Faux Raku Polymer Clay Techniques – Videos Now Only 2 Weeks Away

Faux Raku Polymer Clay

Finally… The Tutorial Series that So Many of You Have Been Waiting For:

Six months ago, I came up with some unique approaches to creating raku-like effects on polymer clay beads. But rather than publishing tutorials right away, I decided to post a series of pictures and articles here at the blog, as a way to introduce¬† these new and innovative ideas. I’d not seen anyone demonstrating them elsewhere. And still to this date, no one has stepped forward claiming any sort of precedence.

So… I guess it’s time to take the next step and allow all of you to benefit from my faux raku discoveries as well. Midway through next month (Jul’09) in Volume-014 at my Polymer Clay Members Library, will be the release of a 2 part video series. The first tutorial will demonstrate my smooth raku technique. And the second will focus on how to get those deep, deep crackles that many of you have been oogling over.

Shown below, are photos from the previous blog posts dating back to January of this year. Be sure to click on the article links and read the comments in each of them, to see what others have been saying:

Smooth Faux Raku Cube BeadFaux Raku Beads for Bead Jewelry Projects | Polymer Clay Techniques:
Faux Raku Deep CrackleDeep Crackle Bead Techniques Inspired By Authentic Raku Art Work
Deep Crackle Globe BeadRaku Style Crackle Beads Perfect For Chunky Jewelry Making Projects
Mosaic Raku Tube BeadMosaic Tube Bead Made With Polymer Clay Using A Faux Raku Technique
Texture Faux Raku BeadPolymer Clay Techniques | Textured Faux Raku Beads for Jewelry
Faux Raku Fish ClockFish Theme Clock Made With Polymer Clay Faux Raku Technique

If you are already a member in good standing, there is nothing more you need to do in order to see my upcoming faux raku tutorial videos. However, it would be wise to make sure and have some alcohol inks on hand… as well as mica powders.

If you have been sitting on the fence about becoming a member because you feel there is nothing new to learn here, hopefully these faux raku techniques will help to bring you around. Surely at only $3.32 per month, price can’t be what’s holding you back.

Here’s what one brand new member had to say…

Dear Cindy, I saw your answer to one of the members that asked when you will be making the video about the faux raku technique and you said it will be a part of the 014 volume. I sweared to myself that I’ll become a member as soon as you’ll learn us how to make the faux raku beads, so I had to do it! ~Andreea [Squash]

What I would absolutely love to see in the comments section of this post, is some feedback from existing members who honestly feel that my paid tutorial videos cover techniques not found elsewhere on the web or in books. Comments from those of you who have been working with polymer clay for some time now, would be especially appreciated.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Sue, 27 June, 2009

    Hi Cindy,

    It’ll be GREAT to see how you do your deep crackle technique!

    I’ve had a go at reproducing the effect because it’s so cool. (Note that I am NOT claiming any sort of precedence! It’s exactly the opposite: your photos inspired me to see what I could come up with myself.) I have a couple of approaches that work but they both have limitations.

    My first approach, which gives results that look very similar to your gold-on-persimmon pictures, is to build up a really thick acrylic paint layer in stages, then crackle it by roller or pasta machine. The trouble is that it only works with metallic paint! Non-metallic acrylic seems to be slightly flexible and won’t crackle for me (although it still gives quite a neat effect, particularly if you use two colours of paint). I thought about mixing something into the non-metallic acrylic to weaken it enough to crackle even when there’s lots of paint, but I haven’t gotten my act together enough to actually try that yet.

    My other approach is to apply a thin layer of really really heavily leached clay to a standard clay base layer, and then to sort of bend, wiggle and gently stretch the base clay to crack and flake the leached clay. This lets me do a non-metallic crackle layer, but it’s kind-of messy and difficult to control.

    So bring on part 2! :)


  2. Anna Sabina, 27 June, 2009

    GOD BLESS YOU, CINDY LIETZ!!! I have been waiting for this video but knew you would only share it when the technique was perfected. Cuz, that how you are. You make the mistakes so we don’t have to. For anyone who has not joined as a member, this is something you definetly should do. The monthly fee is minimal and you will save that amount in aggravation.

  3. Elizabeth, 27 June, 2009

    Oh Cindy,

    These faux raku beads are exqisite!!! I can’t wait to learn this technique!!
    In response to your request for feedback from existing members, I’ll repeat once again that I feel as if I have been given a gift in discovering this site. I have been working with polymer clay for some time and was constantly trolling the web for information that would enhance my learning. Granted, there are some I found useful but finding yours resulted in a shift in how I do so many things. For me, though, in addition to the amazing techinques you teach us, it’s how you teach that has made the difference. I love that I can actually sit in front of the computer and rewind the video as many times as I need to until I learn a particular step. I love that I can watch how you hold your hands to form a particular shape or about how much embossing powder to dump on translucent clay to create a d’anjou pear (thanks to you, mine turned out so cute I can’t stand it). Bottom line—I have never found a resource like this.
    (I just reread this and fear it might be a bit sappy but I am submitting it anyway with the hope that you will be able to glean from it my joy and appreciation.)
    Gotta go now-I’m sitting here with a blend of Studio Sculpy and need to rerun the rose cane, part 2. Elizabeth

    **PHOTO ADDED: Elizabeth’s adorable polymer clay pears and ‘pearlets’, along with some ideas on how to use her beads in some jewelry projects, have been posted in a Spotlight Article at this link: Pear Fruit Beads

  4. Anna Sabina, 27 June, 2009

    I don’t think it is sappy. I feel the same way and it is hard to express deep appreciation. I agree with you 200 %.

  5. Elizabeth, 27 June, 2009


    Thank you so much for your kind affirmation. You’re right-finding an appropriate way to express appreciation is not always easy. Elizabeth

  6. Jocelyn, 27 June, 2009

    K, now I have to rent a laptop from the office to catch up on all these great new (to me) techniques while my toes are in the Atlantic Ocean next week. Looks like a great series, Cindy!!! Congrats!

  7. Sue Whelan, 27 June, 2009

    What a cool technique! Of course, it’s one of about ten I’ve got lined up to try now that I finally have some time. Looking forward to the videos next month. I’d like to second the comment about value for money. Your videos are great information. Thanks so much, Cindy.

  8. Cindy Lietz, 27 June, 2009

    @Sue: Good guess, but not quite… :-)

    @Anna: God bless you back! Without people like you, I wouldn’t be able to bring any of you this information. Thanks so much for being part of this!

    @Elizabeth: I a so touched by your comment. I absolutely love sappy, I’m very much a sap myself. You have made my day! You make every long day a pleasure! Thank you!

    @jocelyn: Thanks! I wish I had a laptop so I could type to you all with my toes in the Ocean! I would probably add a Margarita or a Pina Cola… now that’s what I call the perfect workplace!

    @Sue W: Thank you! That means a lot to me! I hope you enjoy your time to clay!

  9. Sue, 28 June, 2009

    @Cindy: That’s why I’m looking forward to the real deal! :D

  10. Adrienne lindsey, 28 June, 2009

    So glad you are ready to show us your faux raku technique. It will be a pleasure to see how this is done. Thanks so much for all the time you put into this website. it truely is a great way to learn new things.

  11. squash, 29 June, 2009

    Oh my God, they are coming for real? The faux raku videos I mean. In fact I mean: Hi, Cindy! I’m so excited about these new lessons. As I see above, I’m not the only one jumping for joy and waiting for time to pass faster.
    The smooth raku technique seems wonderful, but the deep crackle raku technique must be heaven!!! Dear Cindy, are you sure you can show everything to us in just one video? I could watch four videos about that without complaining! By the way, I’m the brand new member Cindy had the kindness to quote. And I couldn’t resist to subscribe starting with the volume 013, because those little Anjou pears from last week looked so perfect that convinced me it was really the time to subscribe. The four videos I’ve watched untill now are simply so good. You are teaching a beginner how to make something new and also teaching an intermediate how to make something right. And you are giving everyone who’s watching one of your videos the desire to try that project. I’m a little delirious right now, you’d be too if you were a member at the library knowing the deep crackle faux raku secrets are coming your way in a couple of weeks! Cindy, thank you so much for sharing this innovation with us!

  12. Cindy Lietz, 29 June, 2009

    @Sue: You’ll be happy to know, you’re not terribly far off, there is just a few more tricks to the technique that really make it work well. Can’t wait to show you!

    @Adrienne: Thank you for your kind comment! You are of course, very welcome. It will be a pleasure for me to share this technique with you!

    @squash: Great comment! I love your passion for polymer clay and am thrilled that you are so excited about it! You are one of the most prolific polymer clay artists I know. You try every technique and produce tons of wonderful jewelry. For you to be so excited makes me very happy inside. So thank YOU!

  13. tina, 29 June, 2009

    Nice looking beads, Cindy!

    I don’t know whose precedence it would be as so many artists try out their own thing, but the imitative Raku isn’t really new.

    Ellen Marshall has published a crackle technique in her book “Surface Design Recipes” which was contributed by Mona Kissel…Sue Heaser’s book “Encyclopedia of Polymer Clay techniques” does as crackle effect much like this also.

    I have done a similar technique with different paints and also call it a ‘crackle technique’ in the April 2008 issue of PolymerCAFE, for which project I used Pinata, pearlex and Tempera paint.

    Raku…I published a tutorial in PolymerCAFE (Fall 2003) Raku doesn’t actually have crackle, but is actually a type of pottery that is fired at a relatively low temperature such as in a pitfire or even woodstove. It’s quite fragile, with a burnt look where the patina turns metallic blue, coppers and greens along with black. Many artists would use micaneous iron oxide along with pearlex to achieve this look for polymer clay.

    Tina Holden Crackle Technqiue

    Here’s a picture of my Crackle technique:

  14. Cindy Lietz, 30 June, 2009

    Thanks Tina!

    You’re right about faux raku not being a new concept. In fact we used to do a faux raku technique using paint on wooden surfaces about 20 years ago, so the idea is definitely not new.

    As well there have been a few people to do a raku technique on polymer clay, much like the smooth raku technique I will be showing in the first video. I do believe I bring some new twists to that particular technique however.

    As far as the crackle part of my Deep Crackle Faux Raku, unlike the other crackle versions I have seen out there, I don’t use paint or metal leaf at all in my technique, which I am quite sure is unique.

    Having done the more standard smooth raku technique, I was inspired by a Real Raku Fish that has very deep cracks in it, that my husband received for a gift years ago. I have always loved that fish and set about experimenting to see if I could recreate the look.

    The Deep Crackle Faux Raku technique I developed, came through an adaptation of the smooth technique, combined with a brand new one and lots of trial and error. I am quite sure when you see the technique done, you will agree it is unique!

  15. tina, 30 June, 2009

    Cindy, I’m sure you have people sitting on pines and needles now, lol…you’re too generous with your hints!! lol
    Trial and errors can be fun, thats how a lot of discoveries and techniques are born…that’s exciting.

  16. Jocelyn, 30 June, 2009

    @ Tina

    I love those pieces!!! I love your site. As luck would have it, I also collect sea urchins. You are on the list for beach reading, heehee!

  17. Jamie, 03 July, 2009

    Ohhh Cindy you are making it soooo hard to wait for my new studio to be done before I touch my clay!!! Im ready to break out a whip now and lay it on to get the room done sooner! One more idea and I just might go over the edge! Ahhhhhh! XOXO Jamie

  18. Maria K, 28 October, 2011

    Cindy, First of all, thank you for responding so quickly about where I could find a list of the tutes I had already purchased. But you went the extra mile and even wrote down for me the ones I needed! Thank you so much for that. I just finished purchasing 5 more tutorials that I will be viewing shortly.

    I wanted to also let you know that even though I don’t make jewelry (at the moment) I do other things where I can use the information from your classes. I make fantasy sculptures of dragons and plan on using the raku technique on one very soon. I will send you a picture when I get it done. I also wanted to thank you for all the marvelous work you and your husband put into these videos.


  19. Cindy Lietz, 28 October, 2011

    You are very welcome Maria. Please do send pics of your fantasy dragon sculpture. I’m sure the crackled faux raku will work perfect for his or her leathery skin.

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