Use Iridescent Buffalo Snow Flakes to Make Faux Opals

Polymer Clay Faux Opals This faux opal is absolutely stunning! I can clearly see the depth of the layers.” ~Elizabeth-S

Remember way back at the end of Nov last year, I suggested that everyone pick up a bag of Buffalo Snow to get ready for my 2010 faux opal tutorial?

That super duper advance notice was because those iridescent buffalo snow flakes are much easier to find cheap in retail stores, during the Christmas holiday shopping season.

Well hopefully many of you had success getting your hands on some, because my plan is to include a faux opal tutorial in the upcoming Vol-022 video series during the month of March.

Wow the faux opal is very pretty, would love to learn the technique. I’ve never heard of “buffalo snow. ~Jeanne-C

I really like these opal beads, Cindy! I love incorporating inclusions into translucent clay!! :) I’ll be looking for the Buffalo Snow and your tutorial. ~Marsha-N

The faux opal looks beautiful. I can’t wait to try it. I don’t think I’ve seen many opals in polymer clay. I love glitter and I might already have Buffalo Snow. I’ve never heard the name Buffalo Snow before. Should be fun though.

You have a lot of good ideas for future videos, but I’m still waiting for the faux opal using the Buffalo snow or iridescent flakes that you promised us before Christmas.

Am I living on another planet? I’ve never heard of Buffalo Snow! (Is it like buffalo dandruff or something?) I guess I’m going to have to go out into the world and see what it looks like and grab me some! ~Aims

Now as most of you know by now, I like to get feedback (“votes“) from everyone before actually filming a project… just in case the topic is not that big of a hit.

But judging from all the positive comments that have already come in, I honestly don’t think there will be a problem in my going ahead with the faux opal lesson.

Making faux opals is what first got me interested in polymer clay. I’m super excited about your faux opal technique. Can’t wait for the video! ~Sue-W

Oh Cindy this faux opal is absolutely stunning!!! I can clearly see the depth of the layers from the photo. Sure hope you feel ready to teach it soon. ~Elizabeth-S

I can’t wait for the tutorial on the faux opals. I am thankful that I found all of you. You all are so giving. ~Linda-B

Polymer Clay Faux OpalsWOW!! what can I say? I love the way hammered copper complements well with your faux opal pendant… can’t wait for your tutorial on this one. Many thanks. ~Meredith-F

What a gorgeous pendant – another amazing technique to learn and look forward to! ~DJ

My mom and I have made faux opal in the past, it was actually on glass ornaments, but I would love to see your technique as that cabochon is spectacular! ~Shannon-L

Thanks for the heads up about the Buffalo Snow. The opal looks great and I love the way it is on top of a diamond shape, the copper looks great with it all. ~Anna-S

So is everyone still on board with the idea of learning how to make some amazingly authentic looking faux opals? Is there anything specific about opal making techniques that you have always been wondering about? Any one got an good opal stories to share? Let me know in the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Sue F, 25 February, 2010

    Faux gemstones are fun in their own right as well as for the things you can do with them that are just not practical with the real deal.

    I haven’t made faux opal before although I’ve seen a few ways of doing it, so it will be great to see Cindy’s approach too.

    The one question I have is about faux black opal. From what I’ve read it’s difficult to get a true black with many techniques that involve mixing flakes and a colouring agent with translucent clay: instead, you get a dark purple or something similar. In the past I’d thought that maybe using an opaque black core/base, with multiple layers of Kato clear medium and whatever kind of flakes were being used to provide iridescence, could be a way around that, but I haven’t tried it yet. So any tips on making faux black opals that are truly black but still have realistic beautiful flashes of fire and colour would be much appreciated.

  2. carolyn, 25 February, 2010

    So, I bought Buffalo Snow on line and what I received was a sheet of that stuff you put around the base of your Christmas tree. After searching for flakes everywhere that I could imagine, I gave up and bought a roll of iridescent cellophane wrap. Guess I’d better start cutting it up! Really looking forward to this tut, Cindy!

  3. Joyce M, 25 February, 2010

    Just two days ago I came across my package of iridescent buffalo snow while looking for something else and wondered if the time to use it was near. That’s a little spooky for me, Cindy. I am ready to go with it. Looks to be a wonderful and never ending technique.

    Hurray for the Canadian Hockey Team. What a feat for them. I don’t usually watch hockey but should it come down to them playing the US I will have to.

  4. Elizabeth S., 25 February, 2010

    Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this one!! My big ole bag of Buffalo Snow is begging to be opened and transformed into something gorgeous. The pendant in the photo is stunning! Can’t wait! Can’t wait! Can’t wait!

  5. Ritzs, 25 February, 2010

    Does anyone no what Buffalo snow is called in the U K as i would love to try this opal method with Cindy. I just love opal i have a gold ring with a large Jelly opal and it is beautiful when the light shines on it. I would love to make a pendant and earrings in faux opal bring it on Cindy woopee.

    ADDED NOTE: The “Buffalo Snow” reference link I provided in the article above references some info about Buffalo Snow in the UK. ~Cindy

  6. illaya, 25 February, 2010

    Like Elizabeth S. I ran into my Buffalo snow this past week and was hoping that your tutorial would be coming out soon. I am ready to learn how to do this Cindy. I call action for the camera crew!

  7. Lisa Whitham, 25 February, 2010

    @illaya & Elizabeth S. – Where did you find the Buffalo Snow? I’ll be able to get out again on Fri. and I really want to try this technique…

    ~Lisa :)

  8. Lisa Whitham, 25 February, 2010

    Sorry not Elizabeth but Joyce M. for my previous post…

    ~Lisa :)

  9. Joyce M, 25 February, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: Just getting caught up, Lisa. I bought my Buffalo Snow at JoAnn’s around Christmas time. I think Caroline had a substitute for it in one of her comments that might be helpful for anyone who is in need.

  10. Laura B, 25 February, 2010

    Yes, definitely! I’m mostly interested in the pale milky white ones. Looking forward to it!

  11. Lupe Meter, 25 February, 2010

    Count me in too, Cindy…been wanting to make these little sparklies.

  12. Linda B., 25 February, 2010

    I have been waiting for the opal tutorial. I love fire opals with the red and orange colors. I’m ready to go…

  13. Freda, 25 February, 2010

    If you didn’t pick up some Buffalo Snow at Christmas time, I think the Arnold Grummer flakes are similar to it. They would be more expensive but I don’t think too bad. I’m looking forward to the tutorial.

  14. Linda K., 25 February, 2010

    I’m ready! I got 2 bags of Buffalo Snow and when I was organizing my studio the other day, I was hoping this tut was coming soon..

  15. Laurel, 25 February, 2010

    I missed the heads up on the Buffalow Snow and don’t know what it is but I think I can tell from the photos. I am going to see if I can locate some a.s.a.p. as I love the look of these and would love to learn how to do them. Thanks Cindy.

  16. Laurel, 25 February, 2010

    Buffalo Snow is irredescent snowflakes right? Because I did a search and it was anywhere from the snowflakes to pull apart snow stuff to this red stringy metallic stuff (like red rain you would put on a tree).

  17. Cheryl Hodges, 25 February, 2010

    Can’t wait for this tutorial.. i have my bag of buffalo snow ready to go.

  18. phaedrakat, 25 February, 2010

    That’s funny, I was just looking at some “Christmas-ey” stuff that didn’t make it into the Holiday put-away gear. Good thing, I would have been reluctant to get it out of the garage. Actually, that’s not true. I would have braved the very crowded garage in order to make these beautiful opals! The ones shown on this page are gorgeous! I’m looking forward to making them…

  19. phaedrakat, 25 February, 2010

    I forgot to mention, duh — my buffalo snow was among the things I hadn’t put away. I’ll have to decide if I want to bother taking out the extra red & green ink pads, ribbon, stray Christmas stamps, etc. Actually, the bag of snow took up most of the room in the “extras” box. If the snow’s not being put away, the rest isn’t worth taking out. Good — decided! Now, let’s make some opals! Wait — March? Sounds far away…!

  20. Mary, 25 February, 2010

    It must be said again – O Canada! Congratulations on your Olympic successes, Cindy, and a big well-done-you to all Canadians. Now about that logo, that giant stone man made of about six big pieces of stone: newbie though I am (well a claying virgin really), I keep seeing it as an impression on faux stone? bone? wood? onyx?, maybe an inlay or two, a real Canadian aboriginal art piece. Such strong design features – it could be a real stunner. Thoughts, anyone? XXOO Mary

  21. Peggy Barnes, 25 February, 2010

    THANK YOU CINDY -I have been waiting for this one. For those of you who do not have any of the buffalo snow I bought a few extra when I saw it. I only paid $2 a bag. I will have to let you know what the size it is, I forget. Also if Cindy will let me know how much is needed for a batch of beads I can split a bag up so more can be sent out. I wouldn’t think it would cost more than 75 cents to mail it here in the USA. I would have to check the cost out for overseas postage. My husband sales on ebay so he has a list of postage for different countries. I don’t want to make any money of it just get the cost of it back. My main goal if for everyone of us to get a chance to make these beautiful beads. I will ask Cindy if she will help me with email addresses so I can send this out if someone is unable to find it. Oh ya I have asked my husband and if I am still unable to get to the post office he will take care of it for me. So hopefully if I can help anyone out we will get it done.


  22. Cindy Lietz, 26 February, 2010

    Thank you everyone for your excitement over this technique! It is a little trickier than some of the other techniques I’ve taught, but the effect is worth it!

    @Peggy Barnes: Wow! Thank you to you and the others who have offered to send each other some Buffalo Snow! That is so incredibly generous of you! As far as how much you need for the project, a Tablespoon or two will have you making Opals for a long time. A little goes a long way!

    For those of you who can’t find Buffalo Snow in stores or online, Arnold Grummer Iridescent flakes (made for paper making) is an alternative as well as large flaked iridescent glitter or even chopped up iridescent Mylar wrapping paper will work.

    OPTIONAL, but very effective if you want to get the same depth of realism of the faux opals in the photos, you will also need alcohol inks and either Studio by Sculpey Bake and Bond or Translucent Liquid Sculoey (TLS). So while you’re out there getting supplies you may want to pick these up as well.

    I hope you enjoy this cool technique!

  23. Charline Ahlgreen, 19 March, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes:


    If you still have some, I’d love to buy it. I am an opal fanatic (it’s my birthstone, even) and I’ve been unhappy with the other opal treatments I’ve found for polymer clay. Cindy’s is just GORGEOUS and I can’t wait to try it myself.

  24. Peggy, 19 March, 2010

    @Charline Ahlgreen: Hi Charline – YES I do have some left and I would be happy to give you some. If you are familiar with facebook you can send me a message with your address in it there. And if needed you can contact Cindy and she will connect us. I will check back later to see how you want to get your address to me and I might even be able to get it out in the mail yet today thanks to my husband running into town later this afternoon. This being your birthstone makes it a must do tute for you.
    Uuuuggggggs, Peggy

  25. Marsha, 25 February, 2010

    Yay!!! I ran across my bag of Buffalo Snow recently (not literally – LOL!) and have been waiting for this tutorial also! Really looking forward to it, Cindy!

    I’ve also been enjoying the Olympics and learning more about Vancouver!

  26. Lisa Whitham, 26 February, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes – That is so very sweet of you to offer to send some Buffalo Snow Flakes to those who were not able to get to find any! You are another example of how wonderful the people in this community are! Someone else has aready generously offered to send me some (thru Cindy – thanks again!!!). So I’m all set. There may be others in need though and I hope they take you up on your thoughtful offer. These Faux Opal beads are just to beautiful for anyone to miss out on…

    Thanks again Peggy!
    ~Lisa :)

  27. Penny, 26 February, 2010

    Ritz – in the UK I bought some of this stuff from a local cheap store. All the label had on it was ‘Chritmas collections’ which doesn’t help much – especially if you google for it! So – I have put some in an envelope and posted it to you!

  28. Silverleaf, 26 February, 2010

    I’ve got some iridescent glitter, so hopefully that will work. They look so pretty!

  29. Loretta, 26 February, 2010

    I tried to find Buffalo Snow at Michaels, but was told they were all out. Hope I can find some online. I would love to make the opals…this is my birthstone.

  30. Phaedrakat, 26 February, 2010

    @Loretta: Hi neighbor, well sorta. I live in Riverside, Ca. Your website leads to your Facebook — looks like you’re in Cathedral City? I’m so happy to find someone here from the same county! Do you have any Polymer Clay Guilds or anything where you live? I don’t get out your way much, but I would if there was a big event or happening (of the Polymer Clay kind.) I would love to be able to meet other clayers who lived close enough to me. Like I said on another post: I’ve never even met anyone who does polymer clay. Sad, huh? I haven’t exactly exhausted all resources, though; I’ve only done online searches. If you happen to run across any information or know anyone in the Riverside area who clays, could you please let me know?

    Anyway, back to the buffalo snow: if the time draws near and you still haven’t found any, I’ll be glad to send you a baggie of snow. I have a bag from Michaels; it’s not huge, but I doubt I could use all of it. You could even wait until the last minute to ask me — it would probably get to you in one day!

  31. Peggy Barnes, 26 February, 2010

    Hey if that is all it takes if you live in US just get your address to me and I will send some in a baggie put in a regular envelope. This will cost nothing. So don’t worry about the money I just want everyone to get the opportunity to show your artistic ways with opals. Thanks Cindy for the info. I am more than willing to send overseas also if cost isn’t too much. I can figure the cost out and let you know. I have plenty and the best gift of all is giving.
    Uuuuuuuuuggggggggggs to all, Peggy
    So looking forward to this tute!!

  32. Laurel, 02 March, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes:
    Can you send me a little. I can’t find it anywhere.
    Laurel Bielec
    I don’t want to miss out on this fun. :)

  33. Carole Holt, 02 March, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: Please Peggy can i take you up on your incredibly kind offer to post me some to the .U.K
    I am unable to find any in England and all the sites i have found online are American and they do not ship overseas.if you contact me i will send you my address thanks so much Carole.

  34. Peggy Barnes, 02 March, 2010

    @Carole Holt: I would be very happy to send you some. If it will work for you and you are familiar with facebook. Go there and you can send me a message with your email address and home address and I will get the package out in the mail right away. If you are not familiar with facebook and do not fill comfortable trying it that way then contact Cindy with you email and home address and she will get it to me. Happy to help you out.
    Uuuuuuugggggggs, Peggy

  35. Phaedrakat, 02 March, 2010

    @Carole Holt: Did you see the link Cara left on the original opal project page that shows where to get Buffalo Snow in the UK? That should take you to the comment, but the website is It’s called “Snowpack” and it’s under “Sparkly Collage Products.”

  36. Phaedrakat, 02 March, 2010

    @Carole Holt: Ooops! See her new comment where she changed the order to get a better shipping price.

  37. Carole Holt, 04 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: thanks only just seen it but thanks to Peggy’s kindness i am looking forwards to receiving some from her all the way from America how cool is that?

  38. Phaedrakat, 05 March, 2010

    @Carole Holt: It’s so cool–Peggy is amazing with her kindness. She’s spending more on postage than the snow costs in the first place! But she is a giving soul; she knows that the act of giving is one of the best feelings there is. She wants to be sure everyone has the chance to make the opals. Other people are helping to get this snow out to those who need it, as well. It’s amazing to see!

    This is a very popular tutorial. It’s not even happening for 2 more weeks, yet everyone is so excited, they’re talking and arranging snow transfers on two different threads. This page, and the post from 11/26/09 that features the Faux Opal Pendant w/the Hammered Copper Bail.

    Silverleaf ordered some snow from the place Cara mentioned, and it’s on its way to her. If you end up needing more, or if your package doesn’t make it somehow, Silverleaf offered to share her snow with anyone needing it in the UK.

    Don’t forget Peggy’s tip up the page a bit about when you open your package. The snow is like glitter, and gets everywhere. I spilled a little bit here when I made my test bead, but luckily I was able to clean it up right away before it had a chance to get loose!

    Anyway, have fun. Just a few hours until Glow-in-the-Dark tutorial time. That’s gonna be fun!

  39. Peggy Barnes, 03 March, 2010

    @Carole Holt:
    Carole, I have your package ready, all but the address to go on it. I am posting a note here just in case you are not receiving my emails. 1 more day will not make that much difference but I would like to get it in the mail soon. Do you maybe have some kind of spam protection on your email where maybe it is kicking mine into your trash. Not sure just don’t want to miss you in the madness of modern computer hokus pokus. I am sure we will connect with each other soon.
    Till then Uuuuuuggggggggs, Peggy

  40. Mary, 26 February, 2010

    Can’t wait for the opal tute but meanwhile, I’m in love! Just got Vid. 016 with the Calla Lily beads! gorgeous! trawling around I found a website with such breath-takingly beautiful pics of calla lilies I thought you might enjoy it just for the eye candy and for inspiration too if you’re thinking of doing the beads. I had no idea Callas came in so many colours – four different shades of black, just for starters! Hot pinks and oranges, the Green Goddess of course and so many others. An absolute feast for the eyes and a spur to polymer clayers. And I learned a new word, too: that piece that sticks up in the middle is called a ‘spathe’. The site is here:

  41. Joyce M, 27 February, 2010

    @Mary: Mary, just visited the calla lily website you noted and it is just amazing. I’d love one of each! Nice inspiration here. Thanks for sharing.

    Joyce M

  42. Linda B., 27 February, 2010

    I think I paid a little over $2.00 each to send some glitter to NV and MI. I put the glitter in a snack baggie and then in a small envelope. I bought a padded 5×7 envelope (to be safe) and sent it that way. I could just see the regular envelope tearing and glitter coming out everywhere on everything. Wouldn’t that be a pretty sight!?!?! lol… There would be Bufflo Snow flakes all over the snow. We have had snow since Christmas. We are having a heat wave this weekend ( 38 degrees) and it’s finally melting.

    Can’t wait for the tutorial.

    Linda B.
    Kansas City

  43. Ritzs, 01 March, 2010

    Penny i have just got the buffalo snow from you it was so kind of you to post me some I now have all i need for Cindy;s project I am looking forward to it as i love opals thank you again for your kindness. Ritz

  44. Angelghost, 01 March, 2010

    You are simply stunning, Cindy.

    Ever since my parents gave me an opal as a present when I was 10 years old, I have loved these stones. I have always worn it around my neck, since then.
    I read every article about making fake ones, that I stumbled upon until now and I never ever saw one that even came close to how the real stones look.
    But your faux opals really capture the deepness and the shimmering layers.
    I would love to see the tutorial and try it out :D

  45. Phaedrakat, 01 March, 2010

    @Angelghost: Hi Angelghost! If you haven’t seen already, Cindy is going to be teaching this tutorial with next month’s videos. Here’s the link to the article that describes the Polymer Clay Library Videos for March (Vol-022).

    If you haven’t become a member yet, make sure you hurry so that you can get the videos at the member price (it works out to about $3.32/month for 4 videos & 4 A-series color recipes!) You don’t want to miss out on your Faux Opals! The first video comes out on Friday, so click on the Become A Member link and join up!

  46. Tiffany Morkovsky, 02 March, 2010

    I have been calling around to the craft and party stores looking for the buffalo flakes. Of course none of them have it in stock, it is seasonal. I did however find something I hope will work, and was wondering if you would look it up and tell me if it will work. My local Party City has an item called shimmering sparkle iridescent confetti. The item # is 166528. It comes in a 1.5 oz bag for $2.49 would you mind going to and looking it up? Thank you so much. If you think it will work I will go out tomorrow and get some. Thank you again! Tiffany

  47. Phaedrakat, 02 March, 2010

    @Tiffany Morkovsky: That looks like the stuff, Tiffany! That will work just fine — you found it! Party City, item 166528. Do you have a local store, or are you going to have to order it?

  48. Tiffany Morkovsky, 02 March, 2010

    @Phaedrakat:I have a local store, so I will be going there tomorrow to get some. I can’t wait for this tut, opal is my birthstone!!!

  49. Cindy Lietz, 02 March, 2010

    @Tiffany Morkovsky: From what I can tell, it looks like the same stuff Tiffany and everyone else looking at the Party City confetti. Great find!

    @everyone: Thank you for all the loving support you have given each other, sending fluff in envelopes and whatnot. You are the greatest group of people I have ever known!

  50. Peggy Barnes, 02 March, 2010

    I just want to warn everyone who has not yet opened their snow. It is as sneaky as glitter. Once you open it there it is, everywhere. Anybody have any clues on how to keep it under control I would be most grateful to hear about them.
    Thanks and Uuuuuugggggs, Peggy

  51. Cindy Lietz, 03 March, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: I was just skimming over the comments looking for something and I re-read your comment and laughed out loud! I picture you tearing open your bag of Buffalo Snow only to have it explode in a shower of sparkles!! I must be tired cuz I couldn’t stop chuckling! (BTW you can take a ball of translucent clay and dab it around to pick up the stray pieces. You’ll be one step ahead with your opals that way! :-))

  52. Peggy Barnes, 03 March, 2010

    @Cindy Lietz from Polymer Clay Puffy Beads: Thank you for the hint with the translucent clay. My mess thank goodness not as bad as you imagined but glad you got a chuckle. I just hope if this does happen to anyone they can also chuckle about it.

    I think Ellen Degeneres would have the same opinion on buffalo snow as she does on glitter. All I know is they are both very sneaky, once you use them they follow you where ever you go.
    Get some sleep Cindy.

  53. Phaedrakat, 02 March, 2010

    Duh, I see where you said you would “go out” to get it. Sorry! I got confused because you can order it from the website, also.

  54. Carole Holt, 03 March, 2010

    Peggy, I want to say a big thank you for offering to send me some of your buffalo snow for the faux opal tutorial. I have sent my address to you and will look forward to receiving your envelope. If I manage to do this tutorial I’ll send you a few beads in appreciation for your enabling me to participate in this lovely technique.

  55. Carole Holt, 22 April, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes:
    Now that i have had a go i am sending you a faux opal heart in appreciation for your generosity , hope you like it , i have sent Cindy some pictures so you can see what you are getting. Thanks again for enabling me to take part.

  56. Phaedrakat, 22 April, 2010

    @Carole Holt: That’s awesome! Peggy was so sweet to help so many people get “snow” to work with. I’m glad she’ll be getting a “fopal” in return. I look forward to seeing it posted. I’m glad you had success, Carole!

  57. Peggy Barnes, 23 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat:Thank you once again Phaedrakat for such kind words. I was so happy to be able to help my fellow clayers out with snow but that so sweet of Carole to send me her beautiful fopal. I know it is beautiful not only because she sent me a picture but this gift has come from her heart as well. I am so honored and I can’t wait for everyone to see Carole’s oustanding accomplishment. I have yet to tackle the fopal but after seeing Carol’s I am so inspired to get in gear and do some experimenting with my rock tumbler. If that fails I will have to call on my husband for help. I can’t wait to wear Carol’s heart fopal. I just can’t express how touched I am. I love this clay family we all have here. Thanks to Cindy and Doug we have a terrific supportive group of friends who can lean on each other when needed.
    Uuuuuuuuuuuggggs to all, Peggy

  58. Linda, 05 March, 2010

    I found Buffalo Snow on line at Ace Hardware. It was $1.84 plus $4.95 shipping. Also, their shipping is quicker than stated on their website.

  59. Phaedrakat, 06 March, 2010

    Cool, thanks Linda! I saw Ace has dark steel wire, too. I didn’t think to look for the snow. I might just be ordering from them after all!

  60. Cara, 08 March, 2010

    So if you want another use for irredescent flakes check out I haven’t tried it yet as my Snowpak hasn’t arrived yet but I found it today so thought I would post it before I lost it again ;)

  61. Laurel, 09 March, 2010

    A big shout out of THANK YOU! to Peggy. I came home from skiing last weekend and found a package with the buffalo snow she sent me. Thanks so much Peggy. You are a doll! Uuuuugggs for you. :)

  62. Peggy Barnes, 09 March, 2010

    @Laurel: It has been a pleasure to help you out. I hope you enjoy Cindy’s Tute as much as I know I will. Thank you for the Uuuugggs they always put a smile on my face.

    Anyone still looking I have some left I would love to share with you.
    Uuuuuggggggs, Peggy

  63. Katrina S, 18 March, 2010

    Just wanted to let you know that this video has kicked my butt into gear with getting into clay jewelry design.

    I’ve been sitting on the idea for a while. I was teetering the line of “no it doesn’t look authentic so I won’t try it” mentality until I saw your opals. Opals are my favourite of the delicate precious stones and I couldn’t believe how realistic your clay opals look!

    Thanks! I’m super excited about the tutorial! (All items a go here in Savannah! :) )

  64. Cindy Lietz, 18 March, 2010

    Three cheers for Peggy and her Buffalo care packages. So, so very generous.

    @Katrina: Welcome to the community and thank you for the kind words. If you follow what I teach in my tutorial videos, your opals will look just as realistic as the ones I have been showing in the pictures. Can’t wait to see how your’s turn out. Be sure to send in pics. Love your artist bio…

    “I am just a twenty-something artist in constant search of herself through her art. If forced to describe my work, it is nothing less and nothing more than the scrapings of a single mind. Sometimes raw, sometimes dark and sometimes terribly abstract. It tends to depict life as it truly is and can be: a very strange circus.”

  65. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    @Katrina: Hi Katrina, I’m so glad that you are no longer “teetering” and are all a “go” to make your Faux Opals! Have fun!

  66. Peggy Barnes, 18 March, 2010

    Cindy generousity is one of the many reasons I love this community. Not mine but yours. Helping others out is just a bonus. I am very blessed to be a part of what you and Doug have worked so very hard at to accomplish.
    Thank you and Uuugggggs to all, Peggy

  67. Charline A, 01 April, 2010

    Peggy is a wonderful person. She sent me her remnant snow (and living in Florida, I was definitely having trouble finding any – LOL) – what a kind person she is to share with so many of us!

    I can’t wait for the weekend so I can give this my first try (OPALS – I’m going to cover the world with OPALS!!!!).

  68. Phaedrakat, 01 April, 2010

    @Charline: Duh! I just “got it” about the snow in Florida! I’m not very sharp today! Getting “punked” or “April fooled” right & left hasn’t helped… Anyway, I just wanted to agree with you on what a wonderful person Peggy is. She helped so many people get their snow; what a lovely, caring lady! I hope you have a great time making your opals! Cover the world (even in places it DOES snow!) ;-)

  69. Peggy Barnes, 02 April, 2010

    Charline and Phaedrakat thank you for the kind words but I think we all deserve praise in this community. All of us enjoy helping each other in any way we can. April showers of snow this has been one eventful most talked about tute I know of. And with big big rewards.
    Uuuuuuggggggs to all.

  70. michelle, 08 April, 2010

    When it comes to sanding can you put them in the rock tumbler?

  71. Cindy Lietz, 10 April, 2010

    @michelle: There has been quite a bit of discussion on that topic in another thread. I have linked to the start of it by my name. Make sure to read all the comments below it.

  72. Cindy Lietz, 24 April, 2010


    Polymer Clay Faux Opal Pendant

    Hello to Everyone,

    Some new Spotlight project pictures that relate to the topic of this page (Carol’s Faux Opal Heart for Peggy), have just been added in another post. They were submitted by Carole-H. The link by my name will take you to where you can see them, along with a bit of a write up. Hopefully they will inspire you to achieve great things with your own polymer clay projects.

    BTW: Thanks to everyone above, who took the time to comment in this thread. Your feedback, support and engaging conversations are always such a wonderful part of my day. Although I don’t get a chance to address everyone individually, please know that I do read everything. ~Cindy

  73. Phaedrakat, 03 June, 2010

    Cindy linked to it above, but in case you missed it, here’s another link to the Faux Opal Bake and Bond Technique Video.

    I hope you have so much fun with these amazing, gorgeous Faux Opals. Cindy’s tutorial makes them very realistic! Enjoy!

  74. Annette R, 29 June, 2010

    Wow Cindy! That is all I can pretty much say in this instance. My eyes have been opened to the possibilities of working with polymer clay. Who could have thought that you can create beads and pendants in this manner? I really love my dichroic glass, but there is a lot more scope using your techniques. Attaching clasps and drilling holes through the glass is taxing, as opposed to doing it with moldable and malleable clay. Now the challenge is to source materials here in South Africa. Have you considered doing international mail order of the raw products at all if there is a big enough need for it?

    I really love your work and am thoroughly enjoying your website.



  75. Cindy Lietz, 29 June, 2010

    Welcome to the community Annette. There is a polymer clay manufacturer in South Africa that makes a clay product called Filani. You should look them up as a possibility for buying your supplies. The owners of the company were supposed to send me a sample of their product to review but the package never arrived. If you end up talking to them, but a bug in their ear from me :-)

  76. michelle, 07 July, 2010

    Im really having a tough time finding the wet/dry sandpaper, everyone only carries 400 and 600 any ideas where I can find the other sizes I need?
    I can’t believe so. calif doesn’t carry everysize.

  77. Peggy Barnes, 07 July, 2010

    @michelle: Hi Michelle from California. Can’t imagine why they don’t carry the finer grit in the sand paper. Did you try a an automobile repair shop. This is what the wet/dry sandpaper is really meant for. I got mine on ebay a couple years ago. I think I still have quite a bit of the 800 and 1000 if I do and you would like 4-5 sheets of each to hold you over till you can purchase some just send me your address to my facebook account if you have one. My account is under Peggy Barnes. I don’t mind at all if I still have plenty. Just let me know.
    Uuuuuuggggs, Peggy from Fort Madison, Iowa

  78. Phaedrakat, 08 July, 2010

    @michelle: Hi Michelle, I live in So. Cal. (Riverside) and have found wet/dry sandpaper in the higher grits at Kragen’s and Auto Zone. I’ve also seen them in a multi-pack at Ace hardware, but since they’re all franchises, it’s hard to tell what one store might have over another. (Call first and see what they have.)

    The first time I bought wet/dry sandpaper at the automotive store, I found it came in both the CAMI & FEPA (P) grades. I didn’t know there was a difference until I got it home and tried it, though. You’ll have to make sure you are getting the right grit, so Google the words “Sandpaper Grit Sizes.” You’ll find a Wikipedia article & chart that compares the two grades. That way if you end up having to buy an 800 CAMI paper, you’ll know it’s equivalent to a 1500 grit FEPA. (It doesn’t matter too much which type of grit designation you buy, as long as you use the papers in the right order, from the coarser to the finest.)

    The FEPA papers have a “P” by the number, which will help you identify the grit type on the package. I’d tell you to ask the salesperson, but chances are they won’t know the difference! I agree with your statement—you’d think that in S. CA we’d have everything! But alas, not true as far as sandpaper’s concerned… If you do come across a great supply of high grit wet/dry sandpaper, would you please post it here? Best of luck to you! ~Kat
    BTW, What city do you live in?

  79. Jocelyn, 08 July, 2010

    Cindy, wonder if this process was reversed, you could control the sparkle placement and depth shown.

    Start with a bezel mold, layer in the liquid (top layer) and let set. Then add your layers of glitter, sparkle, and thin transparent and colored tear offs of clay. Pack it all down, unmold, bake, then finish.

    Gonna try it. LOL!

  80. Peggy Barnes, 08 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Please let us know how it works, I am very interested. You might of come onto something great here. Ya just never know. I just wondered since Cindy didn’t do any sanding that should mean no B&B so how did she get the top layer of snow to stay on during baking?????
    Uuuuuugggggs, Peggy

    ADDITIONAL INFO HERE: Faux Opal Metal Bezel

  81. Jocelyn, 09 July, 2010

    The reverse opal technique, tah dah! It works!

    Used an old soap mold for a half an egg. Wet the surface down with whole layer of liquid, then waited for it to set up a little. Layered in glitter, chips, and stretched super thin layers of clay, mostly transluscent. Added a drop or two of alcohol ink. Baked it the next day unmolded in cornstarch. Wow!

    You can layer in specific patterns or areas to increase illusion of depth, and just like with the light bulb mold, the unmolded surface is just about perfect, not to much sanding required.

  82. carolyn, 09 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Did I read this right? You unmolded after letting it sit overnight and then you baked it. Was it buried in the cornstarch or just sitting on top? This I have to try. I haven’t done Cindy’s opal because of the need for so much sanding.

  83. Laurel, 09 July, 2010

    Jocelyn: That is awesome! Opens even more doors on using this technique. I still haven’t done any of this yet but one of these days, one of these days. Now we need a picture from you. :)

  84. Jocelyn, 10 July, 2010

    Yep, Carolyn. Added a little more fluid to the top before baking, but after setting up in the mold for a day with all the stuff, it popped out pretty easily. Can’t bake stuff in those plastic resin or soap molds.

    For sanding, use a fopal (Brenda, love this!) jig to make it easier on your hands. I found resting the egg on top of a plastic bag filled with air, helps cushion my hands and keep the right surface heads up for wet sanding.

    But anything would work, even making sanding stands out of old polymer clay to hold specific sizes and shapes of bezels or cabs.

  85. Jocelyn, 10 July, 2010

    Also, set it very gently on top of cornstarch to bake. Iced it as soon as it came out. Just happened to have the cornstarch baker set up and nearby, so used it.

    Tricky to get it inverted and placed for baking, you don’t want to touch the surface. When I do it again, using the standard index card.

  86. Peggy Barnes, 10 July, 2010

    @Jocelyn: Members like you is what make this group so great. Thank you so much for sharing all that information with all of us. I appreciate it so much. I have problems with sanding because of pain as so many other members here. I’m Cindy will be tickled to try this out.
    Many Uuuuuggggs, Peggy

  87. Jocelyn, 11 July, 2010

    No problem Peggie, just hope your results come out happily for you!

  88. Jocelyn, 15 July, 2010

    More late nite experimentation, lol. Pulled out an old metal soap dish that needs to be mounted in the bathroom and used it as a mold for reverse fopals. Worked great! Much easier baking in the metal mold, just pop it in the oven then into a bath of ice cubes to unmold. Caution, this makes a pretty big bead. It is so beautiful, thank you Cindy. Now, to find more buffalo snow….

  89. Patty Collins, 18 October, 2010

    Is buffalo snow and mica flakes the same thing?

  90. carolyn, 18 October, 2010

    @Patty Collins: Hi, Patty. I am not familiar with mica flakes (except for the ones I get out of the creek by my home). I can tell you that Buffalo snow is not the same as mica powder.

  91. DJ, 20 October, 2010

    Patty, the mica flakes I have are thicker, brittle pieces. They don’t have as much color variation or sheen to them either. One thing I tried a few months ago (couldn’t find bags of b. snow) was at the Dollar store. In the gift wrap section they often have iridescent, transparent bows. I bought one in a shade I liked and cut up some tiny shreds. It doesn’t take long…you don’t need too much, and one bow will last a while. You can buy a few different shades and still not spend too much either.

    Jocelyn I’ve been wondering about molds for fopals, sounds like a success! Somehow, I completely missed this thread. You should post a pic in the facebook gallery :)

  92. Phaedrakat, 21 October, 2010

    Oooh, yeah! I’d love to see the molded “fopal” too! Smart idea there, Jocelyn! Also, another great idea by DJ…to cut up iridescent bows, ribbon, etc. when you can’t find Buffalo Snow. Still — the holiday season is approaching, so we can start watching for “snow” again. It’s a seasonal item, so it should be making it’s way into your local JoAnn, Michael’s, etc. Watch out for it… remember, Buffalo Snow can look like any of these packages shown at the following link: Buffalo Snow Packaging

  93. Jocelyn, 23 October, 2010

    Sorry folks, no pics of reverse fopals. But reversing the steps into a metal or silicone mold should work pretty well once you work out all the kinks.

    It doesn’t have depth like Cindy gets, but, enough so I am thrilled with the results, especially the limited sanding.

    In the home, the only mold I have found is the metal soapdish, though last nite I looked at tablespoons, teaspoons, and those small ladles for gravies. Hmmm.

    Start slow with the liquid, line the bottom, let it set up overnite, then line it again before adding the rest.

    Best of luck too. Love making this beautiful substance.

  94. Phaedrakat, 03 January, 2011

    @Jocelyn: Jocelyn, I remember when I wrote the above how tickled I was by all the fun experiments and ideas you were trying at the time. I had forgotten about this…my search for Peggy’s “snow business” led me to the above posts. I had to laugh again as I pictured you “sneaking” about… Hope the New Year brings you great joy, health, & happiness!

  95. Phaedrakat, 26 October, 2010

    I love the way you approach claying experimentation, Jocelyn! When I read your exploits, I mean comments…I imagine you searching your home for your next project (using the classic “sneak” pose — tippy-toes, arms up in front, hands pointed, as if holding ‘imaginary pencils’ — you get the picture.) You creep up on unsuspecting household items, and then snatch them up for clay use — disregarding their original purpose with no thought for their feelings. The gravy ladle never had a chance…DID it? Tell the truth… Of course, there are no photos…you wouldn’t want to incriminate yourself, now, would you? ;D

    Okay, I’m kidding of course. I know you don’t adopt the sneaking pose, do ya? But I love how you come up with cool ideas…you’re always throwing some ‘out there’ for others to take hold of. I like this reverse “Faux-pal”…using a mold to reduce the sanding seems incredibly helpful. I just came across the perfect old finding/wanna-be mold…I think. I’ll have to give your method a try & see if it works for me…and also how much depth is possible this way. Thanks for sharing your fabulous imagination…you’re awesome!!

  96. Jocelyn, 21 April, 2011

    Great thread, thanks Kat. LOL!!!!

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