An easy way to add dimension and “pop” to your polymer clay designs is through surface treatments. What I mean by that is adding color to your clay for another layer of fabulousness (is that a word?) to the design.
In my previous blog post we textured clay with stamps of different kinds. These gave us beautiful inlaid designs to our clay. You can read that post here. Now we will take the next step and add some color.
There are several ways to add color. This post will focus on mica powders.
Surface Treatment Using Mica Powders
Mica powders are shimmery loose powders available in a variety of colors. There are several brands and some are used for the cosmetics industry. The powders are very fine and have a metallic glowy finish. Brands I have tried and like are Pearl-X and Christi Friesen’s line of powders. The mica powders cling nicely to polymer clay. They can also be used on cured clay. Here are some examples of how mica powders can be used on polymer clay.
This is a stamped image on polymer clay from my previous post. The texture sheet used has four different designs so I cut them apart. This is raw clay and we will be adding color before baking.
Applying mica powders is easy. Most of the time I just use my fingertip. This works well because you can feel the clay and control where you are putting the powder. You can also use a paintbrush. The paintbrush bristles should be flexible and not stiff.
Mica powders can be messy so I like to place the jar and lid on a paper towel and then put a little powder in the lid. With a light touch, dip your fingertip into the powder. Begin applying lightly to your stamped design.
Use as much mica power as you wish. I chose to use a few colors on this piece for more interest.
When you like what you see on your piece, you can now figure out what you want to do with it.
The next photos show mica powders on different stamped images. The first is like the previous design. Powders are applied to the raised image. We used an embossing folder to create the raised image (see last post).
This stamped image is from the other side of the embossing folder. When you apply the powder it will sit on the negative spaces of the design instead of the stamped image.
If you get mica powders on your clay where you don’t want it, just use a cotton swab with a little alcohol to remove it.
Let’s Make a Pendant!
In the following pictures I have made a pendant using the sheets above. By using some round cutters I will make a positive/negative design. I have cut a circle from both sheets.
I then decided how I wanted to stack them. I cut a chunk out of one of the circles to lay on top of the other circle.
Using a thin strip of clay I wrapped the edge of the pendant.
I made a polymer clay bale for the pendant from one of the scraps and a small cutter.
I wrapped the clay piece around a skewer to form it.
I attached the bale to the pendant and I am done! The pendant is ready to bake.
After the piece is baked, you will want to seal it with a varnish made for polymer clay so the mica powders will not wear off.
As you can see, using mica powders as a surface treatment is a great way to add color to your polymer clay pieces. I hope you will try this on your own designs. If you have questions or comments, please leave them below.
Peace, Love and Polymer Clay!