A way to make faux amber with Pinata Colors


Tools and Materials:

Translucent clay of your choice
Pinata Colors - brown, yellow, orange, red
Disposable bulb syringe
Pliers
Disposable scalpel
Polyfil and clean paper
Knitting needles
Sandpaper - 400, 600 & 800
Flecto Varathane Diamond Finish



I'm using three different kinds of clay, because they'll each yellow and plaque differently in curing. Apply the Pinata Colors to the surface of the clay in varying amounts.


Smear the colors around, wipe the excess off and let dry before mixing. I'm mixing up three large lumps of tinted clay that will be used to tint larger pieces of clay.


After mixing, form the colors into logs and take slices from them to mix with larger amounts of translucent clay. Add small amounts of color to the clay until you get colors that you like. Try to avoid air pockets.


The colors appear much paler than they will look after curing. Make three snakes out of your tinted translucent clay. Twist them together unevenly and roll into a long snake. Again, try to avoid air bubbles.


Fold the long snake into a log and roll it out one more time, smoothing the surface.


Cut the snake into bead-sized pieces of clay.


Roughly shape each piece into a bead. Set aside to cool.


Pull out a tiny tip on a disposable syringe with pliers.


Mix Havana Brown, Tangerine and Chili Pepper Inks with clarifier or alcohol in something that's disposable. Pull the ink up into a bulb syringe. Set aside.


Use a disposable scalpel to tear jagged fault lines through the surfaces of your beads. Make them very irregular. Some will close up slightly as you create others.


Place the beads on some polyfil to catch ink overflow. Drip ink into the crevices from the bulb syringe. Turn the beads over and ink the crevices on the other side. The ink will flow even into partially closed cracks by capillary action. Mix ink as required - different colors look nice.


Turn the beads a few times as they dry and remove them to clean paper when the ink stops flowing. It will take a couple of hours or overnight for the beads to dry completely. When dry, push the seams together and reshape your beads. Let cool.


Push beads onto knitting needles for curing. Cure on fiberfil or raise the needles on props to keep them off the surface. Cure for an hour at 275°. Cool.


Wet sand the beads, starting with 320 or 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper, progressing through 600 and 800 grits. You can then either buff the beads to a high gloss or continue with a few more grits of sandpaper and then glaze with Flecto.


These beads have been buffed and three coats of Flecto Varathane Diamond Finish were applied. You can barely see the streaks made by using three brands of clay.


These beads aren't as highly glossed and they're paler than the batch we're working on right now. As usual with translucents, there is no way to show how clear these appear in person - they have much more visual depth than what this screen can show.