One of the best things about Sculpey polymer clay is experimenting with all the amazing colors that are available. By taking some notes as I blend my own colors, I can easily recreate them. I’ll share some of the ways I take my colors to the next level and create a completely customized palette.
Here is an exercise that will demonstrate how I like to mix my colors, and how easy it can be! Here’s what’s I grabbed for my experiment:
2 oz bars of Premo Sculpey polymer clay in the following colors: White, Fuchsia, Ultramarine and Pearl (optional but adds great sparkle!)
I began by dividing the 2 oz bars of polymer clay into 12 squares. Squares are the main unit of measurement in my studio. BONUS TIP: Look at a color wheel when choosing colors to mix. Choose colors that are close together on the wheel, like blues and purples or reds and oranges. Avoid mixing colors directly across from each other on the wheel, or you’ll end up with a muddy neutral color.
I set aside the squares I wanted to mix together and took a note of each measurement. In this demonstration, I noted the number of squares of each color used in this particular blend. That way I can recreate it again and again, just by following the recipe of squares. Another way to measure equal amounts of clay is to roll it out into a sheet and use a clay cutter to create circles. Then circles would be calculated instead of squares. BONUS TIP: I cut up all my blocks of clay into squares no matter when I’m using them. I like to keep notes about my squares so I can recreate my projects. For example, “The bunny’s body is 3 squares of white, his legs are 1 square each, and the inside of the bunny’s ear is ⅛ square of pink.”
I mixed the colors together thoroughly. Using a pasta machine helps speed up the process. BONUS TIP: Another way to condition your clay is to hand it to a friend during a conversation. Just hand them a bunch of squares in the middle of a sentence. I guarantee they will mix those colors for you. Works with my friends and family all the time.
Next I blended different ratios of squares together to create a variety of colors. When I found a mix I enjoyed, I was able to create that color over and over because of the notes I took. BONUS TIP: Customize the palette further by turning a favorite mix into a “main color” and adjust your recipe notes to include, “main blend plus 1 sq white, 2 sq ultramarine, etc.”. BONUS, BONUS TIP: Once colors are already blended and squares aren’t as easy to measure, using that circle clay cutter to count ratios is the easiest way to keep track of proportions. I like to use a 1 ½” circle cutter on a sheet of clay that’s been rolled out on the thickest setting.
It can be a lot of work to create customized polymer clay colors, but I find it quite rewarding and satisfying when my projects are coordinated so nicely. I recommend giving some experimental mixing a try. I have an enjoyable time making one-of-a-kind color recipes so they can be created again and again for my polymer clay projects, and I think you will, too!
Wishing Well Workshop