One of the most amazing things about polymer clay is it’s versatility- it can mimic so many other things! I am captivated by Liquid Polymer Clays, especially. (I wrote two posts comparing the three major brands of liquid clay, as well as a test on which performs better with multiple layers.)
I though it only made sense, then, to share with you some different ways you can tint liquid clay to get different effects and colors- and maybe even using supplies you already own. Let’s go!
There are FOUR easy ways to tint liquid clay:
- oil paint (in the tube versus stick form works best)
- alcohol inks
- Perfect Pearls
- Pearl-Ex or other mica powders
To make the glazes, you’ll need to start with a container or tray you don’t mind tossing in the garbage afterwards. Today, I’m using Kato Liquid Clay, which cures the clearest- but all of them require alcohol to clean them up, so I find that it’s just easier to use an old candy insert from a box of chocolates, plastic clamshell packaging,Â or egg carton to mixed up my glazes.
Start with a teaspoon or so of Liquid Clay. (Or more, if you’ve got a big project. But I’ve found it’s better to make a small batch rather than having to throw the extra away. Then add your colorant.
When using the oil paints, dip the end of a toothpick in the tube. Really, the amount you need is less than a grain of rice. If you want your glaze to be completely opaque, add a little more. For translucent color, a little less.
When using the alcohol inks, about 2 drops is usually enough. Be away that the alcohol in the ink will “dry” up the Liquid Clay, causing it to start to firm up and become more pastey. Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes the color in the alcohol ink (I used Pinata Inks for this sample) will go “grainy” and you’ll see little color freckles. But the up side is that alcohol inks will remain completely translucent.
When using a mica powder- like Perfect Pearls, Pearl Ex, etc- just add a “pinch” to start. You can add more if you like, but too much and you’ll find that it’s like adding cornstarch to water- it starts to thicken up the consistency of the Liquid Clay. And, of course, the more you add, the less translucent your glaze will be.
So here’s the comparison of the Liquid Clay Glazes.
Mixed and ready to go. Remember that even though the Liquid Clay is milky white, it will cure clear.
Glazes spread on polymer clay that was texturized, cut, and baked.
Glazes out of the oven after 10 minutes. Note how the finish is still “matte” or a but cloudy. Heat it with a heat tool for a few minutes, and the glazed clay will become shiny and glassy! Be careful not to over-heat it, though- Liquid Clay will scorch if you keep a high heat on it for too long. It will bubble and turn brown. And smell pretty bad. (Ask me how I know.)
Now, here’s one thing you should know. Once you glaze polymer clay with a liquid clay- any brand, but Kato in particular- it loses it’s feeling of being firm to being more pliable and rubbery. It was a surprise to me when I glazed a pendant, and suddenly it was really flexible and lost it’s smooth finish. Personally, I like to top-coat anything that’s glazed with resin, both to restore the firmness and to create the glass-like feel.
So there you have it- four ways to make tinted liquid polymer clay glazes to expand your creativity.Â I made some focal pieces that I worked into a necklace.
I also made some faux-stained glass, using the alcohol inks to provide the most translucent color:
What will YOU make with it? Stay tuned, this afternoon I have a tutorial for you making Impression-Glazed buttons!
If you need to purchase products to make tinted liquid polymer clay glazes, I hope you’ll use my affiliate links:
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