Columbia River Oregon – Glittery Sparkly Black Sand

Columbia River Black Sand - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #570: Roadtrip #3-02 (OR): Bring something home from your travels to work into a polymer clay project… creating memories.

Topics Covered In This Video:

  • On the spit, Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River.
  • The Columbia River is the dividing line between the State of Oregon on the South bank and Washington to the North.
  • Just had a picnic on the beach and found some cool inspiration along the shoreline / river bank.
  • Pitch black sand on the beach in ripples and patches alongside regular tan colored sand.
  • With some later research I discovered that this type of black sand is actually a combination of minerals from placer deposits that are heavy, glossy and partly magnetic. This partial kind of black sand often contains minerals such as rare earth elements, thorium, titanium, tungsten, zirconium and gemstones like garnet, topaz, ruby, sapphire and diamond. Hence the magnetic qualities and the gorgeous sparkle! Because it is heavier than regular silica sand, it only gets thrown up into the beach in heavy waves and then stays behind as the water retreats. That was why it was collected in little pockets and in ripples on the beach. How cool is that!?
  • You can mix sand into translucent clay as an inclusion.
  • This black sand would look cool on the outside of a polymer clay bead.
  • It could be mixed with liquid polymer clay (TLS) to make a realistic grout for Micro Mosaic Polymer Pins.
  • Would be great added to the paint in the Faux Turquoise Technique.
  • When you are out on a vacation or enjoying yourself out there in the world, see if you can bring back something from the trip to use in your polymer clay creations.
  • Driftwood, sand, pebbles, beach glass, are great mementos and additions to your polymer clay projects.

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.

Oh and don’t forget to give these videos a Thumbs Up click at YouTube if you are enjoying them. The more Likes a video gets, the higher it rises in the searches. And that means even more people will be able to join in on this polymer clay journey of a lifetime.

Also, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel directly, you will receive notifications as soon as new videos are uploaded. To subscribe, click here… Polymer Clay Ideas – Columbia River Black Sand (Oregon) … the Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Jocelyn C, 18 September, 2014

    Love that sand and all your ideas. As an East Coast ocean girl, a couple of cautions.

    Dark sand may contain organic inclusions that might give off an odor later on, make sure you rinse it thoroughly in bleach, even soak it a couple of days, before you add to poly clay.

    Dark sand here contains magnetite. Thomas Edison tried to start a recovery operation here, since all you need to do is drag a magnet through the darker sand, and it comes up with magnetite (iron) clumped all over it.

    Never be tempted to use an acrylic roller or your pasta machine to run through sand mixed into poly clay. It scratches and might gum up the works of the machine.

  2. Diane Klinkenberg, 02 November, 2014

    I’m thinking about having a chess set made of polymer clay. Will the pieces hold up with a lot of use and also would they break easy


  3. Cindy Lietz, 04 November, 2014

    Hi Diane, it depends on who makes it, what brand of polymer clay they use and how they bake the piece, as to whether or not it would be durable. If the piece is made with Premo, Fimo or Kato clay, is made so that any appendages are well adhered and is fully cured for a full hour (40 min for Kato) then it should be plenty strong enough to last you for years.

  4. JaniceA, 10 November, 2014

    Hi Cindy…

    I have made a few projects and am learning more and more through your
    tutorials. I have a question. I don’t know if I’m baking long enought or
    what. I bake my clay items at appx 265-275F for about an hour and ten
    minutes. Is it typical, after sanding/polishing/glazing, for the
    finished project to be easy to make a fingernail dent in the clay? Does
    is never get rock hard? If not, is there a way to make it harder? I
    think I saw you touch on this in a video, but I don’t remember which
    one. I searched through your search box, but probably am not using the
    right wording. I have made some cabochons for ring mounts that I can
    sculpt really well. But after sanding and polishing and glazing, they are
    still susceptible to marks. Help!!!!

    Janice Armistead

  5. Cindy Lietz, 14 November, 2014

    Hi Janice – This video will helpful for you…
    Should Polymer Clay Still Bend After It’s Been Baked?

  6. Carrie Cote, 31 March, 2015

    Oh my gracious yes!
    I’ve JARS and jars of sand from all my trips to the Caribbean, but haven’t been even THINKING about what I can utilize it with when coupled with polymer!
    I feel so foolish, and so INSPIRED!

    Thank you Cindy!
    (and just in time, my honeymoon is in Oregon no less! XD )

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials