Kato Polyclay Color Recipes | Alpine Succulent Palette [Sue-F]

Blue Succulent Palette Kato Polyclay Color Recipes1B: Succulent Red
2B: Frosted Leaf
3B: Succulent Green
4B: Forest Floor

More Kato Polyclay color recipes from Australia. Sue Fisher has converted another one of my Premo Sculpey Palettes, this time based on the Volume-017-B series, Alpine Succulent Color Recipes, which were originally presented back in Sept’09.

Here’s another Kato conversion for you. This is my adaptation of your 017-B Alpine Succulent palette. There’s less Premo/Kato variation across different lighting conditions with this palette than there was with the 009-B Pansy Flower Palette, although there’s still one recipe (4B) where the Kato conversion is lighter than the Premo under one type of lighting, but darker than the Premo under another. I’ll just have to get used to that! ~Sue-F

017-1B Succulent Red

  • 9 parts Red (Kato)
  • 11 parts Magenta (Kato)
  • 1 part White (Kato)

017-2B Frosted Leaf

  • 1 part Green (Kato)
  • 10 parts Yellow (Kato)
  • 1/2 part Brown (Kato)
  • 1/4 part Black (Kato)
  • 24 parts White (Kato)

017-3B Succulent Green

  • 2 parts Green (Kato)
  • 8 parts Yellow (Kato)
  • 1/2 part Turquoise (Kato)
  • 2 parts Black (Kato)
  • 1 part White (Kato)

017-4B Forest Floor

  • 4 parts Green (Kato)
  • 8 parts Yellow (Kato)
  • 1 part Red (Kato)
  • 4 parts Black (Kato)
  • 1/4 part White (Kato)

Blank Polymer Clay Recipe CardTo download a blank recipe card that can be duplicated and used for keeping your collection organized, click on the following link: Polymer Clay Recipe Card

A HUGE Thank You to Sue for her awesomeness in providing these Kato Polyclay color recipes for everyone’s benefit!! Please be sure to leave a comment below, to let her know how much she is appreciated.

** Index of Previously Posted Guest Recipes:
2009-07-10: Eleven Sculpey III Color Recipes [Carrie-W]
2009-08-02: Six Sculpey III Color Recipes [Carrie-W]

2010-02-07: Kato Polyclay Vol-009-B Pansy Flower Palette [Sue-F]
Kato Polyclay Color Recipes | Spice and Serenity [Sue-F]
2010-02-27: Kato Polyclay Vol-015-A Blue Hosta Palette [Sue-F]
Kato Polyclay Vol-017-B | Alpine Succulent [Sue-F]

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Lisa Whitham, 10 March, 2010

    @Sue F. – Ooooo, love this palette conversion! I love earth tones.
    On a Kato related note, Prairiecraft[dot]com is selling off the last of the “old” Kato recipe clay at a deeply discounted price. Not sure if they ship internationally though, you’d have to email Vernon and ask…
    Thanks again for the Kato conversion!!!!

    ~Lisa :)

  2. Sue F, 10 March, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: You’re welcome! This palette is even nicer in real life than in the photo. (I’m doing the palettes I like best first.)

    Thanks for the heads-up about Prairicraft selling off the last of their old-recipe Kato. I don’t really want it any softer, so I’d better grab what I can while the going’s good! I’m about to head over to their web site to check it out and to find out about international shipping. Thanks again! :)

  3. Bonnie, 10 March, 2010

    Lisa, have you used the new Kato yet? Is the smell still bad? I love Kato clay for caning but I get terrible headaches from the smell. I read Vernon’s email but I don’t recall if they said how you will be able to tell the difference between the old and the new. I wonder if there will be something on the package???? I still have quite a bit of the old stuff but can’t use it till I can open all the windows here. It’s the Kato that has to be hammered on the garage floor to condition it.

  4. Bonnie, 10 March, 2010

    Have any of you used Color Box stamp pads to put ink on your clay? I did it this weekend and the ink wouldn’t dry. I hit it with a heat gun and it didn’t dry, I put it back in the oven at 225 for 30 minutes and the ink didn’t dry. I sent an email to Clearsnap (manufacturer) and they told me to contact Polymer Clay Express. I sent an email to PCE and spoke with Wilma and she said they never had a problem with Color Box not drying. I have three of these pads and tried them all and they don’t dry. I ordered some other ones from PCE but I can’t understand why this is happening. HELP ME>

  5. Cindy Lietz, 10 March, 2010

    @Sue F: Oops – my bad. That’s what I get for trying to multi-task too many things too late at night. The info is all fixed now in the main article above. Thanks for the quick catch.

    @Bonnie: About the Colorbox stamps… Is it the pigment ink or is it a dye or chalk ink? Because that would make a difference. Also are you trying to do the lace technique? I have had that problem with die inks before.

  6. Phaedrakat, 10 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: Hi Bonnie, I have several types of Clearsnap Color Box pigment inks & never had problems with them drying. The only drying problems I’ve had have been with a super-intensity metallic ink by Fiskars, and some weird cheap stuff that came with some inexpensive stamps. Let me take a look, though, I have a few I haven’t tried yet. What color/type are you using? The ones I know work are a 12-color Paintbox set & a couple 3-color sets (Treasure & something else – blue/green tones.) I can’t remember if I have any single-color Color Box. Is that what you’re using?

  7. Sue F, 10 March, 2010


    There’s a line missing in the 017-2B Frosted Leaf recipe above.

    I’ve emailed Cindy, but if you need the correct recipe in the mean time, it’s as follows:

    1 part Green (Kato)
    10 parts Yellow (Kato)
    1/2 part Brown (Kato)
    1/4 part Black (Kato)
    24 parts White (Kato)

  8. Lisa Whitham, 10 March, 2010

    @Bonnie – I haven’t tried Kato’s new formula yet. I still have quite a bit of the old stuff left to go through… As soon as somebody tries it, I’m sure they’ll (I hope) let us know. I’m praying it’s not too soft and doesn’t pick up finger prints too easy… *fingers crossed*

    Sue F. – You have to ask for the old formula by phone or email – if you order off the site you’ll get the new stuff…

    ~Lisa :)

  9. Sue F, 10 March, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: I had to go to the web site to get the email address. ;)

    I’ve sent my email off, so I’ll have my fingers crossed too that they do ship to Australia, and that they still have some old formula left!

  10. Cara, 10 March, 2010

    Thanks again Sue for sharing your conversion (esp now we know how much work it is). I have been working on my colour mixing and am now feeling confident to try and attempt a conversion when I get a few hours next week.

  11. Bonnie, 10 March, 2010

    Cindy, the ones I have are pigment ink. One said Acid Free and the others didn’t. I wasn’t doing the lace technique, I made some pendants and did some texture sheets and cut pieces out of them and layered them over the pendants and then stamped the them with the stamp pads. Here’s a couple of pictures of what I’m doing.

    Inked and Stamped Polymer Clay by Bonnie Kreger

  12. Bonnie, 10 March, 2010

    Sue F. if they can’t get you or won’t send you the old Kato let me know and I’ll see if I can find some and send it to you.

  13. Sue F, 11 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: Thanks for your extremely kind offer, Bonnie! That’s really sweet of you and I appreciate the thought immensely, but it would totally guilt me out to put you to that kind of trouble. I’ll give them another day or so in case they haven’t had a chance to get to my email yet (or in case it got sent to a spam folder), and if that doesn’t work I’ll phone them (I didn’t do that first because the time zone difference is a bit of a nuisance, although I’m generally still up anyway), or maybe fax.

  14. Bonnie, 10 March, 2010

    Hey Phaedrakat, I’m losing it. I thought I posted an answer to you but I don’t see it. I have the Treasure with the gold, copper and silver and that didn’t dry, I have 3 other Color Box stamp pads that didn’t dry either. Can’t understand what the problem is. I ordered some Brilliance stamp pads from Polymer Clay Express. Hope those dry. I was using the stamp pad itself on the clay, maybe it’s too thick that way.

  15. Phaedrakat, 10 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: What kind of clay are you using? –shouldn’t matter, but just wondering… : )

  16. Lisa Whitham, 10 March, 2010

    @Bonnie – Pigment inks are designed to stay wet longer, so you can use embossing powders with them… Maybe that’s the problem? Perhaps a dye based ink would do better? I haven’t tried stamping with ink on my clay yet, so I’m sorry I can’t be much help. Hope you figure out what the problem is!!
    Oh, and I’m sorry your Kato smells bad, I’ve not had any that smells… Is it really old? Maybe it’s yet another different formula..?

    ~Lisa :)

  17. Bonnie, 11 March, 2010

    Phaedrakat, I’m using Premo and a little Studio Clay but the Color Box wouldn’t dry on any of them. I did Cindy’s glow in the dark spiral cane and I really like that but I put some of the glow in the dark clay in with the black and I think it looks a little muddy so next time I’ll just use the black straight. I posted some of the pictures of the stamped things I did and pictures of a bead and a heart I did with Cindy’s spiral cane at my blog [click my name link]. They really do glow in the dark and I made two canes so I’m going to make some beads today. Thanks everyone for your help with this stamp problem.

  18. Phaedrakat, 11 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: Hi Bonnie, I love being able to see your creations at your blog! I had to laugh about the little no-hole beads all over your studio floor – I’ve had the same problem. Those things are impossible to control. Your stuff is beautiful; even the “problematic” items have been made into treasures! Speaking of ‘Treasure’ – I also tried that ink on raw clay. The only ink I’ve used on cured clay is Staz-on. What’s happened to you has helped solve a problem I was having with another surface treatment – I’ll write about it later, but wanted to say Thanks! Again, pretty, pretty stuff at your blog!

  19. Bonnie, 11 March, 2010

    Hey Phaedrakat, thanks for looking at my blog. Cindy commented on my blog that she thinks the Color Box can be used on raw clay not on baked clay and that’s why it didn’t dry. I’m having some friends over tomorrow for clay day so I’ll try that with the Color Box stuff and see what happens. I’ll also let you know how the Brilliance stamp pads work when I get them. I love ordering from Polymer Clay Express because I get everything so fast.

    By the way, I just got the new DVD by Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg and it’s great.

  20. Bonnie, 11 March, 2010

    Sue F. did you get an answer from Priarie Craft? Is there a place in Australia where you buy clay? Can you have them order it for you?

  21. Sue F, 11 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: Not yet, so I’ve now sent the same enquiry by fax too.

    I sometimes buy Kato PolyClay from Over the Rainbow here in Oz, so I can probably get more old-formula from them. In the past, for instance with the change from 85g packets to 56g, they sold the older stock out first before shipping the new stock. As you said earlier, it would help to know how to distingsuish packets of the new formula from the old!

    I also buy Kato PolyClay from another reseller in the USA.

    So I’m sure I’ll be able to get more old-formula PolyClay from somewhere. It would be nice to get it at the “deep discount” mentioned in the PrairieCraft newsletter if I could, however! (And I want some other goodies from PrairieCraft anyway.)

  22. Bonnie, 11 March, 2010

    Sue, let me know if they don’t answer you and I’ll call them for you and explain your situation and see if they can help you.

    Did you place an order on the website? That might help. Also, look at the Polymer Clay Express website, they sell a lot of the same things and they are great at getting back to you right away. I order a lot of stuff from them because I like dealing with them and they try to be very helpful.

  23. Sue F, 13 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: Well, I still haven’t heard from PrairieCraft, but that’s OK. I’ll just spend my money somewhere else! A discount would be nice, but not nice enough to counteract the aggravation factor.

    Thanks also for the pointer to Polymer Clay Express. I knew they existed but had dismissed their web site previously without getting far enough to see what they stocked (it didn’t pass my “5 second professional impression” test). But I’ve actually looked further now and can see that they have all sorts of goodies that I’d like to have, and recommendations such as yours are extremely helpful (and definitely override my computer geek biases!).

    Thanks again! :)

  24. Bonnie, 13 March, 2010

    @Sue F: There is also a place called Polymer Clay Superstore and Munroe Crafts (but you have to call your order into them) they give a good discount and Boston Clay Works.

  25. Sue F, 13 March, 2010

    Thanks @Bonnie, I’ll check them out too! I think it’s just as well that I now have a whole room dedicated to my arts and crafts, because I can see myself wanting to experiment with many, many more things!

  26. Sue F, 13 March, 2010

    @Bonnie: OK, now I’ve had a reply from PrairieCraft… Just in the nick of time!

  27. cherie, 11 March, 2010

    Sue F. You are amazing! I just love getting these Kato recipes from you-gets me all excited all over again each time you send in new ones or our weekly batch from Cindy comes out–thanks to all—just about done with my beads to send pix in

  28. jamie, 12 March, 2010

    Hi Bonnie. I was doing my quick friday skim through of the blog articles, and I couldnt help reading about your thousands of beads problem. I have a quick solution to that problem. Just slip a knee high stocking over the hose of your vacuum and then poke it in a little to make a pocket inside the tube. Fasten it on with a rubber band and then suck up all those little beads without losing them inside the vacuum! Just make sure you are holding the hose upright or over a container before you turn off the machine. This has saved me endless time picking up beads. Hope it helps. xoxo Jamie

    PS Hi Cindy and everyone else. Im still here, just waaaay too busy to comment much. I still read through though. Miss you guys. xoxo Jamie

  29. Cindy Lietz, 12 March, 2010

    Hi Jamie. I’ve been thinking about you lately. Miss you too! Hope all is well with the grandkids and all the other things that have been keeping you busy. I’m am so pleased to know that you are still around, even if you are too busy to say very much! :-)

    PS – great vacuum cleaner tip!

  30. Bonnie, 12 March, 2010

    Jamie, thanks for your suggestion but these were the little no hole beads that are about the size of a grain of salt and they got stuck to all my clay that was sitting around besides being all over the floor. I just vacuumed everything. It will probably be months before I get all those little suckers out of everything. Thanks for the vacuum cleaner tip again. I forgot about that. I think I threw all my knee high stockings and control top pantyhose away when I quit work. THANK GOODNESS

  31. Phaedrakat, 13 March, 2010

    @All: Please go to Lynn Watts’ comment and let her know how much we all care about her in her time of need.

    She is grieving over her mother’s death, and needs to know her polymer clay community has her in our thoughts.

  32. carolyn, 10 April, 2010

    We still don’t know how we will tell old Kato from new, but this statement is on their website: “All Kato PolyClay in stock now is a new and improved formulation. This new formulation address the natural advancement of polymer clay. Batches were time tested for over 6 months to determine the right amount of plasticizer to halt the advancement and extend shelf life for ease of conditioning. All characteristics of Kato PolyClay have been retained. We believe you will find this new formulation a joy to use.”

    What we get from other places, I guess, could be either old or new.

  33. carolyn, 10 April, 2010

    And this info just now from Vernon of Prairie Crafts (Kato) “Any thing from us will be the new, however; if you have “give” with the clay in a package it is the new.”

  34. Sue F, 10 April, 2010

    There are no obvious packaging differences with the new “tweaked” formula, but I think you can extrapolate from what I think is the batch number. I haven’t seen enough packets of new-formula Kato to be sure at this stage, but it fits with what I’ve seen so far and what I’ve observed from the previous formulations.

    My really old stocks of the formulation that used phthalates all have batch numbers starting with IKPCH.

    My stocks of the phthalate-free formulation that replaced it all have batch numbers starting with K.

    And known-to-be new-formula Kato that I have (or have seen) has batch numbers starting with J.

    The batch number — or the number I’m talking about, in any case — is printed on the front of the 2oz/56g packs in a small font at the bottom right. On 12.5oz/354g packs it’s printed underneath the barcode. And on old 3oz/84g packs it’s printed either underneath or to the left of the barcode.

    I’m still testing the new formula, and while I personally definitely prefer the old one, the new formula is much better than I expected, and I think most people will prefer it. I might write more about its characteristics later…

  35. carolyn, 10 April, 2010

    @Sue F: Sue, You are the resident expert on Kato … how long are you to bake it. With Premo! it now says 30 min for every 1/4 inch. Kato just says to bake at 300° for 10 min. It doesn’t say anything about thickness.

    Also, I just worked with some Kato and one that started with K was nice and soft. One with J wasn’t too crumbly, but not as soft as K. Then I had one where the number was no longer discernable and it was very crumbly and required clay softener for get it to hold together. Bottom line, I’m not really sure that those K’s and J’s mean anything as far as formulation.

  36. Sue F, 10 April, 2010

    I bake at 150C/300F or slightly higher, and the minimum amount of time I ever bake anything for is 20 minutes. That would be for things like flattish earring dangles or pendants (about 2-3mm thick) and my ubiquitous colour chips. Small beads usually get 24-30 minutes, large beads maybe 40-50 minutes (e.g. for solid 20mm rounds). When I make all-polyclay bangles that are baked in stages as various layers and components are added on, the first (base) stage gets 40-45 minutes, and the other stages get 30 minutes each. Baking longer is OK — although in my testing if you bake for too long the strength actually drops off slightly — but if you have other clays involved you have to be careful about this as Kato needs the higher temperature for best strength, but that temperature can also cause other clays to discolour. For example, I use Premo Frost for packing canes since it’s much clearer than Kato Translucent, but it yellows noticeably at Kato baking temperatures if baked too long, so anything with Premo Frost bits tends to be baked at the lower end of the time ranges mentioned above (unless I specifically want the Premo Frost to turn yellow). [NB: I don’t do the more normal thing of lowering the baking temperature to Premo range and increasing the baking time because the Kato, which is always by far the main component of my work, isn’t strong enough for my liking when baked at Premo temperature, no matter how long you bake it for.]

    Baking time also depends somewhat on how well your oven holds its temperature, i.e. whether it stays very close to the designated temperature (or at least to a known temperature), or whether it cools down significantly before heating up again. I have two different ovens that I use for polymer clay, and both hold their temperature pretty well. One of them (a “big”, kitchen-type oven) has a 5C temperature variation from minimum to maximum throughout its heating cycle, i.e. if I set 150C, the oven heats to 152C, the temperature drops very slowly back to a minimum of 147C, and then it starts heating up again. The other is actually a convection microwave that I use in convection mode, and it hardly has any temperature variation at all, i.e. the oven thermometer needle doesn’t move noticeably at all once the oven is up to temperature. If using an oven with a larger temperature variation (10C or more would not be uncommon from what I’ve seen) I’d probably bake for slightly longer to ensure that sufficient time was spent at the “proper” curing temperature.

    It’s interesting what you say about your Ks and Js. I know that what I described works for my stocks of Kato, and all of it is of known formulation, but it was just a guess. I have had a couple of blocks of Kato White that were so soft that I had to leach them, and they were definitely old-formula because I bought them well before the new formula was even talked about. So I don’t think the fact that a K block was soft necessarily means it wasn’t the old formula (sorry for that horrible sentence!), but I’d agree that it would be very unusual! In any case, the Ks and Js are the ONLY visible difference between my old-formula and new-formula Kato, and if that isn’t a reliable indicator after all we’re stuffed. I’ll see if I can find out anything further…

  37. Cindy Lietz, 11 April, 2010

    @Sue F: Thank you so much for your detailed Kato info! It is always so helpful. Isn’t it funny how two products that should be basically the same thing, can have such different properties? I’m starting to see Premo and Kato as ‘two different animals’! Throw in Sculpey III, Studio by Sculpey, Fimo, Fimo Soft, Cernit and the new Pardo and it can get pretty confusing for the new clayer.

    That is why it is so helpful when you share the information that you do based on your personal experiences and testing. It makes the overall experience better for all clayers. Which means the end result will be better end products out there. Important, since we are pushing the polymer clay medium out of the Kid Toy category and into the Art Medium category.

    Thanks again for all input you share here at the blog. It is appreciated by many!

  38. carolyn, 16 April, 2010

    @Sue F: As you put it, we are stuffed! I just got several 2 ounce blocks of Kato from Prairie Craft. Remember they said that everything they had now was the new formulation … well, some are K and some are J. I guess all we can go by is Vernon’s statement that, if there is ‘give’ to it in the package, it is the new stuff. Sorry to blow your theory. Wish they had done something more visible like Premo! did. I guess were stuck with having to squeeze the packages … makes me think of the old ad for Charmin T-paper! ;-}

  39. Phaedrakat, 26 February, 2011

    @carolyn: I’d forgotten about your comment here, Carolyn — funny! Just don’t let Mr. Whipple see you guy’s squeezing the bars of Kato… ;-)

    I really hope you are feeling much, much better. I saw a comment from you awhile back, but not much since. Here’s hoping you’re feeling great, and just too busy catching up on fun things to comment lately!

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