Using Alcohol Inks To Tint Liquid Polymer Clay

Tinting Liquid Clay's with Alcohol Inks - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #743: Pinata Alcohol Inks mixed with Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay, Kato Liquid Polyclay, Fimo Liquid Gel and TLS.

Today in the PcT Test Lab, I’m going to show you how to tint liquid polymer clay with alcohol inks.

The reason I thought to do this testing is that Sculpey recently sent my a sample of their newest Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay – Pearl, which is one of their new products for 2016. You may be familiar with the Gold and Silver version of liquid Sculpey that came out last year.

Now I was thinking… since they have Gold and Silver, I thought it would be fun to have a bunch of different colors in the Pearly clay, so I experimented by mixing alcohol inks into the Sculpey Liquid Pearl.

Then I compared those mixes with the other brands of liquid polymer clay.

In the video, I show baked examples of Pinata Alcohol ink in the colors Senorita Magenta, Sapphire Blue and Sunbright Yellow… mixed into each of the following brands/types of liquid polymer clay… Kato Liquid Polyclay (Clear), Fimo Liquid Gel, Translucent Liquid Sculpey (TLS), Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay (Pearl), Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay (Silver) and Sculpey Liquid Bakeable Clay (Gold).

The samples were made using a pea sized ball of liquid clay and one drop of alcohol ink, that were mixed thoroughly and spread as thin as possible onto a glass tile to bake. Make sure to mix the liquid clay and alcohol ink before the ink dries, or the clay will look speckled.

Each sample was baked at 275F (135C) for 1 hour. Note that the label suggests Fimo Liquid Gel should be baked at 265F (130C), but that it will be more translucent at a higher temperature. So I baked it at 275F with the rest of the samples and saw no adverse affect.

From my tests, all the different brands tinted beautifully, though I noticed that the Kato Liquid Polyclay and the Senorita Magenta seemed to darken quite a bit. The colors with the biggest difference were the colors mixed with the Sculpey Liquid Gold, which makes sense, because the Gold particles in the clay added to the color tint. The Magenta turned it Coral, the Blue turned it teal and the Yellow made it very bright Gold.

The baked liquid clay kept it’s clarity and strength. Other than the color tinting the properties stayed the same as it was before tinting.

I also did some samples where I mixed the Yellow and the Blue together in the liquid clay’s… which basically shows that the color mixing possibilities are endless, when you start combining colors.

So go ahead and mix up a rainbow of Liquid Polymer Clay in clear or the new Pearly colors. You’re not limited to plain old translucent liquid clay anymore!.

Do you have any suggestions for videos on tips, techniques or products you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments section below!

My goal is to help you to learn quicker and easier ways to bring up the professionalism in your polymer clay art.

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Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Hermine R, 18 July, 2016

    Thank you Cindy that is great info! Will translate it to send to my French fiends.

  2. Doug Lietz, 18 July, 2016

    Hello Hermine – If you are creating a text transcript of the video that fairly closely matches Cindy’s voice track, we could probably figure out a way to convert your translation into French subtitles. Then your friends who don’t speak English, could select the French subtitles as an option to show right on the video while it is playing.

  3. Lolla N, 19 July, 2016

    I’m slowly moving my brand over from FIMO to Sculpey only because I find that for some reason Sculpey is the way to go in Canada compared to FIMO which was popular to use in Australia so I am figuring it’s something to do with the climate. I had a stash of FIMO that I brought over with me in the shipping container!

    Atleast the kids are all happy to work with my FIMO stash stock but not so happy conditioning it in their little hands ..mum to the rescue tho – LOL!

    I’ve been wanting to create with Alcohol inks too… so thanks so much for posting your tute on this…

  4. Cindy Lietz, 22 July, 2016

    I am thinking it probably has more to do with the fact that Sculpey is an American company so most of us artists here in North America have been using it for years and are used to the properties. It’s color mixing system is much easier, since it is based on artist colors. Also, Premo doesn’t stain your hands as badly so it doesn’t transfer the colors to one another as easily either. They are both good clays though and make beautiful things. I am glad you are enjoying the tutorials Lolla! :)

  5. Doreen Neilley, 05 November, 2016

    Hi, Cindy
    Sage at The Polymer Arts noted that an clay artist (I’m sorry, I deleted the email) has found that a Pardo translucent clay piece tinted with alcohol inks, which was left out in the sun, has faded out. Have you ever noticed this with Premo Translucent or any other clays tinted with inks? Maybe you could try this as one of your future PCT tests?

  6. Cindy Lietz, 07 November, 2016

    Hi Doreen, I have not had any issues with Premo Trans and alcohol inks fading. I have a few pairs of earrings from the Foxgloves and Raindrops tutorial that have been sitting in the window (North facing mind you) for a few years now, that haven’t faded… that I can tell. I’m not saying that if you put them in Arizona sun for a long time, that they won’t fade… it’s just that I haven’t experienced it.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 07 November, 2016

    Just a side not, PYMII has a UV Protector in it. If you were worried about fading, it might not hurt to spray your pieces with PYMII. It should protect it from fading.

  8. Claire Wyness, 26 October, 2021

    Hi do you have any experience of alcohol inks fading in polymer clay? I have the PiƱata brand and some Jaquard. I am usually a resin artist but plan to start using polymer clay. I have had some inks fade in resin but wondered what your experience and advice was.
    Many thanks

  9. Cindy Lietz, 27 October, 2021

    Hi Claire, just like with resin, alcohol inks can fade with polymer clay too. It really depends on the brand of ink, the color (I find the reds tend to fade the most), the brand of clay you’re using and the amount of UV exposure. I have had alcohol ink not fade at all when mixed into a pair of Premo Translucent earrings, sitting mostly in a drawer for 10 years… and another pair from the same set sitting in a window only fade slightly. I think it if you were to use a UV resistant Resin or finish, this issue wouldn’t be a problem at all, but testing would need to be done first to really know that for sure. I seem to recall another clay artist (the Polymer Chef, maybe? Or Polymer Clay Journey? idk) that did some testing of different brands of clay in the sun, and I think she may have tested alcohol inks as well. (Wow… how very helpful that sentence was! LOL) Perhaps some Googling will find you a better answer? Anyway, it is something I have on my list for further testing. Thanks for stopping by, and I do hope you fall in love with this amazing medium! It plays wonderfully with resin, if you would like to combine the two worlds. Have fun!

  10. Claire Wyness, 27 October, 2021

    Hi Cindy
    Many thanks for your reply. I have a long way to go and so many questions!

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