Barnacle Palette | Premo Sculpey Recipes Vol-060-A

Barnacle Palette by Polymer Clay Tutor1-A: Barnacle
2-A: Algae

3-A: Purple Sea Star
4A: Oxidation

Barnacles… these strange little creatures encrusting themselves in scratchy layers on rocks, logs, shipwrecks… and even onto the skin of some types of whales. The ones that hang out in the beach tidal areas spend half their day submersed in the salty waters of the ocean, and the other half basking in the sun. Quite the life!

I have many memories of these rugged crustaceans. One is quite a fond memory, though for most people it probably wouldn’t have been fond if it had happened to them… but I’m a little weird that way!

When I was very young, maybe 4 or 5, I would sometimes get to leave my baby brother and sister behind with my Mom and go beach combing and clam digging on the beaches of Vancouver Island with my Dad. It was always so much fun to get some alone time with him.

You see my parents were very young when they got married and had children. By the time my Mom was 21 and my Dad was 25, they had already had the three of us kids. So as you can imagine, we did pretty much everything as a pack. Being alone with either parent was kind of a treat.

Anyway, since I loved being at the beach with my Dad so much, I never complained when I fell on the rocks… scraping up my hands and knees on the barnacles on the way down. With my Dad being such a kind and gentle man, he’d always help me up and give me a hug if I hurt myself. But he was also quite a rough and tumble guy who never let a few bumps and scrapes ruin his day… so neither would I.

One day we came home and I had dried blood on my hands and a tear in my jeans. Mom was upset with him for not taking good enough care of me while we were gone. But I remember not seeing it that way at all.

We had a whole bucket of clams, shells and rocks from our day’s treasure hunting. Plus I got to spend the whole day breathing in the salt air, listening to the crashing waves, flipping over rocks, looking for crabs and seeing that huge smile on my Dads leathery face as we played on the rocky shoreline. Besides it wasn’t my Dad that scratched me all up, it was the fault of those darn Barnacles :)

I hope you enjoy the little breath of fresh salt air provided by this inspiring Barnacle palette for the Vol-060-A recipe Series.

Barnacle Color Palette by Polymer Clay Tutor

The following Vol-060 A-series Barnacle color palette will be added to the Polymer Clay Members Library at the beginning of May 2013:

  • Barnacle (Recipe 060-1A)
  • Algae (Recipe 060-2A)
  • Purple Sea Star (Recipe 060-3A)
  • Oxidation (Recipe 060-4A)


 Barnacle is the grayish, putty colored white of the barnacles encrusted on the rocks and the chunks of rusty shipwreck remains lying on the sandy beach. Algae is the dusty olive green of the algae growing on the barnacles hard exterior shell. Purple Sea Star is the deep dark purple found in the weathered rusted parts of the metal. And Oxidation is the soft muted orange shade of the ships metal as it rusts away in the salty marine environment.

Thank you so much for all the Premo! colour recipes Cindy. Seems I have a way to go! I’ve always worked in Fimo, which is the only polymer clay available in stores in my area (UK) – in fact I’ve found the name “Fimo” to be the generic term for polymer clay in the UK for most people, except for devotees of course. But I’ve now found an on-line resource for Premo! and I’ll be adding colours with each new card you publish. Up till now I’ve been more interested in the videos each week, but now I can’t wait till the next colour card appears, it will be like magic creating new colours! Thanks again Cindy, so glad I found you! ~Marion-R

I look forward to your colour recipes as much as the videos, Cindy. I try to train my unruly colour sense by guessing what you have mixed to get a particular shade or tint. ~Monique-U

Cindy, Here you are inspiring me and boosting my confidence again! Again, I admire how you can take us through your thought process and break down what you see in the photo… I feel like you’re teaching me to “paint” with clay. Having never taken any art classes, I imagine that this is the way an art teacher engages students in beginning to see the world in a more nuanced way – a way in which recreating nature in art becomes a possibility through understanding and being able to dissect what one is seeing! ~Kimberlee-J


If you would like more information about the Members Library, here are some direct links:

Library Member Benefits and What Others Are Saying
Order Page for Color Recipe and Video Back Issue Packages
Become A Full Member at the Library

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  1. Jocelyn C, 22 April, 2013

    Love this color palette, the choices of natural items, and the story. Lived a very similar life here on the East Coast, and despite splinters the size of rulers, sunburns in ER, and a Newfoundland whom when on the beach, needed the rule “one piece suits only” because she’d proudly grab and paddle in “saving the top,” I still cherish every single memory, especially those with Mom and Dad alone. :)!

    Also we never left without our snorkle googles, the things you could see in the tidal pools, off the docks, and salt/fresh water marshes if you stuck your head in there for a minute! Those goose barnacles are a sight to see when they come out of their shells and wave around in the current. Yours on the West Coast are huge.

  2. Dixie Ann, 22 April, 2013

    I love the story as well as the colors. I often wondered what it would be like growing up with parents who loved and cared for you instead of an orphanage where everything is Rules, Rules, Rules. I would absolutely love living by a large body of water and go clam digging. Spring finally got here.

  3. Tantesherry, 23 April, 2013


  4. Maria C, 22 April, 2013

    I agree with Dixie Ann: the story is such a sweet memory and the colors are lovely too!
    I grew up in San Francisco so we have the ocean here too… but my fondest memories are actually going to summer homes at “the river” – I prefer forest to ocean even though my house is literally 1/4 of a mile away from the ocean now ..

  5. Anna Sabina, 23 April, 2013

    I grew up on Long Island in New York. i remember those days of getting to the beach during low tide and walking out onto the sand bars and exploring the creatures. We walked on our tip toes and pushed down watching for that squirt of water from under the sand . Ah…A CLAM !!!! Then dug, dug, dug with our hands hoping it would be a Cherry Stone rather than a razor clam. Great memories. My mother made us take swimming lessons in the Long Island sound. It was hard to focus on the lesson because I was getting my toes bit by sand crabs during low tide and dodging horseshoe crabs and jelly fish during high tide.

  6. Jocelyn C, 23 April, 2013

    Anna, my Mom’s peeps ran that huge clambake place on Fisher Island in the Sound. Dorr Lobster, found on web and FB is a great place to relive all the details. As a Christmas gift, treated best friend from childhood to a “clam bake” at my place, complete with the lobsters, clams, seaweed, etc., exactly as we gathered and prepared together as kids. Through down a red/white checked tablecloth on the floor, some pillows, used the coffee table and the “guest” towel kit. What a ball.
    Those memories inspire me to go make a concept pin or pendant for her to wear as a gift for her birthday. I love the way this process works, lol…..

  7. elaine faulks, 23 April, 2013

    I could hear the waves crashing and almost smell that salty sea air. Those are real precious memories Cindy, you certainly are a child of nature. Looking forward to using this fresh new set of colors for something special in the future………….cheers xx……………..

  8. Cindy Lietz, 23 April, 2013

    Thank you guys for all your neat sea stories! I love hearing them! BTW these colors look way better in real life than they do in these sample swatches. (Sometimes they look a little flatter on the computer screen.) I think it will be a real useful color combination for your claying projects!

  9. Marion R, 25 April, 2013

    Thank you cindy for the colour swatches, and for the sweet memory. If you hadn’t been a polymer artist you could have been a professional story teller, my cousin does this and she gets invited to so many places, schools, halls etc., just to tell stories. But I’m glad you didn’t!
    Marion Rayner

  10. Carol O, 14 May, 2013

    Cindy – Your videos are the best I’ve ever seen! I definitely will point anyone interested in learning how to create with clay to your site. Thanks for your time and your great teaching ability!

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