Click here to visit our Sponsor the Clay Factory!

Prairie Craft Company

Polymer Clay Central Homepage

Polymer Clay Central Message Board

PCC Cyclopedia
Chat Calendar
Contest Schedule
Swap List Page



Poly's Clay castle

Polymer Clay Central Archive Pages
Artist Interviews
Featured Artist Page
Frequently Asked Questions on Polymer Clay
Members Lessons

Index

Tips and Techniques from our members

Mission Statement

Guestbook
Meet some of our Staff


Message Board Chat Bookstore My Delphi Polymer Clay Central

PCC Chats With
Kathy Gregson

Click Here to Download a Zipfile of this Chat


.Moderator> Tonight we are visiting with Kathy Gregson who is going to be giving us insights into creation of faux stones. Welcome everyone, and take it away Kathy!
.KathyG> I copied down some of the faux formulas I use. There are lots and can vary widely.
.KathyG> These formulas were originally compiled and given to me by Jean Comport. I have added my own variations.

FAUX FORMULAS

Jade (Fimo)
Light:
½ block OO Art Translucent
½ of 1/64 block #5 Green
Orange:
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/64 block #5 Green
½ of 1/16 block #4 Orange

Orange (Kathy's variation):
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/64 block block #5 Green
½ of 1/64 block #4 Orange

Purple:
block OO Art Translucent
1/64 block #5 Green
of 1/64 block #6 Purple

Purple (Kathy's variation):
block OO Art Translucent
of 1/64 block #5 Green
1/32 block #6 Purple

Medium Green:
block OO Art Translucent
1/64 block #5 Green
1/64 block #9 Black

Dark Green:
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/32 block #5 Green
1/32 block #9 Black

Amethyst (Fimo):
Light:
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/32 block #6 Violet
Dark:
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/16 block #6 Violet

Garnet (Fimo):
Light:
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/64 block #23 Bordeaux
Dark:
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/64 block #23 Bordeaux

Amber (Tory Hughes)
Dark:
1/32 block #1 Orange
½ of 1/64 block #23 Bordeaux ¼ block #15 Yellow
Mix these together and then add:
¼ block OO Art Translucent
Mix together but can leave streaky
Light:
1/32 block #23 Bordeaux
¼ block #15 Yellow
Mix these together and then add:
¼ block OO Art Translucent
Mix together but can leave streaky

When forming beads, leave some of the fold lines. Texture with an old piece of bark or wood. Make the beads irregular in shape. The old beads frequently cracked and the folks repaired them with a piece of wire. You can simulate this by forming a wire in a zig-zag pattern with a small foot on either end. Push the feet into the clay over a fissure. Remove the wire while baking and then glue it in later.

Coral (Fimo):
Coral #1 (Darkest):
¼ block Red
1/16 block Bordeaux 1/8 block Yellow

Coral #2
1/8 block Yellow
¼ block Red
Coral #3
¼ block Red
¼ block Yellow
Coral #4
¼ block Yellow
1/8 block Red
Coral #5 (lightest)
¼ + 1/8 block Yellow
1/8 block Red

After colors are mixed, roll into snake (about 6 to 8 long). Roll Art Translucent into a thin string. Apply to color randomly. Roll gently to attach. Cut snake into quarters and recombine. Roll out another snake, cut and recombine. Do this at least one more time. The lines of transparent should still be visible. After the final recombination, roll out the snake until about to diameter. Cut long beads (about 21/2 "). Put a hole in the bead with a needle tool. Put bumps in the bead with your fingers so it resembles natural coral. Bake on a knitting needle or skewer. After baking, sand and polish the long bead. Cut to size making cut ends slanted or irregular. Sand and re-polish cut ends.

Turquoise (Fimo):
1 part #0 White
1 part #32 Light Turquoise
½ part #35 Royal Blue
1 part OO Art Translucent (can also use 01)
2 parts #32 Light Turquoise

You can also substitute #38 Turquoise or #58 Fir Green for a greener Turquoise. The matrix in Turquoise varies in color. You can use leached black clay, terra cotta, or gold clay. Break it in two and rub the two pieces together to make crumbs. Roll the beads in the crumbs.

Chinese Turquoise (Tory Hughes)
Turquoise:
¼ block white
¼ block #32 Light Turquoise
1/16 block #15 Yellow
Matrix:
¼ block Mix Quick
1/8 block gold
block black

Mix together and chop in a food processor. Gather particles together and form. Bake. Take matrix and fill in the baked piece. Bake. Use tissue blade to slice off matrix material to expose turquoise.

Lapis (Fimo):
½ block OO Art Translucent
1/16 block #37 Blue
1/64 block #34 Navy Blue
Use gold clay for the matrix.

Lapis (Tory Hughes)
¼ block OO Art Translucent
¼ block #34 blue
¼ block #35 blue

Condition each separately and chop in food processor or with tissue blade into small pieces. Using tissue blade, chop one piece of gold foil into the mixture. Gather up and make into beads, rolling in hands to make a smooth surface.

*None of these formulas are set in stone. Vary them to your needs. The formulas are mostly with Fimo cuz Premo wasn't even a dream when they were made. You can substitute any clay you like.


.Maggie> Kathy... what do you do for the most part with these faux stones?
.KathyG> I make a lot of ivory and use it to make boxes, pendants and earrings. I have also made boxes and stuff out of the jade. The amber, coral, turquoise together make a wonderful necklace that looks like it has been around necks for hundreds of years. Look in some of the books about old jewelry and it will give you ideas of what you can do.
.Maggie> Hope I have 'some' of the colors required... usually everything but! LOL
.Moderator> Kathy, in making your faux stones how much is dependent upon the clay, and how much relies on our sanding and buffing?
.KathyG> That would vary with the various stones. Some like turquoise won't vary that much Also, it would depend on what you were trying to simulate. For instance, the turquoise can look like a turquoise nugget that has been barely smoothed all the way to a finely cut piece
.KathyG> I don't see much difference in using OO Art Translucent and 06 CFC
.Moderator> Do they both come up as clear as you'd like?
.KathyG> Since you are adding various amounts of colored clay to the transparent, it doesn't make a difference.
.Moderator> Does it make a difference in the opal?
.KathyG> Yes, that would be one you want the clearest transparent. I have been working on the opal all week.
.Moderator> Okay, just trying to make my shopping list :-)
.KathyG> The first ones I made with 06 CFC. Then I got out the Sculpey III. I looked at the article in LJ and opal seems to come in a whole variety of colors from translucent white to black. So I went out to the Dollar store looking for appropriate glittery bits. In the Dollar store I found some wrapping paper called Pearlized wrapping paper. You can actually see through it when you hold it up to the light but it has a shiny pearly look. I also went to a party store and looked to see what they have. No pearlized paper, but the metallic paper might work. The problem with the metallic paper is you can't see through it so I don't think it will work as well. I chopped up the pearlized paper into tiny bits and mixed it into some Translucent. After baking, sanding and buffing, it has the look of opal almost ;0)
.Moderator> So the clearer the inclusions the better, Kathy?
.KathyG> Yes, I got out my daughters opal ring and looked. The colors are in there but you can see translucence throughout it. I also tried adding 1 part Fimo translucent blue to 4 parts CFC 06 and that makes a lovely blue opal. Also, I leached some of the translucent, chopped it up into tiny, tiny bits and added a little of that to the pieces.
.msteeples> What effect does the chopped up translucent give?
.KathyG> Opal has a base color and some parts that have color but are translucent and other colors that are less opaque. I was using the tiny bits to simulate the less opaque colors.
.msteeples> Have you done any cost comparisons to figure out if the poly clay and your time are more or less cost effective than buying semiprecious wholesale? :)
.Moderator> msteeples, I myself look at recreating the look of stones to be more a case of "I can" than cost>
.msteeples> I was being a little tongue in cheek - I also think poly clay stones would look better with other poly clay beads (PS - the M is for Melody)
.Maggie> Kathy.... I tried a little of this with the glittering snow you mentioned the other night. Is there any way of keeping the inclusions from poking through the surface?
.KathyG> You can add a very thin layer of clay over the clay with inclusions but then you are going to have to sand like mad to get it thin enough to see through
.Moderator> If you made a setting and used silver or gold foil as a backing and added inclusions to the clay would it not enhance the reflective quality of the stone?
.msteeples> I once tried Donna Kato's opal technique -- I've been unable to find any iridescent confetti or glitter that isn't plastic -- the problem with plastics is that they've melted when I've cured! Any
.msteeples> idea whether anyone makes iridescent glitter that isn't plastic?
.Maggie> Melody.... I have tried both a product called glittering snow and the JONES tones iridescent specks... neither have melted when used as an inclusion....
.KathyG> Like I said, I went to the dollar store and found Pearlized wrapping paper. It has a pearly, metallic sheen but can be seen through. It did not melt and I have enough Pearlized paper to last me a lifetime ;0)
.msteeples> Thanks! I looked for "Jones tones" in my local craft store - didn't have them, but maybe the "glittering snow" will be available. Kathy G, what is the pearlized wrapping paper made of?
.Maggie> Kathy... I have some of the paper that comes in ropes... I use it for fairy wings... iridescent. I tested with heat and worked ok... bet that would work also
.KathyG> I think it simulates opal better because you can see through it. It is plastic ;0)
.msteeples> Perhaps the problem I found was not that the glitter melted, but that it protrudes from the clay giving it a rough feel. I may not have sanded sufficiently ...
.Maggie> I got the glittering snow at JOANN fabrics
.KathyG> Yes, look in your supplies and see if you have anything that looks pearly but you can see through. I've heard that the party stores have it but all I could find today was metallic and it is opaque
.Maggie> That is what I asked about Melody..... am trying to figure out a way to keep that from happening
.Maggie> ---is thinking about the filling... the stuff that is messy and shredded ----
LEYAN17> I tried using the colored grass-like stuff made from Mylar and it made a horrible mess. I thought Mylar was some form of plastic.
.KathyG> You could also put a very thin layer of TLS over the opal after you had sanded and buffed the stone.
.Maggie> Ahhhhhhhhh.. great idea. Just so happens I JUST ordered some today
.KathyG> That would give you a smooth surface but I would really thin the TLS so it wasn't thick
.msteeples> I didn't try tumbling the beads - could try that again. But the small size didn't really give the look of opal anyway. That and lapis are the ones I'd really like to get down. Oh, heck, and rose quartz and hematite and...
.KathyG> For hematite I would try black with a lot of incredibly fine glitter or Pearl Ex>
.Maggie> Sounding like a real newbie here... what do you thin the TLS with?
.KathyG> Diluent
.msteeples> Maggie, you can get diluent from Polymer clay express
.KathyG> The jade is fun because you can vary the color to your own likes
.Julie> Kathy, how do you make faux ivory?
.KathyG> I use a mixture of 1 part White and 1 part Champagne and layer it with OO Translucent between.
.Moderator> Do you fold or bend it then? .byrd> I take it you use Fimo?
.KathyG> To put it better, I mix the white and champagne together and make layers with it and the transparent.
.KathyG> I am using 06 right now so it's Premo
.Julie> With premo, I use white, ecru, and bleached trans.
.Maggie> Layer... and then what?
.KathyG> I cut and stack it and get the layers down really thin so the striations barely show
.KathyG> Then you can cut off pieces and use them.
.Julie> Same process I use Kathy! GMTA!
.KathyG> If I am making beads, I often use the waste clay in the middle of the snake and wrap slices of Ivory around it.
.Moderator> Do you cut your edges to but up against each other, matching the striations?
.KathyG> For instance, if I was covering a snake with ivory, I would still have the striations showing, make the snake a little bigger and then reduce it down so I don't have to match striations Also if you are trying to make a flat piece, cut it a little thicker, line the pieces up across and then use your roller to lengthen and also thin and reduce it until it is the thickness you want
.KathyG> For amethyst, I would try mixing double bleached with a tiny bit of purple until you get the color you want
.Ronda> Can I be off topic for one second? I have a question about cross posting to Polymer Clay Central and [polymerclayinterest]
.Ronda> I always feel dumb if I post a picture to the onelist, thinking people at PCC will have already seen it. What percentage of crossover do you all think there is?
.Moderator> Ronda, PCI has approximately 10% the number of members that PCC does
.Julie> Ronda, I read every little tid bit here at PCC, but very little at the onelist
.Ronda> oh wow! Well maybe I will post my pumpkins after all at PCC too
.Ronda> byrd... you're on both and don't mind the cross-posts?
.Moderator> Right now PCC has 2,920 members
.Julie> Yipee PCC!!!!
.Ronda> Ohmigosh, I think we just hit 300 at PCI!
.byrd> nope. on the other hand, I don't always look at everything -- at either place
.Maggie> I read both Ronda... and don't mind the cross posts at all
.Ronda> Well, that makes me feel better. Thanks Kathy and now back to faux :)
.Dawndove> cross posts don't bother me. Just ups the chance I'll actually notice something, since I'm often not paying enough attention when catching up on email
.Ronda> Does polymer clay float well enough to make a boat?
.Gaby> a pc boat
.Ronda> GMTA Gaby
.Ronda> Loads of reading for Maggie!
.Gaby> what's GMTA?
.Ronda> Great minds think alike
.KathyG> Great minds think alike
.Ronda> or gosh mincemeat tastes awful
.KathyG> Any other questions?
.Ronda> Kathy, do you make PC settings for them? Or do you set your faux stones in other medium?
LEYAN17> I would really like to know how to make PC settings..... Lee
.KathyG> I don't just use it as stones. I make jade boxes, ivory boxes,
.Ronda> Oh wow, sounds pretty... do you have a website
.KathyG> You can use a lot of the faux stones to make inlay.
.KathyG> No I don't Ronda.
.Ronda> bummer
.Dawndove> mmm, that would be pretty. I'm thinking opal dragons, personally (grin)
.Maggie> Have you ever carved on any of these faux stones Kathy?
.KathyG> I will be posting the opals in a couple of days on the message board as soon as my DH brings home the digital camera tomorrow. Yes I have carved the ivory and jade. Do that lots
.Dawndove> Kathy, have you tried selling your faux boxes? I was wondering the reaction of the general public
.IceChic> I'm curious about setting too :)
.KathyG> Yes, I've sold many of the ivory ones.
.Dawndove> I bet they're lovely. I've seen some very nice ivory look pieces from clay
.Ronda> Have any of you made rings out of PC? I can see the faux stones being great for that
.KathyG> I want to learn more about PMI so I can make my own settings in silver
.Ronda> Me too Kathy
.IceChic> I think getting the kiln would be the hard part there Kathy
.Ronda> I already need a kiln for my glass beads so I can use it for both
.KathyG> You can make the stones and setting them into settings My biggest problem is where to put the kiln. We live in an apt.
.IceChic> *sigh* so many things I'd LIKE to do... I need to win the lottery
.Ronda> same here Kathy... I'm at capacity as it is and I'm already expanded to the balcony for baking my pc
.Dawndove> there is never enough room for all an artist's "stuff" -- George Carlin wrote that routine about us.
.Ronda> I'd have to set up the kiln in the parking lot
.KathyG> Ronda, what did you want to try. I'll give you the recipe of what you want
.Ronda> I was thinking I'd look and see what I could make with the clay I have but, hmm, jade? or something you think is easy and looks good
.KathyG> Do you have translucent, green and black?
.Ronda> why yes, yes I do :)
.Gaby> yes Jade, got the items
.KathyG> OK. I'll type the basic medium green jade.
.Ronda> cool!
.KathyG> This is Fimo amounts so you'll have to change it over to the clay you are using
.IceChic> what shade of green works best Kathy?
.KathyG> Medium Green Jade 1/2 block OO Art Translucent, 1/64 block #5 Green and !/2 of 1/64 block of black.
.KathyG> That's all there is to it
.Ronda> Can you describe #5 green?
.KathyG> Basic green, almost crayon green
.Ronda> and how much is 1/64, a pea?
.Gaby> thanks Kathy
.KathyG> Do you know how big a block of Fimo is, the 2 oz size?
.Ronda> Yes, same as a 2 ouncer of premo, only flatter
.Dawndove> I really like adding a ton of Verdigris Personal Stamp Exchange embossing powder to translucent. Looks very cool, but your jade probably looks more realistic
.KathyG> Try about a pea size but remember you will not see the true color until it is bakes
.Ronda> sounds fun dawn
.Ronda> Oh, very good point Kathy
.Ronda> so you mix it completely, no striations right?
.Dawndove> that's how I do the nicely purple, but not very authentic amethyst, too. PSX purple.
.KathyG> It will look very pale and off color so you have to bake it to check it out for color. Yes, mix until completely mixed
.Dawndove> oh, that's good to know! I would have kept adding and messed it all up
.Ronda> I'm on it!!! Thanks for the recipe Kathy... I'm going to play clay now!!!
.Maggie> Is there as much difference when baked with the Premo as there is with the FIMO
.KathyG> No not really Maggie
.KathyG> This is not a critical proportions.
.Maggie> Premo give a more accurate 'preview'
.Dawndove> do you have a set ratio for something like sapphire or blue topaz, or is it more of trial and error?
.KathyG> I vary the amount of green and black to suit my needs and wants. Trial and error. Try mixing a little bit of a color with the translucent and add things as needed to simulate the stone
.Dawndove> Kathy, do you have a book coming using these recipes? Sounds like a viable idea
.KathyG> No Dawn, these are not all my recipes. People have been working on them for a while I vary them a lot however
.Dawndove> They've come a long way since just the Fimo Stone or granitex stuff
.KathyG> If you darken the ivory recipe you can also simulate wood
.Dawndove> wondering if we could work up a chart for PCC with some of these -- it could make a great project -- recipes for birthstones per month?
.KathyG> It would work with some but not the clearer stones
.Dawndove> I've done a lot of wood -- just a tiny, tiny touch of red/brown makes for excellent mahogany or cherry wood
.Dawndove> yes, diamond or something would be impossible.
.KathyG> like my birthstone aquamarine. We need transparent clay
.KathyG> Some of the recipes originally came from Tory Hughes
.KathyG> What have you done with the wood, Dawn?
.Dawndove> mostly just made little stands for my characters to stand on. covered a pen, nothing really exciting
.KathyG> I probably make more ivory than anything else.
.Dawndove> I discovered I could do it by accident, mixing colors to get a light brown and stopped when I liked the graining
.KathyG> I love to carve it.
.Dawndove> I bet the carving looks great on ivory.
.IceChic> what do you use to carve it with Kathy?
.KathyG> I have a linoleum cutter. and I have a Dockside cutter that is my favorite. They sell them online
.Gaby> what do you use dawn?
.Dawndove> mostly my exacto knife. It's very messy and not good at all do wood carving tools work, or do they split the clay or something equally nasty?
.KathyG> That's what the Dockside cutter is They work beautifully
.Dawndove> have to see if I have any here. Dad used to carve some
.Gaby> I have a dremel tool, maybe it works
.KathyG> Also if you don't want to buy the handle, just go in an art store and buy a linoleum cutter blade
.Dawndove> I've been dying to try carving to inlay on Christmas ornaments. Been using rubber stamps for the impressions, but would love to carve my own
.KathyG> Make a handle out of clay and you have a very cheap cutter
.Dawndove> so full of tips today! that's so cool
.KathyG> After you have carved, rub in some burnt umber or other acrylic paint into the carving. Makes it look really neat Wipe off the excess just leaving paint in the carving. Makes ivory look like an old piece of mammoth ivory that's been in the ground for thousands of years
.Dawndove> probably also look good with gold metallic paint for the antiquing
.Gaby> something like an antiquing solution... mmm
.Gaby> I have use that solution, and the results: GREAT
.KathyG> I use white sometimes, also Red Oxide, sometimes mixtures depending on what I have carved and what color looks good
.Dawndove> I took a long way around it and diluted black sculpey to really really soft, rubbed it all over the piece, just enough to stain the clay, then rub most of it off. Makes it look kind of old and scruffy
.Gaby> good tip dawn, all try it
.Dawndove> if there's a hard way to do something, I'll find it :)
.KathyG> That's what's neat about the faux techniques. There is no set way you have to do things
.Dawndove> that's one of the really great things about clay. It is so versatile.
.KathyG> I am a fiddler. I can waste more time playing with the waste clay
.Gaby> yes, its a never ending story....
.Dawndove> I've never tried adding essential oils or scent to clay, but I've heard it's possible. I want to try it
.KathyG> The ivory makes wonderful worry bottles also. I carve those
.Dawndove> ooh, that would be so cool, too! and opal, I bet.
.Gaby> dont know about essential oils, but you can use cinnamon powder
.KathyG> I would be afraid the oils would break down the clay
.Gaby> I think you can use parsley leaves, powdered spices, with no risk, but the oil....
.KathyG> Gaby, what faux things have you tried?
.Gaby> only Ivory
.KathyG> I've also used some of the things to make mosaics. Those are fun
.Gaby> I make mosaics, add to item that I want to decorate with silicon, after that I fill the spaces with silica, wait a few until it dry, wipe the excess with a paper towel...
.KathyG> I've used artist paste and clay also
.Gaby> how Kathy?
.KathyG> What, how to use clay as the filler?
.Gaby> yes Kathy..
.KathyG> I put the mosaic pieces on unbaked clay, baked it and then filled in and rebaked it
.Gaby> thanks Kathy, have to try it
.KathyG> Did you ever see the pieces of the Mosaic Swap? I have a piece from Sue Heaser that I cherish
.Gaby> no, Im almost new here where can I see them?
.KathyG> It was a couple of years ago.
.Gaby> ohhhh.
.KathyG> I'm not sure it was ever put up on PCC. Do you know that mosaic floor over in Rome or somewhere that has a leopard on it
.Gaby> I use the silica because I use it with glass mosaics
.KathyG> That's what my piece from Sue has on it.
.Gaby> oh, must be great
.KathyG> Also lots of other animals, a peacock I think
.Gaby> the peacock must be great, with that colors, I love that green
.KathyG> I did a piece that was a take-off of an earring made in Peru so I used the faux stones
.Gaby> Kathy, forgive my English, I speak Spanish....
.KathyG> You do very well Gaby. Would never have guessed ;0)
.Gaby> thanks, do you stamped the earring?
.KathyG> No, I made tiny bits of simulated stones and set them on a background of jade.
.Gaby> oh, must be nice, I want to try an ivory vessel with an earring stamping
.KathyG> That sounds like fun
.Gaby> and antiquing solution of course, love the effect
.KathyG> How large?
.Gaby> about 5 in.
.KathyG> I like to carve Indian type patterns in my worry bottles
.Gaby> I love that designs, all Indian designs,
.KathyG> I use them in canes, carved, etc, etc,
.Gaby> I do caning work, but never try an Indian design, I must try a Mexican design
.KathyG> Yes do.
.Gaby> Im starting a Mexican doll cane.
.KathyG> I have some neat books from Dover that have Mexican designs
.Gaby> but I think the skin is too dark
.KathyG> Have you tried baking a little of it to check? I always bake my colors to check them before I do complicated canes because sometimes I get the colors too dark
.Gaby> no, Ill think I going to get an African American girl, but its nice too
.KathyG> Yes, that will be nice also
.Gaby> I'll do that Kathy, great idea
.KathyG> I like to do landscapes and those are the ones I especially bake beforehand because they take me many hours to put together.
.Gaby> oh landscapes, I need to have more experience to do that
.KathyG> Not too much Gaby. I did my first landscape about a year after I started. 9 years ago
.KathyG> I always go to Shrinemont in May and they are very close together to get off work so much
.Gaby> I started last year, must try one, but I have to search for some instructions, no idea of how to start
.KathyG> I draw a picture, and then start building from the bottom up
.Gaby> are you in a guild?
.KathyG> Potomac
.KathyG> around DC
.KathyG> I usually make them about 3x3x3" and that gives me a lot of cane
.Gaby> and the Shrinemont is for the members of that guild?
.KathyG> No, Shrinemont is from the NPCG
.Gaby> ohh for masters
.KathyG> It was the first retreat and we have had it for ten years now
.KathyG> No, no we always have people from very beginners to the masters
.KathyG> It just happens to be held about 2 hours from where I live
.KathyG> Do you know of the National Polymer Clay Guild?
.Gaby> yes of course, but I'm not a member, I live in Mexico City
.KathyG> That doesn't matter. We have international members.
.Gaby> PCC is my guild
.KathyG> I know what you mean. I always felt isolated until PCC


Polymer Clay Central Home page