I have literally sat down three other times today to write this blog and been distracted by other issues - emails, garden watering, UPS dude..

ANYWAY - I love Etch n' Pearls - once I found out how to use them!  I quickly figured out that there needs to be a little mold release on the tool for the clay to come out.  It was fairly simple at home, I just licked it.  I'm an old print retoucher and we used to lick our brushes all the time.  (Now it kinda grosses me out to think about it!) About 3 years ago,  I was doing a video for PCA and I'm like, "hmm, I can NOT lick this on camera".  So I did it off camera and said something like, "moisten the end of the tool".

[caption id="attachment_33441" align="alignleft" width="300"]Use a sponge to add mottled color to the smooth parts of your design! Use a sponge to add mottled color to the smooth parts of your design![/caption]

Then I had to use them on TV and that wasn't going to work.  I happened to have a little piece of an old sponge on my work desk that I had been tearing bits off to apply my favorite Citadel paint (Nihilakh Oxide) for a faux verdigris effect.  So I moistened the sponge slightly and punched the Etch n' Pearl (EnP) into it and then into the clay.  BAM!  Clay came right out!  NOW, I had my solution for TV - a little bit of moistened sponge!!

The Power of Sponges for Clay Projects

My great friend (and artist), Chris Crossland, from Oklahoma gifted me with my super-duper-deluxe-travel-approved sponge in a little spice jar.  WOW! It stays clean, damp and I don't get a wet mess in my tool kit!

[caption id="attachment_33442" align="alignleft" width="300"]a dampened sponge is a perfect mold release agent for the Etch n' Pearls a dampened sponge is a perfect mold release agent for the Etch n' Pearls[/caption]

Another quick note on using EnPs.  If you use a thicker layer of clay with them, you will get the "pearls".  Conversely, using a thinner sheet of clay will yield a flat (ish) polka dot!

I REALLY love my Etch n' Pearls!  xoxo, syndee

altermating set retro pendant final cropped