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by Nan Hawthorne
"Antiquing" is a method by which an artist or crafter artificially ages the appearance of an creation in order to make or look like an antique.

There are some basic techniques polymer clay artists use to antique their work:

  1. Applying a wash of a dark color acrylic paint or water-based oils in Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna as a finish.

  2. "Flyspecking" with black, copper, verdigris, brown or gold embossing powders, particularly with flecks of thick powder.

  3. Applying any ink or gloss and then stretching the clay when dry can create a cracked varnish look.

  4. Using image transfers of or paper antique finished or artwork and finishing with Transparent Liquid Sculpey.

  5. Use craft knife or other tool to mar the surface of the creation before finishing.

  6. Using "antique" findings or backs.

  7. Learning and copying antique styles for jewelry, etc.,

  8. Nanetta Banarto uses metallic paste. "Many of my pieces are finished with a swipe of gold wax color, such as Treasure Gold. It comes in pats or tubes. I prefer the pat-it is a slightly thicker formula. They offer a range of golds, silver and turquoise. It highlights any texture you may have used."
    Be sure before you use any ready-made antiquing finishes that they can safely be use d on polymer clay without damage.
    (Source: Nanetta Banarto,
©2003-Nan Hawthorne

Thank you, Nan. You can Email Nan at

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