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So, you’ve seen powdered pigments at the craft stores, packaged under names like Perfect Pearls and Pearl-ex, and even online manufacturers of beads and scrapbooking supplies have gotten into the idea of selling pigments. What are they and how do you use them? Thatâ€™s what we are talking about today, and will be showing next week in our videocast. You must come back next Friday to watch the show, because thatâ€™s how you will really understand what we are talking about.
Pigments have been used since art was born. Cave dwellers used natural materials such as plant parts and iron ores to leave marks on cave wallsâ€¦now kids have the same idea when they use manufactured chalks on the sidewalk. A powdered pigment is by nature, dry. You can try anything with polymer clay- eye makeup, shavings from pastels, fine glittersâ€¦but you will really want to try using finely ground powdered pigments made especially for the task. We have our own line, and in the future you will see many more carefully crafted colors.
Here’s the book we talked about today, The Polymer Clay Techniques Book. An excellent source of info, especially for newbies, and it has so many techniques even old-timers will find something to spark their creativity.
Powdered pigments work great with clay because the clay is tacky before baking, and anything (everything!!! Including lint and cat hair!!!) will stick to it easily. So for this technique, you will be exploiting the tacky nature of the clay. Powdered pigments go a long way. You do not need a lot to cover a piece, in fact when you get really excited and work with it a lot, you will probably lose/waste as much as you put onto the clay. Donâ€™t use it on a windy dayâ€¦it will blow away. In fact, donâ€™t sneeze in itâ€™s presence- same result. You can apply it with your fingers or a brush. Ilysa likes to use her fingers, Kira has a special soft brush that was actually made for watercolor painting. You can use one color, or a few, on the same piece. As long as you have bare clay showing, you can get pigment stuck to it.
Hereâ€™s a starter list of ways to use powdered pigments:
â€¢ highlight the raised areas on a textured piece of clay
â€¢ use it on a stamp as a mold release
â€¢ mix it into translucent clay to add tint and sparkle
â€¢ mix it into liquid clay to add color
â€¢ mix it into your sealer as a final splash of color and sparkle
â€¢ coat your clay, stamp into it, bake, and then sand off the high parts- see the pigment stuck in the cracks?
You will invent your own ways of using powdered pigments, why not come over to the forum or post on our flickr group to show them off?
Don’t forget to check out the Caning Competitions and Swaps that we talked about- at MaryLExhibit.
Next week we will show you all this and more on Polymer Clay TVâ€¦and we are also releasing our second Downloadable tutorial video. This one shows us making mini books using textured clay covers with pigment powders and papers by Basic Grey. They were kind enough to sponsor the show and sent us a selection of papers and fibers to play with. Their paper is so fun we had a really hard time deciding which ones to use! But we have created three fun kits for you, if you purchase the kit you can follow right along with the video to make your own book.
Visit BasicGrey to check out their fabulous line of papers!
Remember to sign up for the newsletter this week! We will be releasing our first one shortly, and also announcing the winner of this monthâ€™s contest. All newsletter subscribers are automatically entered. This month you could win one of our kits!