With the big Craft and Hobby Association trade show just days away, I thought I would review the new Pearl Ex colors for you and at the same time, drop some tips on how to work with Pearl Ex (or any micro powder) on Sculpey clays.

First, the good stuff.  The new colors are highly pigmented, so it doesn't take the patience of a polymer saint to build up depth in your colors.

Here are the new colors on black Premo! Sculpey - man, I love those greens and that Violet means business when it comes to color!

The colors are really intense, especially on the black clay.  But notice how I have smooth lines of color delineation?  That's because I use the flat rubber chisel that is on the bottom of the Sculpey Style and Detail medium ball tool!  Dip it into the powder, tap it on the side of the jar to knock of the excess powder and "'paint" it across the clay.  Make sure to lay the tool so that the flat edge of the chisel is almost parallel with the surface of the clay.  This not only will allow you to achieve a straight edge of color, but it's excellent to apply to the flat surfaces of this Sculpey texture (Venice street map).

Of course, our favorite way to apply Pearl Ex to Sculpey clay is with our finger tips, blending colors together.  I prefer to use the powder that is in the cap when I remove it, rather than stick my finger into the jar of powder.  Inevitably, when I can't resist the temptation and dip in the jar because "I just I want to hit one last spot",  I end up dumping a pile of powder that was hiding under my fingernail! Seriously, I know you  have had it happen to you too!  Also, too much powder applied at once and the color tends to grey out and look, well, powdery..

Anyway, fingerpaint on those colors and build the richness of the piece by using multiple colors or multiple versions of the same color family.  I tend to start with the darker colors and finish with the lighter colors.  Do you do the same or am I just being superstitious?

I think that mica powders, like Pearl Ex,  should be sealed after baking, especially if they are going to be experiencing a lot of touching or wear on the surface.

One more thing.  No, you aren't crazy, they don't photograph with the intensity that you see with your eye!  Find the little tool that looks like a sponge in your photo software.  Set it on Saturate and put the percentage about 23% and brush it over the areas where you have the powders.  That should bring that pop of color you see with your eyes back into the photo for you!

Be back soon, with lots of news of what I saw at the show!  Here's hoping that there are TONS of new things we can incorporate with our Sculpey addiction...