Cat’s out of the Bag… Polymer Clay Turquoise Secret [Spotlight]

Turquoise Polymer Clay Jewelry by Catalina “This is one
bead you won’t
have to sand.”

These “Spot” features are for you guys to display your accomplishments, share stories of inspiration and even ask for assistance with challenges that you may be experiencing. The projects are based on techniques learned from articles here at the blog, as well as from tutorials at the Polymer Clay Video Library. My hope is for these “Show and Tell” features to help everyone get to know each other a bit better, thanks to this wonderfully artistic medium of polymer clay. And… by participating, you can win some beads too!

Turquoise Polymer Clay Jewelry by Catalina

Hi Cindy,

Here is my CATALINA Turquoise “Secret” that several people have asked for in a discussion over at this Faux Bone post! I wasn’t trying to make a “real” looking turquoise stone, but a turquoise “colored” stone made out of polymer clay.

CATALINA TURQUOISE – core bead color: Use one fourth of a block of clay as a base to measure from.
1/6 Sea Green (Premo)
1/3 Turquoise (Premo)
1/3 Turquoise (Sculpey III)

Marbled Square for Texture

Catalina Turquoise
Black (Premo)
Green Base – 3 parts Sea Green, 1 part black, 1 part yellow (all Premo)

Layer all the colors with black on top. Cover the black with a layer of gold leaf or Variegated Green Leaf. Cut in half and place on top of one another. Add another layer of gold leaf. Cut in half again and stack them again. Take a small knitting needle, pencil, toothpick or anything narrow and press holes into the square. Squeeze the clay together to close the holes and make it square again. Repeat the holes with the knitting needle and squeeze together again.

Then twist and pull the clay to swirl the colors even more. It will look like a marbled swirl with flecks of gold. Stop when you feel you got enough of a marbling effect. Now, mold it into a square cube. Using your craft blade, slice extremely thin “chips” or “shavings” off the block of marbled clay. (For best results let the clay rest or cool for a day or place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes until chilled.) Make them as thin as you can and irregular in shape and if necessary use the blade to chop the pieces even smaller.

Make a core bead of the Catalina Turquoise and place the chips or shavings lightly on the bead. Try to keep the bead bumpy or textured with the pieces. This is one bead you won’t have to sand!

Thanks, Cindy, for letting me share my little secret to my Catalina Turquoise Beads.


If you are interested in sharing pictures of your polymer clay projects with the community, please follow these 2 simple steps:

1) Email several of your photos to me as attachments. My email address is shown in the “From” line of the weekly Polymer Clay Newsletter that gets sent out each and every Friday morning.

2) Include a description and/or story about your pieces, being sure to reference the tutorial(s) or blog article(s) that provided at least some level of inspiration for your work.

Don’t be shy. Everyone is VERY friendly here.

In the comment section below, please do compliment each other; Offer encouragement; Ask questions about the techniques used; And in general… be social. This is your community! It’s up to you to make it a fun and supportive place to hang out. All of you are amazing and it’s wonderful to have everyone here!

I can’t say enough about how much fun and inspiration this site has been. My joy each day: a new photo showing pieces from other members. ~Koolbraider

** Did You Know… Members with current subscriptions to the weekly tutorial videos are always entitled to a 10% discount when purchasing 6 or more back issue packages in a single transaction. If you are interested, let me know which back issues you would like and I will send further instructions on how to complete your order.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Ken H, 14 April, 2010

    Beautiful, the technique sounds like Mokume Gane(sp) a bit, I love the pendant in the “spot” photo. I love doing the Faux’s and how “sometimes” we can improve on nature. Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

  2. Elizabeth S., 14 April, 2010


    These pieces are exquisite! I love the color of these stones and the presentation of each is so beautiful. Is the base piece in the top photo pc? Can’t wait to try Catalina turquoise. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work.

    Elizabeth S.

  3. DJ, 14 April, 2010

    These pieces are stunning Catalina, wow! I love the name you’ve given this technique – Catalina turquoise – so exotic. Although you mentioned no sanding, did you coat them with anything? It’s so great to be able to make these too, thanks for sharing!

  4. Sue F, 14 April, 2010

    A great technique with a beautiful result, Catalina! I really like how you’ve taken aspects of quite differing techniques and combined them into something unique and your own. I also love faux stones, and can see how the components could be varied to give either more realistic or more stylized versions too. Many thanks for your generosity and for sharing your secret with us. :)

  5. Koolbraider, 14 April, 2010

    Catalina, now we have another beautiful type of turquoise: “Catalina”. After hurriedly writing down the steps I realised that I have the colors!! Now I can hardly wait to try making a few focal stones. Turquoise has always been way above my pocket book. Dilemma: do I tell folks that my beautiful turquoise is clay or just say thank you? LOL!! (I wonder what it would look like on the up-coming metal bezels?)

    Cindy, I loved seeing myself quoted. And I still feel the same, especailly after seeing the “Catalina turquoise” above.

  6. Joyce M, 14 April, 2010

    Secrets can be such fun and this one revealed surely is. Such beauty in your work, Catalina, is inspiring me to bring the color turquoise much closer to the top of my list. Its a color I love and your mix is exquisite as Elizabeth S. said. Thank you for sharing your artistry.

  7. Peggy Barnes, 14 April, 2010

    The name is perfect just like the beads. You have definately been inspired by Cindy. I keep saying the talent in this group in just terrific and it just keeps growing as the group grows. You must be very proud of yourself. I love the colors they are just so perfect. Thanks for sharing your beads which are a true work of art.Even more thanks for sharing your technique and recipe.
    Keep going you are headed for a wonderful career.
    Many Uuuuuuugggs, Peggy

  8. Maria, 14 April, 2010

    Catalina – thank you so much for sharing your secret with us. You are very generous! Your work is beautiful!

  9. carolyn, 14 April, 2010

    Catalina – Wow!!!! Now I will try to make some turquoise. I don’t have a food processor so I hadn’t tried Cindy’s technique. Until the toothless fairy drops a food processor on my doorstep, I can work with your ‘secret’ process. Thanks so much for sharing. The result is exquisite!

  10. Elizabeth S., 14 April, 2010


    I bought a used food processor at the Good Will store for less than $20 with a promise from them that if it didn’t work I could return it, no questions asked. It works perfectly for clay projects.

  11. carolyn, 14 April, 2010

    @Elizabeth S.: Actually, since most of my sales are at Nehemiah’s Wall with the money going to the church, I just asked our administrator if he’d put out the word that I need one for my clay work. Just maybe someone will have an old one that they want to donate. But, if not, I’ll check thrift stores. We don’t have a Good Will here, but if worse comes to worse, I can check some out on my upcoming motorhome trip across the country. Thanks for the idea.

  12. kalatoo, 14 April, 2010

    I hope I’m in the right place to post this…. I ws told to come hee and post my request..I am looking for core beads to make polymer clay beads look like pandora beads… Does anyone know of a place to get some reasonably priced… Cindy responded with… These cost too much for me… They are silver.. Is there any that are not silver…Thanx Lisa

  13. Bette L, 14 April, 2010

    @kalatoo: Here is a place that I found grommet style rivet inserts for large hole beads. You get 200 silver plated for inserts for $15. Go to Etse and do a search for ‘Grommet Eyelet Rivets Pandora Style Bead’ . Hope this is helpful to you. You could also do this search on Google.

  14. Cindy Lietz, 14 April, 2010

    @Bette L: Thanks for adding that resource for the Pandora grommet bead cores on Etsy! That is so awesome that there are some cheaper solutions out there. Plus I like that the core is in two parts rather than one. This way they can be removed after baking and the bead can be sanded properly without damaging the core. Then of course they will need to be glued in after sanding. I’ll need to get some of those and try them out!

    PS. Search for ‘Grommet Eyelet Rivets Pandora Style Bead’ under the ‘Supply’ tab. If you search under the ‘Handmade’ tab the listing doesn’t come up.

  15. Phaedrakat, 14 April, 2010

    @Bette L & Kataloo: Bette, you are always so good about providing info on what’s out there on the web. You are awesome, & a great resource! Kataloo, I saw that someone bought these grommets at the etsy shop — was it you? I hope so, and I hope these work out for you. If you make some beads, pleeeaase send in some pictures. I’d love to see how they turn out. Have fun claying, everyone!

  16. Catalina, 20 April, 2010

    @Bette L: Thanks for this tip for the Grommet Eyelet! I just had a few minutes and finally checked it out.

    Glad you like my turquoise tut! Show us your beads if you get to make some. Your comments are much appreciated!

  17. Cheryl Hodges, 14 April, 2010

    ‘Catalina Turquoise’ – What a beautiful name! Yours stones are beautiful. I too hadn’t tried Cindy’s method as i did not have a food processor. I love turquoise and have used some real turquoise nuggets in jewelery pieces I’ve made. I love the pendant; the pendant backing is very ornate – (is that silver clay?)and the bead caps too. Are the bead caps and spacer beads silver or just the normal ones from the bead store? Turquoise looks beautiful with silver. it’s great how you combined techniques and came up with this beautiful stone. It’s also wonderful not to have to sand it.

  18. Bette L, 14 April, 2010

    Thanks for the tut! Your turquoise is so pretty. I’ll have to try it.

  19. Lisa Whitham, 14 April, 2010

    Catalina – beautiful faux turquoise. I love the ways you have used it too. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe with us!

    Keep on Clayin’,
    ~Lisa :)

  20. Catalina, 14 April, 2010

    @Ken, Yes, it is like the Mokume Gane technique. I forgot to mention, too, that if you use old clay it will crumble and make really neat pieces when you make you thin slices. I like the beads to be very rough.

    @Elizabeth S., all the beads are made with the “core” bead recipe. Then layered with the thin slices or chips of the Marbled square. The color of the core bead is very nice all by itself, too. I’m glad you like them.

    @DJ, I did add a coat or two of Future to give it protection and shine. Not having to sand these make them fun. All the imperfections just add to the interest of the beads. I even try to make lines and creases in the beads. I have tried using crinkled up foil and pressing it into the bead to make it more textured. It makes them look even more realistic.

    @Sue F., I hope you try different colors, too! Then let us see them! I would like to try this with red! I’ve been real busy with my free lance graphics business so I have a lack of free time at the moment.

    @Carolyn, I haven’t gotten a food processor yet either. That is why I came up with this. I’m glad you like this!

    @Cheryl Hodges, The pendant is not silver clay but it did have a hole with I filled with the Catalina Turquoise stone. Bead caps and spacers are silver filigree.

    THANK YOU EVERYONE! Your comments made my day! I hope you have fun with this.

  21. Elizabeth S., 14 April, 2010

    Duh-I really need to work on being clearer when I ask questions. What I would like to know regarding the beautiful piece in the top photo is whether the part onto which you mounted the turquoise stone is also pc. I’ve been looking at it all day thinking that with the beautiful things you do that you probably made it also.

  22. Catalina, 14 April, 2010

    @Elizabeth S.: The piece on to which I mounted the Catalina Turquoise stone is silver color metal with an antique finish and is not polymer clay or precious metal clay. I should had made a mold of it and use it to make a copy out precious metal clay. I love the “American Indian” look of the piece. Thanks for compliments.

  23. Elizabeth S., 15 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Thanks for getting back to me. Such an exquisite piece!

  24. carolyn, 14 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Catalina, my dear – this is the perfect type of project for PYM II – it would retard the tarnish on the silver as well as giving a protective coat to the fabulous turquoise beads!

  25. Catalina, 14 April, 2010

    @carolyn: Right you are! I have not tried PYM II yet. I have been very busy with freelance work, inventory at work, and 6:00am start time! Doing our taxes and our two sons! Husband b-day – 4-15 Tax day! All this in one week! Polymer Clay take me away……..LOL!!!

  26. Phaedrakat, 14 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Wow! You’ve done it — shared your lovely Catalina Turquoise. It sounds much more exotic than “Jane Turquoise”. (“Catalina” gives off an island, or even a sensual vibe.) Good thing your name isn’t Ruby or Violet — people would get confused and say, “Why do you call it Ruby Turquoise when the color is blue/green?” (LOL? Yeah, not funny… ;-)

    Your pieces are gorgeous, Catalina! They’re completely different from the original set I saw in your etsy store. So creative! I also love the backing piece in the first photo. I looks great with the faux stone. Next time make a mold of it! (Like you really needed me to mention it, right?)

    Good luck keeping everything together during your busy week. And of course, take good care of your hubby on his birthday. (Wait ’til after to make him blow-dry your hair!) Thanks again for sharing your beautiful turquoise recipe. As another person w/o a food processor, this technique is perfect for me! :~D Congrats on a great spotlight!

  27. Catalina, 15 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: You are so sweet! My first name is actually “Diana” so your are right that “Catalina” is more exotic! I don’t think “Diana Turquoise” would fly. But, if I come up with a nice red version I will need a new name for it. Maybe you all can help me come up with one. So, I guess that means I better get going an create a red one!

  28. Carole Holt, 14 April, 2010

    such beautiful beads and your pendant is so unusual ,thanks so much for sharing your work.You are such a talented lady producing such a variety of profesional items you deserve to do well.

  29. pollyanna, 14 April, 2010

    Love this recipe, Catalina. Thanks so much for sharing. Your work is beautiful.

  30. Catalina, 15 April, 2010

    @pollyanna: Thank you Pollyanna! Have you tried it yet? Let us know if you did I would love to see your version.

  31. Catalina, 24 April, 2010

    Well, good news, I sold the necklace with the tear drop CATALINA Turquoise! Sad new, I didn’t want to sell it! I just may have to make another one just for me. Does anyone else feel that way sometimes? Make something you really like for yourself and then SELL it? I have easier time making custom pieces and selling them, then to make something I like for me and then selling it. Actually, I rather GIVE it a way then sell it! Does this make any sense to anyone?

  32. Phaedrakat, 24 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Forgot to say “Congratulations!” on your sale. Even though it’s hard to let go of it, you had to know someone it would get snatched up—it’s so gorgeous! Don’t worry, they’ll take good care of your baby! I’m so happy your “Catalina” Turquoise is making some $$ for you. I knew it would sell well, ever since I saw those Catalina Turq. tube beads (w/black ends) in your Etsy store! Good for you, Cat!
    ~ ‘Kat

  33. Catalina, 25 April, 2010

    @Phaedrakat: Thanks for the pat on the back. The beads you mentioned with the black end tube beads was a favorite on mine, too. My mother actually bought it to send to her sister in Colorado. All her turquoise jewelry was stolen when her house was broken into. She had some very expensive and very ornate pieces, too. Most were made by Pueblo Indians with silver.

  34. Linda K., 25 April, 2010

    @Catalina: Oh, yes. My husband says that I “hoard” my jewelry. I solve the problem by making one item as a prototype, where I usually make mistakes or decide that it would have been easier or better to do some things differently. I keep the prototypes for myself and wear them as advertising.

    Then I make one or more copies of the prototype to sell. Having the prototype to look at makes it easier to reproduce a design.

  35. Maria, 25 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: Excellent idea Linda – thanks!

  36. Catalina, 25 April, 2010

    @Linda K.: That is a great idea! Thanks!

  37. Maria, 24 April, 2010

    @Catalina, I know exactly what you mean. We work so hard at our pieces that they actually become our “children”.( I was thinking, polymer is harder than “other” jewelry in that we take such a long time to make the beads themselves, then we have to string them in a pleasing pattern. Others just buy ready made beads so they skip that step. Sometimes I think all my energy has gone to making the beads and the important putting together of the piece is a last minute hasty event!
    My girlfriend wants to see me today about purchasing a pendant I had made and I don’t want to meet with her because I love it so much !!! Not good if you want to make this your side business, eh? Ideally I would like to make 2 of each kind – one for me, one to sell – but what a lot of work!!!

  38. Phaedrakat, 24 April, 2010

    @Catalina & Maria: I know what you both mean! I, too, have a problem selling, or even giving, my “children” away. If I give to someone I know, I find myself fussing if they don’t take care of it properly! —My sister is a perfect example. She ends up with quite a bit of my jewelry, but she is so careless sometimes. Makes me mad, because I put so much work into those pieces. I no longer give her my polymer jewelry. She has to pay me for the “extra heartache” factor! The money doesn’t make it any easier though, if I find my “babies” mistreated…!

  39. Catalina, 25 April, 2010

    @Maria: Thanks! I guess my pieces are my “children”! I have to learn to not post things I don’t want to sell. But, I know it is going to a good family! :)

  40. Cheryl Hodges, 25 April, 2010

    @ Catalina – I totallly understand how you feel. I have a hard time parting with jewelry I’ve made too. And yes, with polymer clay you lovingly word to create beautiful beads and then design a piece and assemble it and you grow to love it. Right now, I’ve just finished using the crackle faux raku beads and the smooth raku I had on the ‘spotlight’ into a necklace using black steel wire and Cindy’s messy wrap technique and its so ‘me’ I don’t know if i want to sell it. i was talking to the lady at the bead store about it a few weeks ago and she said ‘Aren’t you wanting to make money on your jewelry – if someone admires what you’re wearing just sell it to them’ . I don’t hink I’ll ever be able to do that!
    @ Linda – It’s a good idea to make a prototype, that way you can maybe improve on the next one if need be and you don’t have to part with it.

  41. Cheryl Hodges, 25 April, 2010

    @ Catalina – You mentioned the bead caps and spacers were silver filigree – is it real silver or plated silver filigree beads like you get in Michaels?

  42. Catalina, 25 April, 2010

    @Cheryl Hodges: These are silver bead caps and spacers. I believe I got them from It may be hard to believe but Michaels doesn’t have a big selection of bead caps or spacers that I like to use.

  43. Silverleaf, 25 April, 2010

    How did I miss this one? Great work Catalina, they look awesome!! And congrats on the sale too. :)

  44. Catalina, 25 April, 2010

    @Silverleaf: I think you have been busy just a little bit! And aren’t you planning a special dinner for me! LOL!! Glad you like them.

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