I received a sampling of Swarovski’s Ceralun Epoxy Clay to test out. I don’t make a lot of things with clay, since I normally manage to ruin it during baking. However, this clay is self-hardening! Got to love that! This particular clay was formulated to use with the Swarovski chatons, when making jewelry. The chatons have a cone bottom and faceted top. Though it was made for the chatons, you can use it with various small objects. I tested it out with glass chips, faceted teardrop beads, bugle beads, watch gears, and image transferring, in addition to chatons. Jenny sent me some various jewelry bezels and chatons to use with the Ceralun epoxy clay.
The packaging has some warnings on the box. There is an insert with product description and instructions:
“CERALUN is a versatile and powerful two-component, high-performance ceramic epoxy composite, which has been especially developed for the application of Swarovski crystals.
CERALUN has optimal adhesive characteristics for application on metal, glass, crystal, glueable plastic surfaces, rubber, wood, cork, and porcelain. In addition, the mirrored surface of the crystal is protected against mechanical stress by the gentle build-up of adhesion, the optimized load transmission, and the maximum elasticity.
TRANSPORTATION DIRECTIVE: Ceralun is a specifically developed epoxy resin modification, which is formulated in such a way that neither the resin component nor the hardener component represent hazardous materials in the context of the transport regulations according to GGVSE-ADR and ICAO/IATA.
APPLICATION: The surface to be glued must comply with the general requirements for gluing, i.e. it must be clean, dry, and free of oil and grease. Before processing we recommend measuring the tension of the surface to be glued with the Test Pen (available from Swarovski, Art, 9030/000) (I didn’t do this). During the processing for Ceralun always wear protective gloves. Wearing eye protection will normally be necessary.
There are some images and instructions.
- Weigh the required amount of component A the component B (mixing ration 1:1) (I didn’t do this. I cut even pieces from the tube of A and B)
- Thoroughly mix the two components until a homogeneous appearance is achieved.
- Place and press Ceralun on the relevant area and set the crystals using a pair of tweezers or a vacuum pick-up system.”
There is some basic data
- Mixing ratio – 1:1
- Working time – 3 hours
- Total hardening time at room temperature – 72 hours
- You can harden it in 12 hrs by baking a 104*F
- You can harden it in 2 hrs by baking a 176*F
- Humidity during curing – 30-70%
- You can store at room temperature it up to 12 months
- Lowest storage temperature is 35.6*F
- Store product in cool and dry conditions
“Swarovski’s oral and written advice on technical instructions for use are recommendations based on our current level of knowledge and on the information provided by our suppliers. It does not discharge you from carrying out your own tests of the proposed techniques. Sole responsibility for any application, product use, and the technical process lies with the customer.”
Before the package containing the clay arrived, I went searching online for some epoxy clay tutorials. I came across Nick Regine, The Professor of Crystal, who represents Swarovski and shows how to use their various products. This tutorial episode shows how to use the chatons and Ceralun epoxy clay in various ways, featuring The Crystal Ninja, Kellie DeFries. Just like Kellie did, I wore gloves to mix the clay, but used my bare fingers to press the clay into the various bezels. I found I didn’t need a wax toothpick or tweezers to add the chatons. However, a plain toothpick was very handy for working the clay in small areas. You’ll notice she used mica powder to color the white clay. I didn’t have any on hand, but she demonstrates how to use that perfectly.
Moving on to what I did with the clay. I created Glass Chip Earrings, using glass chip beads, black Ceralun epoxy clay, and deep earring bezels. I found that the clay was very sticky and left a black residue on my vinyl gloves. It has an oily sheen at 1st, but that disappears as both parts are mixed together. I mixed too much for the earrings, but that was ok, because I was able to use the extra for the ring. I found it was easy to squish the beads into the clay. The clay was soft, but sturdy. I used a toothpick to roll the clay into the bezel, around the edge. The clay held onto the glass chips well. I’m excited to wear these earrings!
I used the Foxy Epoxy book by Kristal Wick, as inspiration for this ring. In the book, there is a necklace that uses faceted teardrop beads jutting out of the clay, in a circle. I used this deep bezel ring blank, black Ceralun epoxy clay, 7 teardrop beads, and 6 chatons to create this ring. I used the remaining black clay from the earrings, for this ring. I squished it into the bezel, making sure to fill the crevices. I pushed the teardrop beads into the clay, making sure the ends were securely inserted and the tops were even. I had some negative space around the edge, so I pushed each chaton into the clay using a toothpick. Like with the earrings, I used the toothpick to push the clay into the bezel around the edge and smooth it out. I sat the ring upright to dry, using a small foam brush, squished into the ring opening. I’ve wanted to make a dimensional ring like this one for many years. The epoxy clay was perfect for creating a dimensional and bold cocktail ring.
I knew that the clay could hold onto large beads. I wanted to see how it handled flat objects. I’ve had a small tin of watch parts for years. I’ve wanted to make jewelry with them, but because they are so tiny and delicate, that is difficult. I mixed some gold Ceralun epoxy clay. I pushed it into the bezel, using the toothpick to smooth out the top, like a mini rolling pin. I poured my watch parts (mostly gears) onto my work surface. I pressed my selected ones gently into the clay, making sure all the edges were embedded. A toothpick helped greatly with this, since the parts are so small. After I finished embedding the watch parts, I poured brown glitter onto the pendant, gently squishing it in with my fingers. I used a small soft paint brush to dust the excess off. Since I’d seen the mica powder being used, I wanted to see how well it would take fine glitter. After the pendant cured, most the glitter held on well.
For this one, I mixed in some of the excess glitter into the clay before adding the clay to the bezel. It mixed in and adhered well. After I’d put the clay into the bezel, I smoothed the top into a dome. I pressed a chaton into the center. I surrounded the bezel with bugle beads, pressing them in with a toothpick. They held on great. I’ll probably use this finished piece in a future project.
I had a lot of chatons left over and wanted to create a super sparkly piece. I had a hair clip/pin bezel. I filled the bezel and domed the top. I inserted the various chatons using my fingers and a toothpick. You do have to keep pressing the chatons in, as they shift and the girdle (the cone part) will push up out of the clay a bit. For the best adhesion, the girdle needs to be fully pressed into the clay. I love how sparkly it looks. This clip was claimed by my daughter.
For my last test, once again using the Foxy Epoxy book as inspiration, I tried an image transfer. Like I mentioned before, I’m not very familiar with clay. I’d never done an image transfer before this. Following the instructions in the book, I used white Ceralun epoxy clay and a big bezel. After I’d pressed the mixed clay into the bezel and smoothed it, I pressed on one laser printed image onto each flat side of the bezel. This clay will stick to almost anything, so the clay needed to be fully covered with an image. I used copies of nature photos I’d taken years ago. I let the pendant cure for 24 hours before removing the paper, leaving the ink transferred. I had trouble figuring out when to stop rubbing the moistened paper off, because a paper haze would appear every time it dried. I though maybe sealing it with Mod Podge would help, and it did for the most part, but there was still a haze in some parts. This is likely because it was my 1st time doing an image transfer with clay. Still, it was neat to see that the epoxy clay could be used for image transfers without needing to bake it or use a special technique.
- Can be used with metal, glass, crystal, glueable plastic surfaces, rubber, wood, cork, and porcelain
- Though designed to use with Swarovski chatons, it can be used to adhere other small decorative objects
- Self curing clay that didn’t crack as it cures, like air dry clay often does
- No baking needed, but baking can speed up curing time
- Has a 2-3 hour working time once mixed
- Works great for dimensional jewelry
- Very durable when hardened. Passed the “cat smacking off table” test…which wasn’t an intentional test
- Comes in 8 colors. Black, white, gold, red, rose pink, silver, walnut brown, and pearl silk (a yellow peach)
- Easy to cut and break apart
- Can be colored with mica powders. This is probably best for lighter colors
- Can be dusted with mica powders
- Can mix in or dust with fine glitter
- You can sand the clay, but a face mask and goggles are recommended to avoid inhaling the epoxy clay dust
- Very sticky and tough to work with while mixing. Does get easier when the two parts are mixed well
- Leave a colored residue on vinyl gloves. I had to change my gloves when I changed colors
- If you are someone who loves quick results, the long self-curing time (12-24 hours) can be a hindrance. However, according to the including instructions, you can bake it to shorten the curing time
- According to the included info, the clay is bad after a year, 12 months. I’m not sure how old the clay was that I received. Part A and B have to be stored not touching, so I’m not sure in what way the clay goes bad
The price of the Swarovski Ceralun Epoxy Clay variates based on where you buy it from. I saw it on Amazon for $23.99 – $39.99 + shipping and tax. From Art Beads, it’s $13.92 – $38.79 with free shipping. From Dreamtime Creations, it’s $19.99 – $39.99. There are kits available there too, which include the epoxy clay, some chatons, a ring bezel, and a skin protector. The kits range from $45.00 – $55.00. So that gives you some idea of price, which is based on the colors. I suspect that some clay pigments cost more than others. You get 50 grams of part A and part B, totaling 100 grams. You can use it for several projects. Overall, I liked the epoxy clay I tested. My clay needs are for self-curing, durable, and relatively easy to use. Once it was completely mixed, it was easy to work with.
DISCLOSURE: I received some samples of Swarovski’s Ceralun Epoxy Clay and the Foxy Epoxy book to review for Craft Test Dummies. My projects and opinions are solely my own.
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I have read about another similar clay by EnviroTex, it is very interesting that Swarovski has its own now, it is pricy if you want to buy it just to give it a try, but interesting if you are a lot into jewelry!
Hi there! So sorry if I missed your mention but if you received a ‘whole’ box of this to test did you use it all on these projects? I’ve read about Apoxie Sculpt on firemountaingems and like ‘Fancylooks’ above mentioned, it’s interesting there are quite a few brands to choose from. One of these days i’ll cave and give it a try!! – thanks as always.
Abby Davis says
@cris, I receive a small amount of black, gold and white to test. I used a little of each for these projects. I don’t have a small scale to measure the grams of what I received, to give you a better idea of how many projects you could make with a full package.
GREAT review. I don’t work with clay because I know nothing about it – your review helped immensely.
I’ve never worked with clay, but this tutorial has definitely made me more interested in the medium. I especially like that you didn’t weigh the material, because really, who would do that? 🙂
I’ve never worked with anything like this but I have to say that I love your image transfer piece and the gears looks quite cool. Your cocktail ring is a knockout too.
I am obsessed with the watch gear pendant and the crystal ring! Great review. This makes me want to go out and get some epoxy clay and crystals immediately!