover the box, or cut out shapes for pins, barrettes, or to wrap around a bead base. Dotty

I work in layers which makes for neat effects. Pale gray pearl base with translucent over it and then straight pearl clay...rub the pearl to align the mica (baked inbetween ). And a gloss of varathane makes the pearl pop. (I was trying for mother of pearl) so it's not what I planned but I really like how it turned out. 10more

Teri's abalone lesson (using Chryse's and other lessons) to make two kinds of abalone (shows inks on layers, etc.)

Jenny C's lesson on making dark and light versions (like mokume gane, but using more-or-less whole slices)
...Dark: Pearl Ex powders mixed into translucent clay (she uses Duo Red-Blue, Interference Green, Interference Violet), flattened thinly, and stacked (two colors, one layer of black clay, repeat/repeat); then the loaf is cut in half and stacked; depressions are made in the stack top with med.paintbrush handle (can be filled with clay or not); compressed into a loaf, from which very thin slices are taken and applied to light or dark base
...Light: (random veining with gray on white) ...white clay grated (med & lg holes), spread out on alum foil, and drizzled with med. gray acrylic paint; then brushed with a paint brush to spread paint more; left to dry overnight before being compressed (hard) into balls, then shapes.

Marie Segal's lesson on making (bright) light and dark abalone, and many samples including some used in mosaics
(like mokume, but using wavy blade)..
.... ( a multiple Skinner Blend is used for creating the colors ...cut them apart)
... she uses many colors and many stacks (together) and gets many different finished colors of abalone

....I hope I'm not stepping on Marie Segal's toes by giving out her techniques, but I have seen somewhere else instructions for abalone.
I used premo Pearl clay divided into about 6. Each ball was coloured slightly (pink, green, orange etc). And two of them were black. Roll out each into a thin sheet on pasta machine and layer alternate colours. Cut, reduce and restack a couple of times. You still want to be able to see very thin lines of colour. Leave to cool! . . . Then slice (the face of the loaf) with a wavy blade perpendicular to the layers (through them as if slicing off a layer of colour). Then roll this through the pasta machine as if you are rolling out the waves. Shelley

M. Briggs' item made from faux dark abalone layer, over scrap clay which was formed over a lemon

PolymerClayExpress' & Elizabeth's lesson on making abalone with rainbow Skinner blend mixed with translucent, smeared unevenly with Black Oxide pigment powder, then stacked and distressed with wavy blade/etc., and cut (requires Acrobat Reader)

Codie's very intensely colorful, dark abalone (lesson to come ...available yet?)

I used the mokume gane "Water Color" technique. . .
…take some transluscent clay and roll it out to a long, thin sheet. then take Pearlex powders and 'paint the clay, leaving little gaps here and there, but very heavy where you do paint... then cut and stack. using a bent blade, carve out divits.... if you use the blues, greens, silvers, pearls and red, it looks like mother of pearl.-Byrd
. . . I ended up combining water color mokume with the ripple blade and it worked pretty well. I wish it was a little whiter, so next time rather than backing the mokume sheet with pearl, I'll use white or even a layer of opaque LS, which has the whitest white of all. Jody

In making butterfly wings, I made translucent blues and greens and purples, with translucent canes applied.
To some, I added a translucent clay mixed with silver foil, smoothed it over the whole design, and then used blue or purple Pearl-Ex interference powder on top. . . The Pearl-Ex interference powders on top of semi-translucent colors, came close to the look of abalone.

I love the white pearl by itself as faux gems, but also I've been working on fauxabalone. Pearl white with ripples of raspberry, light green, flecks of black and a touch of blue, folded and run through the pasta machine. Close but not perfect abalone imitation, but I am heartened.

Abalone... maybe dark base clay (Promat graphite, Premo black + silver?) with Fimo blue and green and purple pulvers and Pearl-ex powders layered on? (Might need to use something as a binder and bake then paint on subsequent layers?)

did some abalone shell for my mosaic swap. I used Pearl and? White and Fimo's translucent 00 (in a proportion of about 1:4), then added a variety of colors to part of it to get the colors. . . I used an olive green and a mixture of golden yellow and ochre for the variety. . . .I mixed #650 Micropearl Pearl-Ex powder into all the different clays before I put them together and rolled them out. I also tried the #652 Macropearl powder, but the flakes seem to be slightly larger and I didn't like the look as much as the Micropearl.

NoraJean's lesson on making abablone with Pearl, Pearl and other colors, and gold, then mixed with TLS. Finished abalone sheets are then loosely draped, or used to cover and

Nora-Jean‘s lesson on making one kind of abalone & shell (website gone)
~I also took the metallic clay colors and mixed them with primary and secondary clay colors: yellow and blue for green, then equal parts of that green with pearl and then a half portion of gold...Crimson with part to two parts, very pretty also.
...Make a skinner blend with them and fold them zig zag, and make a lace cane by surrounding it with the two mixes mixed with equal portion of silver, and you have abalone ...very realistic. nora jean
(website gone)

Valerie's abalone frame with black clay layer (with silver & Cernit glamour colors --pearly)
Denise's abalone with black clay (silvery (website gone)


Linda G's lesson on making opals with colored translucents + glitters
Barbara R's lesson on making opals (green and turq clay, with reddish glitter)
Donna Kato's lesson on making opals with liquid clay and opalescent flakes
(more lessons below)

the Pearl-Ex Macropearl color might be useful in making opal.... Anybody tried that yet?

I make opals out of translucent polymer clay mixed with either ultra fine Gick Prisma-Glitter or Jimmy Jem's iridescent mylar confetti shreds. After mixing in the glittery stuff I put the pieces in a cold oven and S-L-O-W-L-Y bring the oven up to 265. Let them bake at 265 for the required 20-25 minutes, and then shut off the oven and allow the pieces to cool in the oven - this slow heating and cooling will minimize the plaquing in the translucent clay to almost nothing. (or use Premo Bleached?). Then I wet sand the pieces starting with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper, then 600 grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit and finally 1500 grit, then buff them on a bench grinder fitted with an unstitched muslin buffing wheel. . . . For maximum shine, after the buffing, put the "opals" back into the oven for about ten minutes at 265, and WHILE THEY ARE STILL WARM (but not too hot to handle) glaze them with Future.
.......I tried Juli's technique and it worked great! I also got some neat results when I put A BIT of red/violet interference powder in the mix, and applied EXTREMELY thin slices of chameleon canes (see Lindly's chameleon canes in Mokume Gane?) to the surface, then finished as Juli suggests.

(this looked good! ). . . tiny bits of: iridescent confetti, Ultra Fine micro glitter opalescent, Art Transparent transclucent clay , Pearl Ex Powders. Michelle H.

The material I used was a pearlized wrapping paper that I found in a Dollar store. I cut it into tiny bits and added it to CFC06 (Bleached Premo Translucent) and Sculpey III Translucent. The Sculpey III pieces are more yellow than the CFC06. KathyG
. . . Kathy G's opals made with mylar raffia and Bleached Premo & black opals
Kat's opal experiments

As a matter of fact, more than a year ago, I took a class with Lindly Haunani about opals and translucents. In that class, she used the opalescent strands of mylar that you use to stuff giftbags (it's like spaghetti), and simply snipped as much as needed with scissors. It works great, and comes in a variety of colors.
....A lot of times it's in the cord area (of the fabric store?), sold as mylar "raffia," which is great, because a yard of the stuff, unwrapped, will last a longer time than a couple of 12" squares of it will, for a lot less money, and it's more interesting when it's wrinkled, anyway!

Adding Extra Fine opalescent glitter to this looks good too.

When mixing in glitter, be sure to use a polyester or nonmetallic glitter. Some of the cheaper kinds of glitter have aluminum in them, which heats up excessively in baking and "explodes" to cause the coconut look on the surface.
... Prisma glitters are all polyester, as are most of the types sold for T-shirt decorating and rubber stamping.
(for more on types of glitter and using them as includions, see Inclusions)

A cheap way to make opals: use the fake iridescent snow (in flakes) that comes in giant bags starting around this time of year.
... sacks of Christmas "snow"... it is irregularly shaped, inexpensive, and is normally used to sprinkle around village scenes. . . . ........for opals, I'm trying the Pinata inks to lightly b the Premo bleached translucent bleach clay, then adding the flakes. ...And of course a good sanding and then buffing should make it look pretty good. Patty

(see Donna Kato's lesson just above too for using these flakes in liquid clay to make opal)

This best product I've found to make faux opals is the fake iridescent Christmas "snow" in flakes which is available at Michaels and Hobby Lobbies at this time of year in giant bags. It is basically a mylar type of confetti and is cut into irregular pieces. (If the flakes are too big, just start snipping with scissors until you get the size you like. It has the same irregular shape as the Jimmy Jems glitter.. . ) ...My favorite is Glittering Ice Crystals, Union Wadding Co., Pawtuckett, RI 02862. I like the last one best because the flakes are much smaller. What you want is the irregular chopped up flakes most often used to sprinkle over cotton batting to imitate snow in village scenes. (They have a new product out called Magic Scraps that might be used in making paper with inclusions. This is NOT what you want. The pieces are much too large.)
...The irregular shapes seem to make the opals look more realistic to me. ...(this is the reason I don't use the glitters which are cut into very regular strands or circles or hexagon shapes and look manufactured rather than organic in an opal.)
....Another thing I do is tint the translucent clay with the Pinata Inks because I like my opals to look more like Boulder opal or fire opal rather than the milky white opal which is the least expensive of all the opals to buy.
...lesson: I shape the tinted translucent clay into the form I want: cabochon, heart, oval, etc., and then I press the formed clay into the "snow". Next I roll an extremely thin (#9 on my machine with deli paper supports) sheet of translucent clay and place this over the formed clay. This seals the confetti in without dulling the colored "flashes" too much. I bake according to the manufacturer's instructions. By the way, I use Premo translucent with bleach. Patty B.

Marina's lesson on realistic bluish-green & white opals, made with fake (xmas tree) snow in "dirty-colored" translucent clay, on white clay
..."handle" a few different colors of clay to get some colours onto your hands
...then manipulate the translucent clay in your "dirty" hands a bit to colour it ...stop when you have the amt of colour you want in the trans.
...feed the translucent through the pasta machine on a really thin setting. . . cut the sheet in half
...put some iridescent flakes on one sheet (not too many since you still want to see a large part of the clay)
...then put the second sheet of clay over the first, and press down well
...take this “sandwich” and feed it through the pasta machine on the thinnest setting
...lastly, put this sandwiched sheet on a sheet of opaque white clay and press down well
...cut or form the clay into the shapes you need, and smooth the borders
...let th opals rest until they are quite firm (possibly overnight)
..."polish” your opals with a small quantity of talcum powder (or cornstarch) by rubbing in circles with your finger until they feel smooth (if they seem to be full of powder, you can rinse them after they are cured) bake them, or embellish first for jewelry pieces (I've used ropes of clay to surround them). (various of Marina's opals, some more translucent/colored ...with framing clay ropes for jewelry)

I had layered one layer of #7 (pasta machine) translucent clay with one gold foil sheet. On top of that I had another tranclusent #7 layer and a copper foil sheet. …The copper foil gave that pinkish look that some opals have.
...After this discovery, I tried different things. Layering a thin layer of translucent over the "opal" beads didn't seem to enhance them at all, and was really hard to do, besides.
...I've made about 20 "opals" this way--by mushing the translucent layers and gold and copper foil together and mixing it up really well (I ran it through the pasta machine about 5 to 10 times to mix it, folding it over each time), and while about 5 of them didn't turn out to be opals (I goofed), the remaining 15 look pretty good to me.

Other types of layers???

(I made a pen to look like a fish and in making the iris ) I rubbed Pearl Ex 673 Interference Violet on a piece of very thin Fimo translucent. I cut it out using the cap of a pen. After it was baked it looked like opal. ...I think this is easier than looking for the confetti ( which I couldn't find anyhow.)
... I think if you colored your translucent a little, it would look even more like opal . . .

I just wanted to update you on my experiment with trans. Sculpey III and Stampendous Holograhic embossing powder, as faux opal recipe. I tried mixing about an once of the trans. + 1 tsp. of the holographic ep. and baked with your suggestion to bring it up slowly to 265 deg. But the piece I was baking this time was about i/4 in. thick so I baked it about 10 - 15 min. and then turned off the oven and cracked the door, allowing my piece to remain in the oven for about 5 more min. Then removed it and did the sanding thing. It still yellowed a bit. . . . .After this I felt that I hadn't used enough ep, so I coated my piece with clear embossing fluid and dipped the piece in the hologr. emb. powder. and used my heat gun to glaze it. It really looks like opal now! and has a high gloss! Debbie

(for another opal recipe, also see above, in Quartz post)
** For those who were recently looking for the (opal recipes,) you can follow the above instructions using Gick ultra-fine multicolored Prisma Glitter instead of the sand (I got mine at Joanne's Fabrics and have seen it at Michael's as well.)

I just took some blue clay, mushed in sea green & fuchsia for variety.... baked
.... painted with Translucent Liquid Sculpey then sprinkled with big flakey iridescent glitter
... covered with very thin sheets of (Premo's Bleached Translucent)... baked again
....sanded from 320 - 2000 grits... & buffed. Jenn

My process involves dabbing pink, aqua, and violet inks onto a blue-to- green Skinner blended sheet of Premo metallic, letting dry, covering it with a thin sheet of blue, green, and pink tinted bleached translucent, and then running the "opal sandwich" through the pasta machine to bind the sheets and crackle the inks.
... I have combined these pearlescent-inked clay veneers with veneers of gold leaf-backed translucent clay ...The first five hearts in my Photopoint album are the experimental ones. Elissa (website gone)

(for black opals, see below in Pearls and other categories like Abalone for ideas)

Try various colors of Translucent Liquid Sculpey (colored with Pearl Ex, etc...or inks?), with tiny drops of plain TLS mixed into it for a gorgeous opal effect, using the following technique with TLS (which results in a perfect cabochon shape).
...........(~This (way of making a mold for LS) is similar to a technique used by some chocolatiers):
--You place flour (reg baking flour) in a shallow pan (or box lid?)
--GENTLY pack it with a flat bottomed glass or another flat object
--make an impression(s) in the flour (I used the back of a measuring spoon)
--carefully fill the impression with a squeeze bottle filled with TLS (for better control). . . and bake!
-- After baking you remove the object, wash, sand and finish.. Jan R.

Judi's opal cabochons using glitter, and sometimes white clay or pearl iridescent flakes

Susan F's lesson on (very different looking) "Australian opals"... "white" opals (doesn't show any?) and "black" opals
(these are very brightly colored... dark colored --not white or light-light colored at all)
....translucent clay with a bit of black laid on base clay... metal leaf flakes, metallic powders (prefers the richers colors of 'Moon Glow', 'Powdered Pearl' and 'Powdered Opals' to Pearl Ex place on top leaving spaces... thinned layer of translucent and a bit of white stretched over glittery stuff and attached to back of base clay... repeat..... says she's also used glitter, sticky hologram paper, iridescent inks

(see also Pre-Colored epoxy resins (cold enamels) category in Other Materials for another opal idea)

matrix opals, Andamooka, Yowah and Koroit. If anyone is interested in simulating real stones, take a look at some of the eBay listings for Yowah and Koroit opals. These things don't even look real when I'm holding one in my hand and someone who is good with canes could simulate them easily. They have some VERY cool patterns with little splashes of opal mixed in. Marti

REAL opals (non-fire? opals) (heavily patterned darker opals)

FELDSPAR ...Moonstone + Labradorite

Feldspar ("easily cleaved material") ...any of several crystalline aluminosilicate minerals found in abundance in the earth's crust; dazzling array of colors and distinctive features; luster is pearly... brilliant iridescent colors are sometimes reflected; thin, platelike layers within the crystalline structure create the Schiller Effect, an iridescence caused by the scattering of light between the layers.

Moonstone: Using translucent clay mix lot's of ultrafine pastel blue glitter in and shape. Glaze afterwards. There are some examples under my name on the Gorkley site. (see the megaswaps list at…. Adrienne (can't find it)

Labradorite: has the most Schiller Effect of the feldspars; shades of green, blue, gold and yellow. Color may be homogeneous or may vary within a single crystal.
....Check the tutorials for using foils (see Leaf page). Labradorite, a grayish blue/green feldspar with a property known as schiller flash, catches and throws the light in unusual ways; I think a foil underlayment might give you the effect you want. Katherine Dewey

Other feldspars are sunstone and amazonite (see Jade above).


…a way to (sort of) make tigers eye. I don't know if I can recreate my mistake, but I was futzing with gold (clay), black and translucent sculpey. I marbled it and ran it through the pasta machine and darned if it didn't look like tiger's eye!

…making layers of gold Premo, alternating the direction by a zig-zag fold, slicing through the stacked layers, then very gently finger polishing the resulting stripes might give something very like tiger eye. . . messing around layering this over brown might also help . . .it's a place to start anyway. Sherry

Nora Jean's many lessons on making tiger eye patterns, colors and canes, then using them to make beads

I do this thing with the "mica" colors. I think Mike B did it as well with a piece on his site. You'd have to pick the colors right, like black to gold to maybe a gold/pearl mix, and do a skinner blend with it.
Next, roll the skinner blend out at a five or six from black on one end to the light color on the other.
Now roll it up real tight and even with the lt. gold in the center. Compress the log a little to have it set together real good, you don't want the diameter too small.
Cut a 1" piece and set it on end.
Now cut down that piece and what you will have is a sort of cat eye effect. You can take it from there.
You can roll the slices from this out or thru the pm but not too much or you'll lose the mica effect.
I've gotten some great cat eye effects this way and tiger eye has that kind of look to it...let me know if it works. Auroraj

CLEAR-ish gems & stones

(see also "Glassy Effects" below)

clear amber . . . My amber is actually made with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel, a product found with the stamping materials). It can be heated and molded with a glue pot or a heat gun. You can also pour the UTEE into most molds such as puffinalia's magic mold....The material is very sturdy. Skye

...I am also trying to figure out a way to make them by using a thin sheet of translucent polymer clay wrapped around a center of TLS. Skye

I produced a truly lovely faux amethyst with Premo's translucent and purple Pulver (real metal powder) (with antiquing)! Tinidril (Yvan)

... and I am currently working on a faux amethyst, reticulated quartz, fluorite, garnet, labradorite and others. Skye

Jenny C's lesson on making goldstone with translucent clay and Pearl-Ex powders (Super-Copper & Sparkling Copper)


There are a lot of ways to simulate a dichroic effect...basically all that's needed is:
...sparkly or shiny colors which are visually textured --not solid-smooth (usually multiple colors, in various swirls or patches)
...a high gloss finish
(you can use just one technique ...or various techniques can be used or mixed together, or layered, or used in diff areas of the same piece of "dichroic")

NOTE: Technically, "dichroic" glass should have an interference effect .. that is, each color should become a different color when the dichroic surface is turned side to side in the light... (dichroic literally means "two colors") get the effect on glass, the glass receives a thin layer of metallic oxide vaporized on its surace, and then will "transmit" one color while "reflecting" a different color.
....most of the techniques below, however, do not have the interference effect (when turned), but they do duplicate one view of a piece of dichroic glass

MORE INFO on tools & materials discussed below:
......Leaf & Foils >
Foils ......Powders > Mica and Real-Metal
> Metallics ......Faux-Inclusions > Glitters
......Other Materials
> Epoxy Resins ....Finishes > Varathane and UTEE, etc
......Cutters & Blades >
Wavy blades

(....see also Faux Opal and Faux Abalone above, for other ideas re materials & techniques...)

many dichroic pieces at Tonja's site

foils & leaf

Purchased FOILS (plastic-backed, plastic sheets):

Donna Kato's lesson on creating very glassy faux dichroic glass, with great visual depth
....she uses liquid clay-and-foil techniques for both the base clay, and for the bits of metallic sheets she cuts & includes in one of the many layers of liquid clay create the foiled sheets, she tapes down its 4 corners onto a ceramic tile, colored side down
....applies a layer of Kato liquid clay with a paintbrush to the back side of the foil (she paints a square), but leaves a "frame" of bare foil sheet around the edges (to have a grab area for peeling?)
...heats with a heat gun for awhile ...then just lifts off the liquid clay-and-foil sheet from the clear backing
..she sets that foiled sheet aside .... then makes the base clay for the piece from a shape of raw clay
......lays a sheet of foil (colored side up this time) onto the base clay ...burnishes it down... heats with heat gun ... removes foil backing from clay
......bakes 10 min (...If the medium is not totally clear, heat with heat gun until it is)
...cuts shapes from the foiled sheet and presses them to base piece
...applies a light coat of liquid clay to the entire piece to cover and secure the bits of foiled-sheet
..... bakes (uses heat gun on piece afterward again to make that liquid clay layer totally clear, if needed)
....could stop at this point, but she adds two more layers of liquid clay (thick ones), baking tor 10 min after each and "clearing" with heat gun if needed, to completely encase the layers and to create even more depth
.....she also stamped on the next to last layer of baked liquid clay with
Brilliance ink, and heated to dry it
(any excess liquid clay that rolled off the piece can be trimmed off with scissors after last bake)

to apply foils on raw clay
......(see much more info about applying foils, using heat or not, in Leaf > Foils)
....this method works even on the foils that are hardest to transfer (the holographic foils, and Delta Renaissance, e.g.)
.......(the holographic Jones Tones foil took the longest of all the foils she tried, which was the 5-6 seconds.... But the first ones Trina did with blue metallic foil needed only a one-two count with the heat gun and it worked beautifully.)
......use the sharp side of the blade for burnishing and then give it a 5-6 second swoop with the heat gun. Couldn't believe how well this works. Trina
.......I'd say to start the heat gun with two seconds only, and increase by only one second until you are successful.
....If you heat a foil for a second or two too long though with a heat gun, the foil hardens (not the clay), and then will crack if you bend it.
....... also be sure you don't put the heat gun any closer than about 4 inches.
..and remember to put the colored side UP, not face down as you might be tempted to do. Won't work that way. The back side which you place face down, is silvery. Dotty in CA

(simplest) ...LisaPavelka's lesson using irregular strips of Jones Tones foil ("Swirl") on top of a sheet of black clay (leaving gaps) to cover the back of a glass plate
... just swirl-pattern multicolor foil... no finish ..... (adds cane slices on edge),,HGTV_3349_1390559,00.html

Lisa's samples on business card cases,,using blue and green Jones Tones (also with hand tinted transfers and millefiori):

My favorite use of Jones Tones foil is to get the "Swirl," multi-color foil and make faux dichroic (glass) works best with "sticky" clay, like the FimoSoft fluorescents sometimes are, or add a good deal of Softener-Diluent to what you're working with.
.......I run clay through my pasta machine at not less than the mid setting
.......then I lay the foil down, and burnish it with the edge of a dull tissue blade, or something else to encourage the foil to separate from the carrier.
.......let it rest and cool ... then *quickly* but smoothly pull off the carrier sheet (most of the foil will stick to the clay).
.......I cover it with a thin, thin layer of translucent clay
.......then I cut out shapes (with a cutter) that can be applied to the surface like cane slices
.......then also do the ice water plunge thing to bring out the translucence of the translucent clay
.......sand down the "translucent layer" to thin it even more ....and buff to as high a sheen as you can!
(I actually had a glass artist mistake it for real dichroic at an art show (as in 'how did I manage to get dichroic to stick in the clay properly'). When I told 'em it was polymer clay, he shook his head and said, "Is there *anything* you guys don't try to copy?") Donna in Dallas
...........similiar to Jenny Bezingue's technique?
...Dichroic glass could be recreated using foils and translucent clay, and bright-colored clays... on a black base??.
.......(I tried this using a mokume gane technique, but the patterns were too regular for me ---but could look cool anyway).

(dichroic mother of pearl look)....Marie Segal showed us a really cool way to create the dichro effect
1. transfer the Jones Tones foils to thin sheets of translucent clay (Premo)
2. stack them up to get a nice thick stack --about 3/4" thick - press well for it all to adhere together (.. and .be sure all the colors are the same side up)
3. turn stack on edge so that the flat side faces you, not the layers.
4. using a wavy blade (wavy blade), shave off pieces from the big flat side (gives fabulous rings & woodgrain like effects.)
5. use the pieces to cover things - they can be flattened in the pasta machine if needed.
.........try taking very thin bits & putting them on black clay
.....when it comes out of the oven, drop in a bowl of ice for max translucency...sand,buff ...some great effects. Lynne

What I used were the Faux Dichro Luminous Elements sheets from Fire Mountain Gems
...but what really gives it the dichroic glass look is the (Aristocrat) Liquid Glass (epoxy resin). Nancy
Marcella's photos of most contents of kit

faux dichro kit ....(translucent) sheets of ? with embedded dichroic bits... cut up, and use flat with clay
... $2 for a 4" x 12" strip
... colors change in appearance depending on what color they're placed over...(Sea and Sky = light blue/green... also warm colors?)
FauxDichroicDiva's photos
...(she also uses faux lead, DecraLed, on many pieces with it)... can use on most any surface as well
...Ilene's Faux Dichroic elements work wonderfully on polymer clay...she has been kind enough to let me play with some and as a glass fuser, this stuff is sure to fool the viewer. It is only when you feel how light weight the item is that you realize it is not the usual heavy glass. (you can use it on regular clear or colored glass, too...just be sure the edges are nice and smooth). ....if you get Fire Mountain Gems catalog, it's sold in there, too. Patty B.
... the best prices I''ve found for these faux dichro sheets are at:

metallic leaf & leaf flakes simulate a bright kind of faux dichroic
....(can make your own variegated leaf
by dabbing alcohol-based inks onto metallic leaf since those inks are transparent and the metallic shine will still show through)
... can use the leaf or leaf bits alone... or antique or patina them
....can also crackle the leaf, then fill the spaces with other colors of metallic powder, etc.. Tanya
...Tess' larger areas of wrinkled gold leaf

you can also use gold leaf with a very thin sheet (#6) of translucent clay (Premo bleached)
.....put the translucent sheet on top of the base clay with the leaf... rolled it again thru with appropriate setting
.....cut into strips .. rolled each strip over a skewer... cut & butt seams to make a tube bead... gold leaf came through very clear! Tanya

I made a whole sheet of metallic to tear into small pieces by placing a very light layer of liquid clay (on glass or tile)
....then heating it with a heat gun ... and burnishing on "oil slick" (JT Swirl, or similar) foil
......(this is for a layered technique with liquid clay resulting in very usable pieces of dichroic glass)
... then I apply the torn bits to whatever. Carolyn

glitter, metallic powders, "mica paints," metallic paints

ultrafine glitter ... like Gick's Multicolor Prisma glitter (Ultra Fine) is a white looking glitter with iridescence... (Gick also has blue-violet, gold, pink, blue-green)... I got it at JoAnne's, but have seen it at Michael's
......sprinkle the glitter onto a sheet of Sculpey translucent clay rolled out to #6 on the pasta machine.
.......fold the sheet in half, trapping the glitter between layers... roll it through the pasta machine again at #6, fold side first.
......apply sheet over a bead or pendant base clay which is solid pastel or marbled pastel clays
......after baking, wet-sand and buff, and you'll be surprised how much it really looks like dichroic glass! (I discovered this totally by accident in my opal experiments -- see more on Opals above)

You could make sparkly liquid clay sheets by creating liquid clay decals with inclusions or applying things on top of sheets, such as:
.... mica powders and/or ultra fine glitter... and also leaf or foil (bits or larger, crackled or not)
..........(clearest liquid clays--Kato's, or Fimo Gel-- would work best fior inclusions... any liquid clay if only on top)
.....then cut up the sheeets into small pieces
.....or leave as is and use as a sheet (maybe as a sheet over other sparkly stuff)
.....or build up layers of liquid clay with various inclusions in between (see Liquid Clay > Films)

..Pat O
's lesson on creating sheets of mica powder-covered liquid clay, then applying pieces of it to a cut out of regular clay (or textured cutout)... then apply layers of clear "acrylic-nail liquid," and clear "powder" (same brands, from beauty supply store)--must do step outdoors ... add glitters, etc., in layers if want... sand till smooth (low-grit to 1000), then buff

Tess' various experiments with making sparkly dichroic effects, using powders, glitters etc., then flattened onlays and collages (photos 2,3,4)

dichroic effects done puzzle-piece style

Nancy says even organza fabric can be used to create a dichroic look.

I use a variety of products --mica powders... ultra-fine glitter... variegated foils ...Lumiere paints
.......under very thin translucent clay that is sanded and buffed to death. Elizabeth

Heather R's dichroic (probably made with equal amounts of black and translucent Premo clay.... + liquid clay and artists'oil paints or powdered pigments) (gone)

I put a lot of Pearl Ex mica powder into liquid clay... then thin it some with Diluent-Softener
.........I used it to make the tail of my merhorse, it looks almost like dichroic glass, or a very blueish crystal opal. Laura

crackling techniques can give realistic effects with faux dichroic:
for brilliant color dichroic, add metallic powders (mica-based, or real-metal?) into Future before applying to the raw clay
........after the Future is well dried, I`ve stretched the clay in order to get a crackled surface
...and if you add enough powder, the effect can look like dichroic glass.
......just be certain that the Future is *totally* dry, perhaps even using a heat gun .. it will goop up the pasta machine if not
see more on crackling paints, or metallic powders in finishes or in liquid clay, in Paints > Crackling ....and in Finishes > Crackle)

I bought Plaid's Folk Art Metallic Paints (acrylic) from Michaels and absolutely love them
...they are a much cheaper than some of the other paints used for dichroic, and personally I would say they are just as good ($2 for a 2 ounce bottle, and sometimes on sale)
...they also come in dozens of metallic, shimmery, colors and shades
...the colors, texture, application and end results seems to be exactly the same as some of the other paints used for dichroic
...I use them for crackling, but also for painting
...I've also put it on before curing, as well as after
...I've usually dipped the paint-coated pieces in Varathane or with UTEE. Shannon

I got some regular old (metallic) craft paints (used for stencils) at Ace Hardware in the home painting section
....if they're not pearly enough, just add mica powder ...I've used them on raw and cured pieces.Nancy

Nix Creations sells Dicrofex brand metallic paints (acrylic) in 12 colors (available in a set or individ.)
...the paints are a mixture of mica, plus diatomaceous silica (silica powder), and titanium dioxide (presumably for opaqueness, & thickener?), in an acrylic base
the directions are to use a tiny brush and make the designs on already baked clay
......but I tried baking some on some raw clay and everything looked good (no bubbles)
...I let my splotches of paint get dry... then crackled it by putting it through the pasta machine on #4 which breaks it up into speckles. Jeanne NC
...Nix Creations' dichroic, using strips, shapes, and flakes of various different foils, his paints, etc.... on black backgrounds
...Nix Creations' other dichroic pendants
...Matthew uses Aritocrat's Liquid Glass as a finish
swirled bicones with Dicrofex metallic paints
...... run translucent clay on the thinnest setting... smear Dicrofex Paints onto clay.... dry (15-20 min)
..... place a piece of translucent sheet onto ball of black clay
(paints facing down) ....or, ball up a portion of the translucent sheet.. twist ... ball)
... then swirl the ball. Matthew (see Beads > Swirled Bicones for technique)

Luna Lights paints....are quite thin and more like an ink (in fact, have been marketed as Luna Lights Inks.DB)
...but dry like paint & bond extremely well with the clay ...they will crackle just a little bit on raw clay
......when coated and fired on black clay, fractured just the little that they capable of, then covered with clear glaze, they are beautiful!! and look a lot like dichroic glass. Dotty
......basically a "thin acrylic paint" probably (metallics and non-metallic colors).
..flexible, water based paint.... on metal, plastic, ceramics, etc.
..Tracy's lesson on Luna Lights on black clay beads with slightly-crackled gold leaf and diff. color paints here and there... dry.. stretch to crackle..bake (a little bit dichroic)

I've noticed that Luna Lights are exactly like metallic airbrush acrylics --same viscosity, similar coverage, etc Margaret D.

clear finishes

2 pt epoxy resins give a very glassy finish
....I've recently started putting several coats of a 2-pt epoxy resin (Envirotex Lite, Aristocrat's Liquid Glass, Ultra-Glo, etc.) on the faux dichroic (made from mica powders, ultra-fine glitter, variegated foils, and/or.Lumiere paints), and that lends even more realism to the "glass" effect. Elizabeth
...I have been using Liquid Glass (by Aristocrat) as a clear finish to make faux dichroic glass pieces
....... works really well on clay, and can be found in craft stores but near the stained glass supplies sometimes
.......cures extremely hard, and very very the look and smooth feel of it. Dotty in CA can pour the resin on the clay, brush it on, or dip the piece. Dotty in CA
(see more brands of epoxy resin, tips on application, etc, in Other Materials > Epoxy Resins)

liquid finishes can be applied in single thick layers or several thin layers, depending on their inherent clarity
...can be applied on plain finished surface, then excess allowed to drop off sides (place on narrow pedastal, then dab at drips)
...can be dammed in with raw clay, or anything else that will work

Varathane ...the gloss version (indoor, water-based wood finish)
...(Future --acrylic floor polish-- is ok too but can yellow over time)

liquid clay ... clearest liquid clays are Fimo and Kato (TLS too cloudy, or use several thin layers)

if using liquid clay, baked (or unbaked?), the dichroic piece can be placed face down on puddle of liquid clay in a very smooth "mold"
... then baked ...(can later add layer of Varathane and rebake for max. hardness and shine)

I coated the top of my piece (several times) with clear UTEE (clear embossing powder) ...I find that it gives it that "glassy" shine that I have been unable to get with TLS and sanding. Lori (website gone)
......dry UTEE can be somewhat easily scratched later though

..Lisa Pavelka's lesson for faux dichroic effect using "Oil Slick" and "purple" foils
......apply bits of foil on black clay sheet...... cut a shape from black clay with cutter
......wrap thin strip of clay around the outside of heart as a dam ....fill with UTEE... bake until UTEE is melted
...... trim excess clay from sides (is this the clay strip??) ......add backing of black clay behind shape
.......2nd dam ...surround new thicker shape with cracked silver-leaf crackled (not shown) rope... add 2nd layer of UTEE... bake.,2025,DIY_13762_2892544,00.html

(or use very thin layer of translucent clay, as above --with an ice water bath hot from the oven-- then sand and buff it to a high gloss)

WATER .+ .BUBBLES .... GLASSY effects

see also "Clear Gems and Stones" above

.....I baked a switchplate after putting on a rather thick coat of Future (the Future had thickened up (from being left out?) & I also globbed it on).... Well, I put it in the oven at 250, and it bubbled up ...the bubbles actually hardened, which actually it would be great IF it were an underwater scene! Dawn
...If I had any liquid clay, here's how I would make bubbles. I would get a very thin straw, like the kind that are meant to be coffee stirers. I would pool a little bit of TLS together (enought so the straw tip was under TLS) and then blow like mad. The actual thickness of the TLS may have to be experimented with. …I bet mixed with a bit of irridecent pearlex, would make primo bubbles. Nite Falcon (will the bubbles stay up?)
... I used a straw to blow air into 2-part resin, causing it to form bubbles. Cindy
.....I am rolling little clay bubbles and wanted to try one of the powders you all talk about but not sure which to try. Fimo glitter in Mother of Pearl or another. Do I just roll the ball and then before baking dip it into the powder? What about Pearl-Ex pigment colors in Micropearl? Vicki
…depends on what look you're going for. Personally, I would use the white pearl pulver powder from Eberhard Faber (only kind I've tried. Pearl-x isn't carried here so I can't compare). You'd either roll the clayball in it, or I'd place all the bubbles where they belong in the tub, then use a paintbrush to cover the bubbles in the powder. The pearl one I've been using is rather transparent, the color underneath still shows through some just with a nifty pearl like shine. I discovered that covering bisque colored cernit with it creates wonderfully realistic colored freshwater pearls. Then after it's baked, I'd seal it with something, probably Varathane, as Future sometimes makes the pulver powder come off as you're brushing it on. Dawndove
... white glues dry clear so I use "Tacky" glue for the bubbles in my bathtub -- layers of the glue and tiny clear glass beads). JudiPurple
.....i think i am gonna make the bubbles like this!!! Mix translucent fimo soft 014 with perfect fx's crystal shimmers and some fimo glitters. make little round balls in different sizes and put them on a tile and bake them and when baked throw them in ice water to get the clear effect :) Hoepfully i will get lots of plaquing ;) and later i will glue them all separatly in the bath tube and around the dragon. Also make half round balls for filling up strange places in the bath tub and for next to the dragon and stuff . Ria
.....If you don't mind making the bubbles opaque, you can get a nice soapy irridescent look by painting them with interference red and blue acrylic paint. paint the lower half of the bubble with the intereference blue and the top half with the red. I'm figuring that your clay would be white. These acrylics are transparent. Then give them two coats of Fimo gloss varnish.
..... the item (I believe it was a puppy) was set in a bathtub, then the tub was filled with resin. While the resin was setting, you scrape styrofoam (the white floral styrofoam - kind of translucent) onto the top of it, creating pretty realistic soap bubbles. If you need the bubbles deeper in spots, you could always drizzle some glue on top of the first layer of styrofoam, and continue the scraping.
....Another idea is if you create glue balls on wax paper.... that way you should be able to get them off to place them (will yellow after time???).
translucent clay molded over foil or whatever ... then a light dusting of clear liquid clay ... then dust with white/blue/violet sparkle embossing powder....bake... cold water plunge... take off molds and apply. .... Most of these bubbles in the bath would be half spheres. . .the few you need whole, check out using some cornstarch peanuts which can be removed through one easily hidden hole. Dawn
...For the bubbles, I used E6000 glue over the turquoise clay water and dripping down the sides of the tub...... I sprinkled it the glue with the clear holeless beads, and it came out looking just like bathtub bubbles. (bathtub cuties from Shelley Comisky's book) Genevieve

clear droplets ...I mixed clear embossing powder into black clay, and baked it. The result was a flat black sheet that looked like water droplets had been baked on it!
....I then attached on top of it another piece of baked clay with TLS (squashing it?), and rebaked it ...(came apart easily?) this time the water droplet thingies kinda merged together into droplets with less circular, more random shapes (also, after the second bake, the EP has become waxy. I can peel it off like wax, and it is quite soft). Sera x

Future can act as a substitute for a true resin
..... it will thicken up if I leave it out overnight or in an open container for a couple of days

to color it, add some acrylic paint, or use other inclusions like chalk powders and other powders, spices, dried herbs, etc.
.....or use water-based inks, food coloring, etc, for very transparent effect

...add talcum powder to make quick drying seam filler that is hard, but sands easily. Matt S.

pour or paint the thickened (or colored ) stuff inside cups, bowls to simulate transparent or translucent liquids (gravy, etc.)
......or pour/paint over bits of food stuffs on miniature plates as thick paint-glaze just to make them look wetter and shinier
...this goopy stuff is interesting and not as scary as resin is to some folks. Nora-Jean and (look all around)

Future can be used for making mud puddles or ponds, etc ...can color with pastel powders for simulating grime, mud, yuck, etc. Matt S.
(for true resins for ponds, see just below)

You'll have a water fall if you pour 2-day-air-dried Future over clay rocks which have been covered with a sheet of plastic wrap...let dry
....also meandering brooks and waterfalls in mini gardens in Easter Baskets can be done this way. Nora Jean

...lesson on making running water with clear acrylic latex caulk (found in local stores) .... he uses the DA brand.

I baked a switchplate after putting on a too-thick coat of thickened up & I globbed it on. It usually works fine if I can keep from touching until the tackiness dries. ...Well, I put it in the oven at 250 and it bubbled up & the bubbles actually hardened. ...Actually it would be great IF it were an underwater scene! Dawn

For water, I used thin acrylic sheets which you can shrink in the oven (clear, shrink plastic or real sheets of acrylic?).
.... You can also create water ripples with (aluminum?) foil then place the acrylic over it to baking. After baking, seperate the foil and acrylic under tap water and liquid soap.... then paint the textured underside of the acrylic water with transparent acrylic paints.

If you create a pond, you can view the fish between the transparent acrylic and the base of the seaweed pond.
.......Another tip, suspend your fishes with transparent nylon or fishing strings, thickness of the string will depend on the weight of the polymer clay. Garie

liquid clay ... faux lampwork and similar effects made by filling, drizzling, dotting, or drawing on surfaces with a mixture of liquid clay and either powders, or paints, etc., in Liquid Sculpey > Piping, Drizzling)
...I use liquid clay mostly for the glue and the glossy finish. I put two coats, baking each and then sand, sand, sand and buff, buff, buff. Looks like glass! Ginny

I baked a switchplate after putting on a rather thick coat of Future ( had thickened up by being left open & I globbed it on, which usually works fine if I can keep from touching until the tackiness dries. )
...I put it in the oven at 250 (rather than the recommended 200 for Future, and also for longer than 10 min.) and it bubbled up (... the bubbles actually hardened which actually it would be great IF I had wanted an underwater scene!) Dawn

....for all info on using resins (epoxy and polyester) to simulate "water," see Other Materials > Resins
(Future can act as a substitute for a true resin when it's thickened up... see just above for that).

Alexandra's scummy pond (for Halloween garden)
...made in cutout area of thick plywood base for scene... draped with a flexible waterproof sheet of ___ (to create a rounded bottom?) and hold in the resin --resin colored & cloudy (with inclusions?) ...painted bottom
...partly submerged crocodile ...lily pads, etc., on surface.... bordered with clay rocks

Alexandra's clear pond (greenish-brownish painted bottom + clear resin?)
....ducks, cattails, lily pads, floating leaves (on surface or partly submerged

....irregular pond shape is created in short, small irregular mound of ____, covered with terrain material

Ladybug's freestanding miniatures for sale
...pond (dark blue "water") in base of painted plaster?...surrounded by terrain material, sphagnum? moss "bush" & mushrooms
waterfall over large rocks ...birdbaths ...rock wishing well

various clear resins are great for various water effects
....for all info on resins (epoxy and polyester) to simulate "water," see Other Materials > Resins
(Future can act as a substitute for a true resin when it's thickened up... see just above for that)

water & waves ...spilled liquids
... liquid clay (especially when thin, looks a lot like spilled milk, even after baking ... could be colored)
... Kato and Fimo liquid clays have a shiny finish when baked, LS and TLS are matte (but both could be changed)
...can also look like various kinds of water

...solid, free-standing base of water and waves (ocean)...colored Liquid can see the sharks if you view from below against the light. Garie
... Liquid Sculpey (spilled liquid "paint") ... Garie

Cheryl's faux breaking waves in beach scenes (also on one large oval bead) ... and

NoraJean's lessons on translucent ice cubes ...made with many layers of translucent, pearl and glow in the dark clay... she feels this combo captures the (more opaque) fractures in the centers of the cubes

(caned) water or waterfall pattern... will make flat sheets or strips for covering, etc
. . . . see Jeanne R's lesson (using spiral or folded canes) in Canes-Instr > "Landscape" canes

Heather's lesson on simulating wavy ocean water with wavy blade ... she makes a stack of various shades of blue created with embossing powders in translucent clay & twice as many of plain translucent (...cut and restack)...slices the stack at a 45 degree angle with a wavy blade, and lays slices on white base sheet keeping the wave orientations all the same... pasta machines to flatten

Michelle R. onlaid a flat "group of bubbles" (cane slices) next to a fish she'd also onlaid onto a card invitation ...cute idea
...bubbles were created by onlaying several diff. size slices from a wrapped cane (lighter blue around med. blue) on a "talk bubble" of a med. blue,,HGTV_3236_3071209,00.html (click on the card )

various simulations or evocations of water for PCC challenge

frosted glass:
..... I painted the glass surface of the tiny bottle with Kato sauce (liquid clay) which was tinted with Pearlex and
artists' oil paint. Sarah
.....I ran a strip of white Premo at #5 on my pasta machine, the librally applied some mettallic acid free ink in a teal shade and spread it out evenly. I then rolled out some Premo translucent on #3 and laid on top with about a 1/16 overlap of the inked white. I ran this back thru the pasta machine on #3 to get rid of any air bubbles in between the two layers. I cut this into strips and applied to some tube shapes with the white side against the tubes and baked. I'm not real good at getting rid of the seam lines and they sanded down pretty smooth with 220 grit. But they look like frosted glass. I don't have a camera right now to take any pics but figured if anyone out there wanted to try this out it is cool. I'm going to try and do cone shapes in purple and cube shapes in pink and rectangular shapes in green. Susan P
(see more on frosted glass in Miniatures > Drinks and in Dishware)

(for faux "stained glass" and "cloisonne" created with cells of color, see Liquid Clay > Stained Glass + Cloisonne)


"Egyptian faience (fay-AHNCE) is a glazed, non-clay, ceramic material. It is composed mainly of (crushed quartz or sand) with amounts of line and natron or plant ash. The body is coated with soda-lime silica glaze. Adding different metals and their oxides causes the appearance of different colors. ...."
...many colors of faience, and modeled or molded forms of faience (amulets, gods/goddesses, vessels, etc.) as well as beads & jewelry
...faince is "most commonly a bright blue-green color due to its use of copper. When fired, the quartz body developed its typical blue-green glassy surface. . . . Other colors were eventually possible, such as white, yellows, reds, and even marbled browns, blacks and other hues . . Faience was thought to glisten with a light symbolic of life, rebirth and immortality. ."
...the coloring agent can be added to the faience paste before modeling or afterwards then refired

". . . the development of faience (a forerunner of glass) around 4,000 BC, brought beads into the mainstream population. With faience, jewelers could create a ceramic-like material that simulated the feel and color of precious stones. Made with a quartzite paste, glazed and baked, faience is believed to be the first artificial material. Although the recipe was a closely guarded secret, the technology spread rapidly throughout the ancient world. When baked at high temperatures the clay constituents formed a glossy crust.
...The color of this "glaze" was influenced by the balance of minerals in the clay. Copper salts gave a blue color, and "fake turquoise" became enormously popular. Cobalt provided a darker blue and manganese produced shades of purple to black. Iron created greenish hues, and other clays afforded yellows, ochre's and even pinks.
The paste was rolled around a string and then cut into sections . . .thin discs or longer tubular shapes. When the sections were baked, the string burned away leaving a bead.
Faience beads were extensively produced, and became widely available. Strung with gold spacers they were worn as earrings, bracelets, anklets and multi-stranded collars and aprons. Faience became so inexpensive, strands were given as favors at banquets. Faience paste was also pressed in molds and baked to form amulets.
With the eventual decline of the dynastic period, strict funerary cults emerged to dictate the expression of religion through elaborate burial rites. During the later period, faience beads were produced almost exclusively for funerary use and some mummies were buried with thousands of beads."

...Tory Hughes mentioned she would be publishing the techniques she showed at New Imitatives Demo in Ornament magazine soon. The new imitations were of faience (sp?) and agates. Katherine


All Metals

There are various ways that metals can be simulated with polymer clays alone, or by adding other materials, or using a combination.

Here's a summary.... but REMEMBER: antique means coloring only the crevices of an uneven surface (mold, sculpt, textured, etc.)... creates more "shadows," definition, and a feeling of age highlight means coloring only the high portions of an uneven surface

(......these techniques can be accomplished in various diff. ways, but both result in the upper and lower parts of an uneven surface being different colors or shades)

-- metallic clays (which contain mica): use alone, or with one of the antiquing or highlighting methods mentioned below (...these clays are available in gold, silver, copper and pearl versions at least , and if repeatedly flattened will have a very lustrous shine) (see more in Mica)
--metallic leaf) use alone, or antique or patina it, or crackle it and fill the spaces with other colors of metallic powder, etc. (see more in Leaf)
--metallic (mica) powder (like Pearl Ex): alone, or to highlight... or over metallic clays (Powders+Waxes)
--metallic rub-on waxes (like Rub 'N Buff): alone, or to highlight (Powders+Waxes)
--metallic paints: dab on (completely or partly) with sponge..... or use to antique... or thin and used as a patina (Paints)
--liquid finishes (like Future or Varathane): can be mixed with metallic powders and applied (Finishes)
--liquid clay: can be mixed with metallic powders and applied thinly, in layers, or molded (Liquid Clays)
--translucent clay
: can also also have metallic powders or other things mixed into them, though the effect will be softer (Inclusions & Translucents)
(.......more actual receipes for these can be found on their separate pages)


Sarajane's powdered, molded, buttons (gold, silver)
Eni's wonderful faux metal bezels, and doodles of clay ropes... with real stones, molded items, mixed media, etc.
Tonja's many examples of all kinds of faux metal (look all around)
MANY faux metals, textured, etc. +many transfers + other tech's used
.....for lessons, click on each picture: ...
... (wait for them all to upload)
many metallic frames (stamped, molded, onlaid, etc, & often antiqued) by Barbara Lang
Kathy W's examples molded fancy buttoms with highlighted with gold powder on black clay
nenuphar's faux gold and silver with bezels, etc. and
various faux metal pendants by StokesGalleries
Rob Chansky's faux gold face, and branches, etc. (Fimo pulvers?... mostly gold, only light antiquing)
Keith's faux gold on votive... simple, deep texture & onlays... antiqued...cutouts
textured lt. blue clay? highlighted with old gold? Pearl Ex, covered BOH + some onlay (click on # 72)
Parrish's Renaissance type jewelry, crowns, etc., with faux gold, gems (click all around!)
...(see Jewelry > Renaissance for more)
Tanya's old-silver, Celtic knot pendant with turquoise
Ed's faux metal frame (with black antiquing on silver/pewter color clay?)
Stephanie's faux metal with powders, some over glass stones

I've had the best luck simulating gold by creating the items first with gold clay, then going over the surface with a similar color mica powder (Aztec Gold or Super Bronze)....after baking, I glaze it with Fimo Mineral based glaze. Looks wonderfully metallic. DottyinCA

*Irene Y's textured metal framing with powder or Rub 'N Buff

hammered look -- use end of side end of a pencil eraser(or something similar) to texture the clay like beaten metal... can overlap or not (good idea to make a texture mold of the bake pattern if will be used again, to save time)
......can apply metal color (paint, mica powder, metallid leaf, etc). over whole textured area ...or antique the lower areas, etc.
...Monica's mini frame done a similar way... completely covered with gold

brushed gold could be created with gold clay (possibly mixed with Pearl) which is sanded with steel wool after baking....or sanded in long strokes with 400 grit sandpaper ...or both ....then buffed. (Dotty)
....antiquing with black might look like some of the darker brushed golds as well

examples of gold and silver with various finish colorings (green-patinaed silver or red-Italian gold, etc.)

Heather P's lesson on using acrylic paints (like Plaid and DecoArt brands ...metallic only?) with stamping (or texturing)
.... she applies paint to stamp with a cosmetic sponge .... stamps scrap clay
... then uses sponge to apply a diff. color(s) paint to the upper areas (highlighting) ... lets dry this case, she trims clay to desired shape ... she bakes, then coats with sealer (necessary?)

Christy S's faux wrought iron shapes (cactuses,coyote) cut out from sheet of black clay, later textured with sandpaper (..onlaid on "sunset" Skinner Blend background covering on a votive)
Kelly's "wrought iron" frames on pins (gone)

pretty old-looking texture ... beads (or flattened beads) which are made like the bicones using a flat surface on a texture sheet can look really old and interesting (for that technique, a clay ball is either textured then highlighted with metallic powder or antiqued, or it's mostly covered with metallic leaf then rolled on a texture sheet (final shape could be bicone, altered bicone, or cylinder, e.g. . . . for more details on this technique, see Beads > Bicones >Textured Bicones

for more on dimensional finishes, patinas, etc., see below in Aged & Ancient Effects
for more on antiquing, highlighting, patina glazes, etc, see Molds and Paints)

(we accidentally burned our turquoise nugget beads {see Faux-Turquoise} ) However, all is not lost.
.... my granddaughter then applied some Rub 'N Buff to some of them, and Lumiere paints to some others... then I mixed some Pearl Ex into some Varathane and painted that on. .
...we also left some of the blackest ones plain, but sanded, buffed and varnished. Now we have some fair looking onyx and some other interesing looking "metallics". Virginia in PA

(more on just SILVER &-PEWTER)

The best silver I've been able to get is when I use Premo (mica-based) silver clay which has been worked through the pasta machine until the mica in it is all aligned and the surface looks like bright silver (to roll out a bead with a metallic clay you have to be careful to fold the cut ends inside or else you'll have darker lines on the surface)... (or just sculpt something with plain silver clay)
......I then rub silver Pearl-Ex over the bead ... bake, and glaze (I use at least two coats of Fimo Mineral Glaze). Dotty in CA

try rubbing the baked clay with Diluent till it's tacky, then rub on the silver Pearl-Ex
.....this tends to be a bit dull, but adding a touch of the Brilliant Gold Pearl Ex really brings out a silvery sheen.. I used this on my knight's armor and it gave me the shine I wanted. Katherine Dewey
...Katherine Dewey's metallic finish .... I think she coats with Varathane after that. In any case her metallic finishes on her sculptures are terrific. It certainly is a different way to achieve the finish. Sarah

I do a 50/50 blend of silver and pearl Premo clay to get a color that Mike Buessler referred to as platinum. I love it.
.......then you could also rub Pearlex powder on that surface... makes a very nice look. Helen P.

For pewter, I use Pearl Ex's Pearlwhite over black clay.
For silver, I add Pearlwhite to silver clay.
....If that's still not enuff, you may wanna brush more Pearlwhite over all. Kim K.

I find that non-mica clays can give a more even (visual?) surface than pearl and metallic clays. if I want a good, solid metallic finish (like an insect's body) I usually use black clay, then paint on the Pearl-ex color of choice... after baking and varnishing, the final finish is very even and smooth (watch out for blemishes like finger marks on the clay before P-ex application - they can really be obvious). Alan

bright & shiny ..... dark-silver or light-pewter look
... I wanted to paint my scorched fairy (all over) to give it a bronze or pewter look. I took your suggestions and I mixed silver Pearl-ex with a tiny bit of gold Pearl-Ex into Future. It really does look like pewter. mary

Golden makes a great metallic silver paint. It looks like shiney silver, and the one I used does not let the silver particles separate out like the Lumiere paints sometimes do. Jeanne R.
...there are many colors of metallic acrylic paints, in silver, etc. (see Paint > Metallic)

Janet's large "ethnic" silver beads with filigree onlays
Sarajane's gold filigree onlays (shaved stamped or molded clay) on top of colored clay and

Lizboid's faux metal (black clay Balinese Filigree, highlighted with silver Pearl Ex
Kim Korringa stamps black clay, then highlights it with Silver "Treasure Gold" wax similar to Kim's copper technique above (antiquing optional: burnt umber), Futured (damp paper towels to dry)

Celadonia's faux silver frames for pendants (textured, bas relief, etc.)

red paint makes a really cool patina over silver clay. Syndee

I have even mixed silver (Pearl Ex?) with some of the white micropearl to get a nice look. Jeanne R.

Paulo's fabulous rusted silver necklace (website gone)

I have been used graphite powder, which I got from the car products shelves in our supermarkets in Brazil, to get the old metal look (in my Faux Pewter Leaf necklace...made of polymer clay). Paulo

for more on patinas, etc., see below in Aged & Ancient Effects

I have been searching for a good shiny sterling silver look.
...Patricia Kimle had some gorgeous leaf beads with gold backfill in the carving and on some trim
... I ran right out and got the gold and silver leafing pens by Krylon - Michaels has them - and am thrilled with the results!
...they can be used like Rub n buff to just highlight if you want, or paint with them, or whatever!
...they dried almost instantly. I'm not worried about reaction with the clay - good enough for Patricia is good enough for me!
...the pen's tip is chisel shaped, so one corner can be used for a fine line. Though how she got it inside the carving is beyond me!

I am making some big polymer "silver" beads to go on a pc "turquoise" necklace.... really rich looking
...I formed each bead and carved it, then I use onlays of teeny ropes & balls made from a darkish silver... finally highlight with the silver leaf pen. Jan Clausen

Have you tried mixing a a metallic powder into a little liquid clay with (Fimo metallic pulver or Pearl-Ex) as a paint
...then painting or rubbing it on, and baking?... I've been getting some good results this way. Suzanne

silver to black metallic effects (lesson)

Gini F's cool little BOH with faux pewter trims and embellishments (over faux wood)
....I have been used graphite powder which I got from the car products shelves in our supermarkets in Brazil, for my Faux Pewter Leaf necklace. Paulo

for the "brushed" aluminum look
...I use Premo (or Kato) silver clay, mixed it with plain Pearl clay to get a more platinum look
...then pull some sandpaper over it in long single passes
...after baking, I used a 400 sandpaper to smooth the surface, but not to remove the brushed lines. Then I buffed
. And then I used 0000 steel wool to mute the shine some. Sounds like overkill, I know, but this worked pretty well for me. Dotty in C

you get slices that look like steel rivets by rolling up a Skinner blend of black to silver to pearl... yummy. Nora Jean

COPPER & VERDIGRIS in particular
(see also Powders?, Leaf, Color, Paint, and metals above . . . .)

I've made my piece with copper clay, then gone over it with Copper Pearl Ex... then I glaze it with Fimo Mineral based glaze. Looks wonderfully metallic. Dotty in CA
...could then be antiqued with black acrylic paint (or a black-colored clear finish), to create have the same look as old preserved baby shoes used

"copper verdigris" .. real copper which has oxidized in places, resulting in opaque greenish patches of color
... patches can be more prevalent than the copper, if you want

I added a greenish-blue patina to the (faux) bronze item with verdigris colored acrylic paint
... I found that the acrylic paints give a better patina than liquid clay, either colored with oils or with PearlEx. Barbara
(because acrylics are opaque rather than translucent like oil paints, or shiny like mica powders?)

number of examples of greenish-blue verdigris patinas on faux metals which have been stamped and textured (bottom right)

I stamp into bluish green-colored clay (1/2 Fimo mint &1/2 White)
... then highlight with Copper rubbing compound (Rub ‘N Buff or Gilders Art Paste) ...and bake. Kim Korringa
( ..Kim stamped both sides of each bead while sandwiched on a dowel)

For the faux verdigris, I use Fimo Mint (a light bluish green) and Fir green (a dark very bluish-green), mixed in slightly different proportions to achieve 3 or 4 different shades of the colour
...these are put through the pasta machine on the thinnest setting
....... then torn into smallish pieces, which I apply to the object (or clay shape) overlapping each other
....I then crumble a little unconditioned Fimo bronze colored clay (this is the copper part) between my fingers into tiny pieces (this is easiest with old clay that has gone a bit hard... or leach the clay to make it harder and easier to crumbe)
.....I then roll the object in the crumbs
.... I also texture the item by wrapping it in quilt wadding (polyester batting) and pressing down really hard all over.
( you can do the same with similar colors of other brands). Hen Scott

My method for verdigris begins with a stack of marbled clay blends (leached Premo clay), and then uses acrylic paint, Pearlex powders, and embossing powder:
.... I chop, then combine, 2 marbled blends = black, copper, gold ..and a white plus green (I like to add White embossing powder to that one)
...... then I stack them (after making into sheets?)
.......then I sculpt or make something with the clay ...and bake
.... after baking, I (antique) with Sap green and white acrylic paint, rubbing the paint off where I want the (copper to "show through"), and let dry
... where I want the copper effects, I use a tiny foam applicator to apply Diluent-Softener (or liquid clay, etc.) and then apply copper Pearl Ex powder (which will will only slightly adhere to those exposed areas of clay left untreated with Diluent, and not adhere at all to the paint areas)
...Back in the oven for 10 min at 200 degrees to cure the Diluent.
....When cool I like to varnish with satin Varathane. (Katherine Dewey)

Gillian's beautiful stamped-textured copper frames with heavy patina
... looks like copper clay, heavily sponged? with dark gray, then antiqued with light blue? ......

Geo's covered terra cotta saucer, and border on pot ... patina created with mint green clay, textured & mold added, highlighted with ivory (paint?) ...also patina on plain terra cotta body of pot created with sponged mint green paint?

Charley Nagel's faux patina on totemic bas relief sculpts (gone)

Experiment with your paints, glazes, rubbing compounds, etc

If you try a color and you don't like it , wip off while still wet, or get out the old toothbrush and some dishwashing liquid soap and take it off (tThis is asumming that you are not working on something delicate)…Kat

Plaid Enterprises has a line of what they call "Glaze Vernis" (for trompe l'oeil) which comes in a variety of colors including copper, silver, gold, and some greens that would be useful for making the verdigris on copper.
... They are a "waterbase, all-purpose translucent glaze created for Decorator Blocks and Decorator Tools. Great for stamping, combing, rag rolling, stenciling, sponging, glazing, straining fabric, painting, and other effects". I found them in a Michael's in the wall decorating department.
.....Also Aleene's makes a paint she calls an Enhancer. I have the Verdigris color, which is a perfect green to add to that copper. Kat

for more on dimensional finishes, patinas, etc., see below in Aged & Ancient Effects


real hematite:,GGLC:1969-53,GGLC:en&q=hematite+bead or dark gray to blackish, silvery steely colored stone of high lustre; if ground or cut into thin slices, color is red... common ore of iron (bloodstone)

polymerclayexpress' lesson on making hematite (or a lighter gray) metallic clay with their Black Oxide pigment powder and Premo Pearl clay and

For her hematite, Kim K just adds more black to her black pearl recipe (see below under Pearls)


ole rebbie's raku bottom box
Ann R's raku pot, and faux raku metal (website gone)
Linda T's raku look on tiles for a bracelet (using texture impressions and powders), & pot (website gone)

real raku:....I did a search a couple of weeks ago on real raku and found these links. JAN .... ....
glazing technique looks for real raku
..."Raku" is a glazing technique used with earth clay (created in the firing of the clay, I think.... exact pattern will be a surprise).
.... seems to refer to a finish which has various (non-primary) colors (usually pearly or metallic?)
.....the surface is not flat though, rather bumpy, grainy, rough or otherwise textured.
(Real) Raku is done with glazes that have a lot of copper oxide in them. The effect of the kiln firing on the pieces is to pull the oxygen molecules out of the copper oxide, leaving mostly copper behind. This results in a metallic or copper matte finish, and other ingredients in the glazes cause the purple and blue colors. Sometimes we use silver based glazes, too - very expensive!! Ann

common colors found in raku pottery are cobalt, violet, copper, and aqua. Triche

I use copper clay ....then to get the multicolored metallic effect on top, I brush on metallic eyeshadow in teals, purples, and greens.

syndee holt's lesson on making raku with Pearl Ex powders covering most of a sheet of very thin black clay
... she tears the sheet into 1-2" pieces .... then overlaps them onto a vase ...... also textures with coarse sandpaper ....and bakes,2025,DIY_13750_2274058,00.html

I just used some Future and about 3 colors of pearl-ex for a glaze to use over black clay (which had been textured while raw with 32 grit sandpaper).... looks dark but luminous black, but also deep green metallic. Yummy! Dotty

To make your raku "drip down" the surface.... coat it with Future, then dip the tip of a finger into Pearl Ex powder and dab the color onto ...this will cause it to run somewhat, and THAT is what makes it look so natural.... I use a dark-color for the base clay, since raku is basically a dark glaze. Kelly

I made a wall hanging and had used liquid clay tinted with Pearl-ex powders and some other materials (oil crayons), etc.
.... I have used the TLS, LS, some Diluent, and coloring and made wonderful glazes. Some of them even looked like the ceramic glazes once cured that I had used in the seventies when I made two ashtrays and three mugs..
....It was while I experimented with the swirl art machine ( Spin Art?) that Jody had told us about that I came up with lots of wonderful glazes. Jeanne R.

I'll bet the gold Colored Liquid Sculpey sponged over the black CLS (black liquid clay).... andkind of loosely will be a pretty faux Raku look. Elizabeth

I first bake a flat piece of clay.... then after it's cool, I coat it with clear liquid clay
....then I dab on mica powders, blending different colors together .... I purposely made it lumpy
...baked it again, and repeated the above process again, and maybe even a third time to get those rich layers of fun and you don't have to be neat!! Susan

I've been told that some of the stuff I do with the older and opaque original Liquid Sculpey looks like raku.... usually, the clay is a deep rich brown
.... I sponge or dry brush clay with a lighter colorof LS... I like to let the LS areas trail off so there is plenty of the brown clay showing
... It didn't occur to me that this was like raku because I usually think of the raku that has iridescent color and smoke pattern on it.... guess there are other types that are more textural though. Jody.

kcredcat's raku amulet purses, using acyrlic? metallic paints (and ?)

I used white, black and translucent clays, and also some clay colors like aqua which I associate with raku glazes
....I ran them (pre conditioned) through the pasta machine together at the thickest setting.... I don't remember if I did that once or more times.
.... the layering and thick-thin of the translucent gave a pretty good raku effect, which could be enhanced even more if you did a faux crackle effect.
.... I also added gold leaf, and iridescent powders would even build the effect beyond that! Sherry

Has anyone tried using a mokume gane-type technique...with foils and slightly tinted translucent clays of raku colors (blue, green, violet, copper)? Dianne C
.... My experiments have been using layers of translucent clay, Pearl Ex and paint with mixed results.
....some paints work well and some bubble, even from the same manufacturer. ...must be something in they dye or how much they use for the color. Kim K.

Tommie's lesson on making raku with metallic powders and pockmarks made with a ball-tipped stylus (website gone)

I've been trying to imitate raku pottery using a black or grey clay mixed together with fine sand (to imitate the grog -- gritty stuff -- in real clay)
.... and then brushing on interference paints.

I normally use black clay which is mixed about 50/50 with burnt sienna. ....shape my bead, box, etc.
...then I roll the outside of the item in black play sand
...mix TLS with PearlEx (I like Turquoise, Brilliant Gold, Pink, Duo Green/Yellow ).....and add a bit of Diluent to thin it down
...I patted these on randomly with a flat watercolor brush
.......on the inside of say a bowl or box, I just apply the PearlEx with my fingers...apply Flecto after baking if I want a shiny surface. Patty B

I now use the new PearlEx ink pads (by Jacquard) directly onto clay, for a simple and realistic looking faux raku:.
...I blend a combination of 50/50 Premo black and burnt umber clay
...then I texture the entire surface with a plastic pot scrubber pad (usually a dark green rectangle,and come in packs of 2 or 3)
...I press the stamp pads in the colors I want against the surface in a random pattern
.......if the area to receive color is inside like in a box or bowl, then I use some small sponge applicators (similar to eye shadow applicators) touching each to a stamp pad, then on inside
...I used copper, blue/gold and violet. ....for a more greenish color, I then applied some of the new PearlEx mink and some of the old Duo green/yellow with the sponge applicator.
...I might add more texture after I get the color dabbed on .... then bake can either leave it as is, or apply a Flecto Varathane Gloss. Patty B.

micaceous iron oxide ...made by Golden acrylics (other acrylic paint manufacturers make similar products?)... same as Polymerclayexpress' Black Oxide Powder? (no... that's a pigment)
....(after your clay is cured) paint it on your clay piece several times, allowing it to dry between coats; then apply colored Pearl Ex powders, or just leave it 'rough' from the paint ...multiple layers will create more texture. Patsy's used as an undercoat to the gives rough, lumpy texture to the look of the faux raku itself, MIO has a dark, rough, matte finish.(in concert with irridescent media like interference paints or Pearl Ex/metal powders, it can give the appearance of some raku pottery.) Lisa
.... I believe you could mix your own micaceous iron oxide stuff with the Black Oxide powder ( and mica flakes and gel medium.... but since you can buy it already made, it's easier to buy off the shelf. Elizabeth
...micaceous iron oxide (MIO) is a charcoal grey acrylic paint (?) that contains ground-up mica, which gives it a sandy texture when dry. Lisa
or I suppose you could use an acrylic paint with some "play" sand in it can buy it at art stores... or I got mine at Michael's in the art deparment with the oil and acrylic paints...a 4 oz. jar cost $ looks a lot like a hematite paint. Kimba

Linda Twohill's lesson on using micaceous iron oxide ...and black (or scrap) polymer clay
...Micaceous Iron Oxide, by Golden (which she calls "raku sauce" in this lesson)
...interference paints (blue, violet, red, orange, green, gold)
...iridescent paints (bronze, gold, copper)
...a stipple paintbrush or other very stiff brush
--Scoop out some MIO and let set up for a few minutes, which will create a better texture.
--I put my beads either on the end of a wooden skewer or toothpick to hold them while I paint; picking them up and placing them back Styrofoam block as needed. You can assembly line paint them this way.
........Using a stiff stipple brush, coat the bead at least once with the MIO. Don't be skimpy...for lots of texture, I paint the bead twice. (This acrylic-based product dries really fast, and the first bead is usually dry by the time I'm done with the lst bead so you can do the second coat immediately.)
--second coat... pull the brush outward to leave little peaks of MIO if you want lots of texture on your beads.
(--You can also pop them into the oven to dry them just keep the temp low.)
--Paint a basecoat of color on using one of the iridescents like gold, bronze or copper. Of course, there isn't anything stopping your from using all these colors together and not applying the interference colors.
........For the raku look though, paint a base color but don't cover the entire bead. Dab a little section here and there ...assembly-line paint with your first color
(--a verdigris kind of look. ...use iridescent gold and interference green. It's not raku but very pretty just the same.
(--I've also done gold and interference red (the red actually looks more pink than red).
(--How about an antiqued look using bronze, copper and silver?
I've also used Lumiere paints occasionally if I need a particular color. They have a great deep blue and purple.
--I don't apply any kind of protective coating because I want the color to remain matte.
...I particularly like the rough textured, multi-colored raku (the entire bead is covered)
...There are other shapes and applications for this technique. I've stamped into polymer, cut and shaped the bead, baked and painted them. I've also made shaped vessels, all shapes of beads . . . picture frames, Linda T.

Geo's lighter colored, more "silvery" raku . . .
... I bought the small bottle of MIO labeled "fluid" instead of the jar size (4oz.?). I didn't realize that the fluid type was much thinner then the jar paint, so I didn't get the same results as Linda ...I used a grayish black clay ...shapes were hand formed and stamped with a spiral stamp... I textured with a course sandpaper disk used for floors, then painted dabbing with the MIO along with Goldens acrylics and Createx airbrush paints..... If they needed more color after baking, I added more. . . . Using light colored clay instead .... not a bad idea! Geo

I found this project at the Michael's website --link below which mentions 2 (Modern Options) products that might relate to the raku sauce. They call them Instant Iron and Instant Rust. ....(it may be possible that the micaceous iron oxide is related closely enough to those two products that they could be used in place of the raku sauce?) ... Desiree

I use a product called ChemTek (Chemtek is now out of business, but the formula was purchased by Coloramics)
...... My understanding is that the product is now called "Magic Metallics", and info can be found at Marie
("Magic Metallics contain actual ground metal particles suspended in an acrylic sealing compound so your project looks like it is actually made of metal. ...can be used alone for an elegant metal finish, or combined with Patina or Rapid Rust oxidizer for a unique variety of aged finishes. . . ".)
...I've used both of these for quite some time, to antique a variety of projects. ...they are acrylic paints with tiny bits of filler in them so that they actually resemble oxidation on an item. I'm am super sensitive to the wonderful products that Gwen Gibson uses to make her pieces look like ancient bronze (ChemTek) so I had to find a substitute. These filled the bill for me. Dotty
...(see more on simulating patinas above in "Copper & Verdigris")

And any baked piece can be sanded and buffed to a glass-like shine. Dotty (?)

see Finishes > Other Liquid Finishes for colored embossing powder glazes.

for more on dimensional finishes, patinas, etc., see below in Aged & Ancient Effects


Impress real pieces of leather onto "leather-colored" clay sheets or pieces …

...or use tooled leather designs as stamps –either postivies or negatives (molds)

Kathy Amt has fashioned some wonderful leather simulations using this technique
.... for an even deeper impression, crumpled aluminum foil can be run through a pasta machine with a sheet of clay . ...Back off one setting before sending through, for example: roll a flat sheet of clay through on #4, set the rollers to #3 and roll through a sheet of crumpled foil and clay.

dark, aged looking faux leather, heavily textured (several diff. texture sheets?) made into an inro . . . really beautiful!!
. . . I had made a mokume gane stack and had a lot of mud left over so I smushed it all together and came up with the most gorgeous (to me) reddish brown (effect like cordovan) ... then I antiqued it with black. Ernie H.

(Kat) Kathy G's small "frame" faux leather... rubberstamp impressions antiqued + background textured (or brown sand mixed in?)
Singing Clay stamped antiqued, faux leather switchplate (dark antiquing on sand color clay) (gone?)

Faith's lesson on making a simple "tooled" leather, using only copper clay, stamped (with an outie stamp, where images are raised), then antiqued (lesson itself gone?)

Kellie's stand-up container ("corral") of faux leather for holding an upright TV remote control
....the fairly thick copper sheet is stamped ("tooled") with 2 patterns (one a overall "weave" texture)... both antiqued
....the resulting sheet is is torn across the top for a rustic look, then wrapped around a form (and overwrapped a bit)..... baked
... then the form is removed, and a bottom created (she made two layers of bottom so she could put a weight between them to keep the container from tipping over) ...

For an even deeper impression, the sheet of clay can be run through the pasta machine a second time with a sheet of crumpled aluminum foil (back off one setting before sending through, for example: roll a flat sheet of clay through on #4, set the rollers to #3 and roll through a sheet of crumpled foil and clay). Kathy Amt has fashioned some wonderful leather simulations using this technique.

gold (powder?) on black clay....can look like leather

Loretta's leather-look Altoid tin covering (gone?)
The boxes are covered with clay and then I used a well rounded handle of a brush and just sort of kept tapping it allllll over
.... and I used Pearl-Ex metallic powder for the finish, I brushed it on before baking... Loretta

kid leather... Super Elasticlay. . . I also rolled out a piece very thinly and textured it with a natural sponge and baked it.

suede... try (texturing clay with) "one size fits all" (knit) winter gloves you get for kids..... they give a "suede" finish when you roll beads in your hands while wearing them .photochik81
(the fuzz that may stick to the clay is easily removed after baking)

(Deborah Anderson has an article about her faux leather technique in the Feb 99 Arts & Crafts magazine)
...she also creates an "embossed" raised design (as in leather belts) by tracing an outline shape onto the clay.... then using a rounded flat leather working tool to flatten all the areas *around* the outside of the outline, leaving an upraised design
...then those depressed areas are given a "texture" by impressing many-many times with a single pin, e.g (or with certain metal stamping tools which have tiny projections--like Tandy's "craft tool A 888 2? -- until the area is evenly covered with "texture" (which looks sorta like suede)

Also a faux suede with image can be created by stamping on a light colored sheet with a stamp pressed in black/etc. ink, then stamping all around the image ( Debbie's technique above) with a small pointy tool (? --or with sandpaper?);
...I added a black "suede" leather frame to my stamped and textured image . (many of Debbie's items feature various kinds of faux leather techniques)

Mary L does something similar
in her lesson on using a marbled sheet of clay to find an area or areas which she can interpret as a real item or figure, etc.
..... she traces around the outline with a stylus to define the image she's found
..... then presses down all the clay around the outline to create a bas relief of the image (and further pushes away and down on the flattened portions with her thumb to flatten more)
.....the upraised image area is textured with needletool or other items to create bas relief details in the image (such as strands of hair)
.... also textures the background clay, if desired

Beckah's real leather mini book cover of various reds made with Dr PH Martin Concentrated Watercolors, (could be clay?)...images rubberstamped on top

I mixed a quantity of dryer lint with chocolate brown clay in a food processor, and added some diluent, then conditioned it (was trying to duplicate Granitex, which always looked to me like it had dryer lint in didn't turn out like Granitex, but it was kind of cool)
...then I used a leather-like texture sheet, and it looked and felt just like leather. seemed more flexible than cured polymer clay usually is. ...the only hitch is you have to cut this mixture with a scissors (even uncured); it's too fibrous to cut with a clay blade (however, my dryer lint contains a large ratio of dog hair, and maybe if you didn't have furry pets you could cut this "faux leather" with a blade!) Suzanne
.....(see Characteristics > Stone-type Colors > Granitex for other possible ways to cut or handle a Granitex-type mix?)

Plankspanker’s fabulous wrinkly, leather-like skins for creatures...his texture plates are made from guitar cases, amiplifiers, book covers, a toy lizard, a dryer and other cases/holders, with "Mountains in Minutes," a latex rubber mold compound found in hobby stores.
... "Mix some of the latex with water so that it is thin enough to fill all the recesses of your texture sample. Put the sample in as level a position as possible, and pour the latex over it, using a popsicle stick or similar device to work it onto the surface. .
... When wet, the latex is a sky-blue color. As it drys, it turns a translucent dark blue. It is completely dry when all the milkiness has gone out of it. When the first application is dry, apply a second undiluted coat to strengthen the "stamp. This second coat usually takes longer to dry-a hairdryer can help.
...When dry, peel the latex off the sample, moisten with water or spit, press into soft clay . . ."

The silkscreening technique that Gwen taught really yields beautiful results. The screened clay ends up looking like fabric (or even leather, if you use the darker colors). With the Asian designs that Gwen favors, it really looks like brocade. Thalassa

Tandy Leather. They have a web site, They own Radio Shack.

(see also stamping on Fun Foam in Stamping--Misc.)


There are various ways to associate polymer clay items with age, and/or make them look distressed as well as old.

...choice of faux material. . . e.g., faux ivory ... faux stone ... antiqued faux gold, silver or pewter will automatically remind the viewer of something old
.......(see above for examples of faux metals)
...certain themes and items like African or goddess figures and amulets, e.g., can also be associated with old relics or certain older cultures (see amulets & fetishes in Pendants & Cording & also in Sculpting-Bodies)
...amount of detail ...often older items are simpler in form and don't have sharp edges, etc. (partly because of the difficulty in carving, hardness of materials)
...techniques used (certain kinds of transfer images, rope bezels or filigree looks, for example)

... antiquing with paints/ink, waxes, glazes (leaving darkers color in the crevices)
......or "whitewashing" in the crevices with light colors in crevices (see much more on "antiquing" in Molds > Antiquing)
...highlightling upper areas with powders, leaf, paints/ink, etc. (see more in Powders and Leaf and Paints)
...gilding parts or all over with metallic powders, leaf, etc.

distressing the items with cuts and gashes, lines, or small areas, and also impressions from simple tools, stamps
....... these are found in many types of raw or baked clay faux stones (...these areas can also be antiqued or backfilled if desired)

excessive rounding on edges ...... irregular outline of the shape (flat or dimensional shape)

parts chipped off or removed

ragged edges.... can be created by tearing a clay sheet rather than cutting it ... works best for "dry" clays like FimoClassic, old clay, or leached clay
....for tearing clay, I bake first for about 5 min... then while still warm, I tear the piece around the edges and then finish baking. ....made a pin that combined a transfer image and torn egde to make a collage pin that looked like an antiquity shard. Linda LI
.....irregularity can also be created on the edges or in the body of sheets by putting crumbles of clay through the pasta machine (and not smoothing too much), or by putting whizzed or grated baked clay on a regular raw sheet and passing through pasta machine or otherwise manipulating

crackled surfaces (using clear crackling finishes or stretching dried paints on raw clay, etc)...
.... worn areas (lighter colors, splotchy coverage, etc.).... "dirty" areas which are more brownish or smudged ... adding specks of usually dark colored clay (often "grated" raw stiff clay) or embossing powders
(see examples of some of these in Faux-Ivory and Faux-Turquoise, amber, jade, stone)
Heather's lesson on mixing brown embossing powder into translucent clay ..... to use as an onlay of "sand" (she also uses blues and greens into translucent clay to simulate leaves and ocean water)

Irene's many examples of distressed, ragged edge, splotchy, or blackish areas on slabs of various stone
(often uses layers and areas of glue, embossing powders and paints --on CD's , etc.)

Kim Cavender's stone-look lids (probably many small clumps of clay pressed together and smoothed, leaving some crevices ...or a clay shape impressed with texture sheet/etc resembling a stone surface with crevices)... then antiqued

Experiment with all kinds of texturing/textures and colorants, etc.
.... perhaps do them in different areas
.....perhaps in layers-steps sometimes allowing the paints/inks to dry and become permanent so working on top of them won't smear or change color
....if you don't like something, just texture and/or color over it till it looks a way you like

To get gorgeous undertone of age and warmth, I combine Premo's Gold clay with a bit of Premo's Raw Umber clay --about 4-1 in favor of the gold....( it also makes an absolutely stunning Skinner blend, and a great mica shift). jilla

I recently mixed some clean kitty litter into my polymer-clay and got a kind of a prehistoric look! It is more coarse than sand but gives a nice texture.
....a nice just-dug-out-of-the-fossil-bed look can be given by gently pressing crumpled aluminum foil into the surface of raw clay, removing the foil, firing, giving the fired product a liberal "patina" of burnt umber acrylic paint, wet-sanding, and polishing with a dry muslin buffer.

Donna Kato's 2 carved beads antiqued with white and parchment-colored oil paints (bottom of page)

Dominique's various carved or stamped areas ..hers are antiqued with light colored (paint?)
(photo with giraffe)
...I've used milk paint with polymer clay -- if you use it on the outside you can get a soapstone kind of look, or antique look. Tonya
(for much more on antiquing technique, see Faux Ivory or Paints or Molds, etc.)

Alexandra's many archaeological items (carvings, arrowheads, ivory fishhook, fossils, bowls, stone with cave painting?, etc.)
animal skeleton
human skeleton
see more fossils and "old rock" above under Rock-Stone

Denise S's very old looking Roman helmet with caked on dirt

Donna Kato also likes to use white (Weathered White? embossing?) powder in translucent clay to create a sort of bleached rock look; after impressing with an ethnic or abstract stamp, she bakes, antiques with a diluted white acrylic paint, and sands the top off

hisart's lessons on making older stone structures with (plaster) "bricks" and stones (from molds)
..could use these mold to create the look of archaeological ruins of buildings, bridges, etc instead
......(since he begins with the bottom parts, and builds upwards, just stop building early in the lesson and leave structures incomplete --can use faux polymer clay stone instead of plaster bricks, and to make old, round edges, create gashes, etc) .... more

Dimensional patinas and various rock-like effects can be created on flat (or other) clay surfaces by creating texture then adding colorants (applied later, or they could be built into the texturing or into the texture medium).
...Texturing the clay can be done with lots of things --the surfaces of real rock, crumpled alumnium foil or other wadded materials, texture sheets, tools of various types to stamp, gash, or otherwise distress with or even one with flat surfaces to create flat areas among the textures, things like salt which can be embedded then washed out later, etc., etc.
...Creating texture on the top of clay could include making upraised areas with materials like acrylic paints --especially with the thicker artists' tube acrylic paints--you can move it around and shape it and just tapping on it creates a "rough" surface acrylic paint has a grainy substance in it, Micaceous Oxide, or you could add sand/etc., to your own paints or to sealers or liquid clays...and there are also "acrylic texture mediums" to shape with brushes or fingers.... Other things could be mixed into liquid mediums and applied too.... Or things like embossing powders could be used (sprinkled here and there on top then melted for bumpy areas, or mixed into the top layer of clay a bit--many will make little pitsthat way when cured), etc. ...Crackling can also be achived in various ways with crackling mediums, stretched paints/inks/etc. (more on crackling in Finishes and Paints)
...Colorants could be all kinds of paints (acrylic or even oil --or non-permanent ones if they'll be sealed), inks of various kinds, colored powders, etc.. They can be applied with sponges, q-tips, stiff brushes, soft brushes, fingers, etc., then perhaps wiped off the upper areas, or applied only to the upper areas, or just applied here and there, or in layers, etc. (If you want a shimmery or metalllic colored effect, as a whole or just in tiny flashes or parts, metallic things like mica or real metal powders, acrylic paints, inks, and waxes could be used as well.
... All those materials and techniques could be overlapped, and/or done in various areas only, and/or applied then removed or blotted/muted, and/or done in a series of steps allowing paints or other things to dry or cure before adding others, etc.... Playing around is half the fun! Diane B.

I use embossing powders on top of unbaked clay all the time....they bake just fine, but give a pebbly effect on the surface. Dotty

( liquid clays --with inclusions such as oil paints or powders)
. . . .these can be stippled on with a brush, sponge, etc.... or they can be painted on to cover all or just certain areas, then rubbed off to remain only in the crevices, etc.
...these can also be layered over each other, or used with other surface manipulations like transfers, stampings, sheets created in vairous ways, etc.
... I used oil paints and I was extremely happy with the results - much more gentle than acrylics. Louise

to color several areas of baked clay, put a tiny bit of one color onto the baked piece in whatever area you want... rub it off leaving just a hint of color
...a second application of the first color can then be done to heighten the saturation.. . . . Then you can use a different color in another area. Gives a lovely, soft glow of color. Dotty in CA

You can paint with oils over a sealing of acrylic paint too.. . . household vinyl emulsion paint has the same effect.... I suppose this is worth it if you really hate acrylics... and don't mind waiting for oils to dry (still takes several days to 6 months for complete drying - look on the tube.).
...I like using compatible things though, I suppose, to cover all eventualities for the long term. Just be cautious! Sue
...I paint on pc all the time, oil paints and acrylics. I simply use a gesso primer first, then corresponding sealer. I have pieces that are over 15 years old that still look 'new.'

For more ideas and techniques for using paints/inks/powders,. inclusions in clay, textures on clay, texturing-stamping clay, etc. to create aged looks:
...look through various categories above...especially Rock and Rock-like Stone and Raku and Metals
...ook in Paints > Antiquing & Patinas and in Molds > Antiquing


more WESITES ....VARIOUS fauxs
(see above for more)

*Tory Hughes interview (photos of amber, & other faux’s, and business/life explorations)
Kay's jade, lapis lazuli, turquoise (based on Tory, Nan, & Lindly tech's)
*Winter Solstice swap (ivory, stone, other?)
Jeanne’s turq, ivory?, red? necklaces

Celie Fago's coral, jade, amber, ivory, etc. (from a June 2000 class announcement)
Kat's recipes for jade, amethyst, garnet, amber, coral, turquoise, lapis, & interview re stones
, some samples
Karen O's various fauxs

Sarajane's textured or molded (and often antiqued) fauxs beads (ebony, cinnabar, jade, bakelite, ivory)
Irene uses many fauxs (esp. rocklike or ivory-like) as tiles esp. (look under Older Work)
Gerry's faux celadon
Polymer Clay Central’s Faux Swap (jade, plus)

Judith Skinner’s turquoise, jade, coral, ivory, etc. (gone, maybe soon at
Ann’s (purple) agate cane & faux raku (website gone)
Nina's red jasper
(website gone)
Nora Jean‘s turq, malachite (& real malachite), :
(website gone)

*The Sphere Shoppe (index)
Bob's Rock Shop (rockhounds), plus lots of info/links, searchable
cut rocks
mineral specimens
Tibetan and Chinese beads - many faux's
The Mineral & Gemstone Kingdom
List of links to minerals-gemstone sites
Shell World (black onyx)

(see also Translucent, Faux ivory, Turquoise/wood, Inclusions (stone, etc.), Foils, Leaf, Powders for dichroic glass, Blades, Paints, Colors, Molds for cameos, Other Materials for faux water, Liquid Clay for faux "stained glass" and "cloisonne")