Faux Raku Beads for Bead Jewelry Projects | Polymer Clay Techniques

Faux Raku Beads

Do You Raku? Well Now You Can Faux Your Way To Success With These Polymer Clay Instructions:

A cool thing about polymer clay is how you can combine different crafting materials to get one stunning effect. The bead in the picture is a smooth version of a faux raku bead created with white Premo clay, Adirondack Alcohol Inks, Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments, rubbing alcohol and water.

Inspired by the many techniques of Tim Holtz, I thought it would be fun to get a splotchy effect on my beads with three different colors of alcohol ink.

I dripped small dots of each color randomly on a sheet of glass and spritzed it with a 50:50 mix of water and rubbing alcohol. The water and alcohol mix causes the ink to spread in cool little droplets and swirl and mix together.

I then dipped the edges of a square bead, shaped from white Premo Sculpey clay until all the clay was covered. You do have to move fairly quickly since alcohol ink dries very fast, though the water does help slow it down.

Once the bead was inked, I dabbed a few different colors of Pearl Ex powders to bring a raku effect to the bead.

Since creating this bead I have created a more realistic version of a crackled raku which I will show you in a future post but I still very much love the style of this one and will make many more of them.

If you guys are interested, I will make some videos on this faux raku bead technique as well as the new crackled version. Let me know if the topic interests you by leaving a comment below. Your comments act like votes to let me know what you find most interesting.


Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Anne de Seny, 15 January, 2009

    tres bonne idée

  2. Cindy Lietz, 15 January, 2009

    Merci beaucoup Anne!

  3. Betty, 16 January, 2009

    Haven’t been a member long, but am anxious to see Faux RaKu and other techniques. I have been looking for a recipe to make a gun metal effect. Thanks for offering all the great things.

  4. Sharon, 16 January, 2009

    Yes! I love raku but I’m afraid of plunging red hot ceramic beads in shredded newspaper! Please share your latest discovery.

  5. Jackie Furlong, 16 January, 2009

    Thank you so much for this technique info! Do you sand the bead and also varathane to make it glossy?

  6. Lupe Meter, 16 January, 2009

    Definitely, count me in! I would be very interested in a video of this new technique.

  7. Cindy Lietz, 16 January, 2009

    @Betty: Thank you! That is great to hear!

    @Sharon: Yeah I know what you mean! Polymer clay raku is way less intimidating… no fire involved!

    @Jackie: I don’t sand this type of bead since the effect is on the surface and sanding would remove it. Because of that you have to be extra careful to make sure the bead is smooth before you bake it. I used Future Floor FInish to get the shine.

    @Lupe: Glad to hear!

  8. Karen Register, 17 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy! Love your blogs! I especially enjoyed this one as I am a big fan of raku pottery. I would LOVE to see a video! Keep up the good work!!!

  9. Cindy Erickson, 17 January, 2009

    Cindy, your bead is beautiful!!! I would love to see this technique on video for sure :)

    Cindy E.

  10. corinne, 17 January, 2009

    I would love to see how it is done!

  11. Cindy Lietz, 18 January, 2009

    Thanks for your feedback Karen, Cindy and Corinne!

  12. Adrienne lindsey, 22 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy, love the Raku style beads, this one and the sneak preview one as well. Will enjoy seeing the video on both.Thanks for all your hard work.

  13. Janine, 23 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy,
    It would be great to have a video for the Raku and Crackle beads…
    Your videos are great and I learned much from them.
    Best regards

  14. Ernest, 23 January, 2009

    Yes, please – I would love to see more on this technique, having a nice new assortment of Adirondack inks!

  15. Cindy Lietz, 23 January, 2009

    Thank you Adrienne, Janine and Ernest for your comments! Glad you like the raku beads!

  16. janice douglas, 26 January, 2009

    Hi Cindy, I hope I didn’t sound harsh about the crackle technique, I was just so worked up. I had been on my pc for 2 days trying to figure out and find a crackle technique. You are the greatest for taking the time to help others. I will wait excitingly for your crackle technique. Thanks so much for what you do. Janice

  17. Cindy Lietz, 26 January, 2009

    No worries Janice. I know exactly how that can feel… spending many hours looking online for specific answers… only to come up empty handing and frustrated.

    My goal for this blog and for the Members Library is to create a quality destination where you can find creative and trustable ideas and answers quickly. It’s a work in progress that’s getting bigger and better every day. Thanks for your kind words and support.

  18. Illaya, 13 February, 2009

    Count me in on this one Cindy

  19. Cindy Lietz, 15 February, 2009

    You got it Illaya! Thanks for letting me know!

  20. Elizabeth Kerr, 10 April, 2009

    Hi Cindy about those faux raku beads.
    Yes I would be interested in the deep crackle beads and hope you get a videoo out soon

  21. Cindy Lietz, 13 April, 2009

    That’s great Elizabeth! Will let you know when it is ready!

  22. Debra, 05 July, 2009

    Come on Cindy! let’s do this ! Rock & Roll !!

  23. Cindy Lietz, 05 July, 2009

    LOL! You’ll be happy to know Deb the faux raku technique has been filmed and is coming up next Friday, July 10th, 2009!

    See link by my name for more info.

    It’s Rock and Roll time!

  24. Bonnie B, 31 August, 2009

    Cindy, this faux raku effect is beautiful! I have a couple of questions:

    1. Do you use an UNbaked bead for this, or a baked bead?
    If it’s a cured bead, do you bake it again after this process?

    2. Are alcohol inks permanent as far as staining your fingers and the glass?


  25. Cindy Lietz, 31 August, 2009

    @Beadspiration: There is actually two video tutorials on the raku technique. If you click the link by my name it will take you to a preview clip and info on how to get the videos.

    As far as the ink being permanent and your hands and glass, the answer is no. You can easily remove the ink with rubbing alcohol.

    Hope that helps. If you have any more questions, I’d be happy to help! :-)

  26. Kit Lockwood, 21 May, 2012

    This is beautiful, and in the photo, looks truly ceramic. I’m both addicted to polymer clay and I really like ceramic beads. I’m on board!

  27. Patricia N, 11 January, 2015

    I love it. Count me in!

  28. Natalie Herbin, 11 May, 2016

    Hi Cindy
    Have you do any more Raku Crackle tutorials … I don’t remember seeing any
    Natalie Herbin. Aka Safti

  29. Cindy Lietz, 12 May, 2016

    Hi Natalie, I only have the three Raku Tutorials. The Smooth Raku (the one in the picture), the Deep \crackle Raku (part two of this series) and the Rainbow Raku Macrame Bracelet Tutorial. You can find links to all of these by using the search box at the top of the page.

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