Kato Polyclay Color Recipes | Blue Hosta Palette [Sue-F]

Blue Hosta Kato Polyclay Color Recipes1A: BlueHostaBlossom
2A: Cafe-o-lait
3A: Stone Hearth
4A: Bitter Chocolate

We have the most awesome people around here! Sue Fisher, from Australia, has submitted some more Kato Clay color recipes for you guys… this time based on the Volume-015 A-series, Blue Hosta Color Palette. I originally presented this series back in July’09 using Premo Sculpey clay to mix up the 4 custom colors.

Here’s another Kato Konversion for you. This is my adaptation of your 015-A Blue Hosta Palette, which is probably my favorite out of all of the palettes that you’ve posted so far. I used Premo scraps that could be blended into similar colours, plus a deep purplish-blue and a teal for accents, when I played with the right-angle triangle kaleidoscope canes you recently featured.” ~Sue-F

015-1A Blue Hosta Blossom

  • 1 part Ultra Blue (Kato)
  • 5 parts Violet (Kato)
  • 1/4 part Black (Kato)
  • 14 parts White (Kato)

015-2A Cafe-o-lait

  • 8 parts Brown (Kato)
  • 4 parts Violet (Kato)
  • 1 1/2 parts Black (Kato)
  • 8 parts White (Kato)

015-3A Stone Heart

  • 8 parts Brown (Kato)
  • 3 parts Violet (Kato)
  • 4 parts Black (Kato)
  • 3 1/2 parts White (Kato)

015-4A Bitter Chocolate

  • 8 parts Brown (Kato)
  • 3 parts Violet (Kato)
  • 2 parts Red (Kato)
  • 6 parts Black (Kato)

I’d be curious to know what people think about fractional parts in colour recipes. I generally avoid them in the recipe representations I write down for my own use because it’s more precise to stick to whole numbers. Cutting fully-consistent fractional parts is fiddly, even with square cutters where it’s less awkward than with circles and other shapes. However, that means that some of my for-Sue-use-only formulas are written with VERY large numbers, so for the recipes that I’m sending in I’ve given myself general guidelines along the lines of not going over 12 parts if possible, but never using a fraction smaller than a quarter. Reasonable? ~Sue-F

I think Sue’s approach for managing the fractional measurements is reasonable. In fact that is exactly how I try to work out my recipes, though sometimes on the lighter colours it can be tricky keeping the fractions large without the other amounts getting quite large. Especially if you’re adding a dominant color like Alizarin Crimson.

But what do the rest of you think? Would you rather have a larger number of parts so that the fractions aren’t too tiny? Or would you rather have smaller number of parts which means some of the fractions might be quite small as well? I too would be curious how you all felt about this.

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]


Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor

  1. Cara, 27 February, 2010

    Thank you for taking the time to share your recipes, I look forward to trying them out. I have just swapped to Kato clay from Fimo so will have to do lots more colour mixing due to the more limited colours available. I am not an expert in colour (although I am working my way through Maggie Maggio’s book so I hope I will be soon ;) so it is useful to have some recipes to get me started. I hope to be able to share some recipes back one day.

    With regards to parts and fractions I don’t mind halves and quarters as they are fairly easy to measure out. I guess if people don’t like them they can scale the parts up.

    How do people measure parts? I am using a sheet of clay and a square cutter at the moment but I am sure some of you other clayers have better ways…

  2. illaya, 27 February, 2010

    Cindy & Sue; Great question! Worth pondering on and checking myself how I work before jumping in with an answer. I know I dislike recipes that will call for a smidge of a color. I guess I am more literal and way to Virgo to be able to accept a smidge. I also don’t mind the use of fractions like 1/2 block of gold with 1/4 black. When I mix colors I tend to translate into those portions. But then if I want a color to come out exact as the recipes states I would go with small number parts. If the camera was on me right now you would see me scratching my head on this one.

  3. illaya, 27 February, 2010

    Sue it may also be useful to now what size of a cutter you may be using. Are you basing your parts on a 1 inch cutter? Opps you are an Aussie so it most likely is a metric size cutter.

    It certainly is great of you to share your color discoveries with all of us.

    I suppose one day we will have a contributor that will offer Prado or Studio colors with Cindy. It is amazing how fast polymer clay is evolving in the past 2 years.

  4. Phaedrakat, 27 February, 2010

    “Parts is parts.” What is that from? A movie, or a commercial, or something. Ooh, a commercial ad. (I think.) I’ll have to look it up. But what I mean is, the user can write the recipe down the way they want to use it. If they don’t like the fractions, they can do the multiplication. If they can’t, or don’t want to, they can leave a comment (I’ll be glad to “do the math”, or if Sue F. already uses big numbers in her recipes, then she probably already has the recipe proportions written down without fractions.)

    Thanks, Sue. You really are generous in re-creating these palettes with Kato. I can’t make use of it yet, but I know this must be a life-saver for the Kato users who (Not to mention all the experiments you do with baking times and temperatures, testing strength, etc.) What a gal!

  5. Phaedrakat, 27 February, 2010

    Ooops,I was changing my 2nd paragraph when I accidentally hit the submit button. I was babbling, anyway, but mostly I was just saying, “Thank-you, Sue!” [I was actually trying to say something about how happy the Kato users must be who’ve watched the Premo recipes being posted all this time, but not wanting to go through all the work (that Sue’s doing) to make them with Kato!] Yeah, babbling!

    BTW, I googled “Parts is Parts” & remembered — it was from a Wendy’s ad. (In the 80’s, but it doesn’t seem THAT long ago.) It had something to do with how Wendy’s chicken was real breast meat, but the competition used pressed chicken “parts”. It got drilled into my head at the time, but seems pretty stupid now!

    Wow, if Illaya is reading this, she’s really scratching her head now…

  6. Lisa Whitham, 27 February, 2010

    Once again I thank you Sue. You’re so great for doing this. I will use these color color palettes, knowing how much work you’ve put into them and will forever be grateful. Oh how I appreciate you sharing with the rest of us who aren’t as good at color mixing!! (That would be me… *lol*)

    Oh, and I don’t mind the fractions… I too use a square cutter for measuring too.

    Thanks again Sue!
    ~Lisa :)

  7. Jill, 27 February, 2010

    When should I use Kato as opposed to Premo, or is it just personal preference? I’m very curious. My local craft store doesn’t sell Kato, but I usually order over the Internet anyway. Should I get some?

  8. Joyce M, 27 February, 2010

    Cindy and Sue, I don’t find a problem with the 1/4 or 1/2 part of a recipe and I use different size cutters depending on the size I want to end up with. I really have a problem with the “smidge”, “bit” or “tad” though. Even a 1/8 or 1/16 is better, that I can see. All those other terms can be different in the eye of the beholder. So if I have to have 12 parts, you know I am using a smaller cutter for this recipe until I know that I like it.

    Sue, thank you again for your generosity in providing more colors. It will be a while before I get to use them as my stash of Kato clay is not as much as I had thought. We can’t buy it locally so will have to add that to the next online buying. I am adding your colors to my file though and looking forward to using them and getting to know Kato clay as well.
    Thanks again.

    Joyce M

  9. Lisa Whitham, 27 February, 2010

    @Jill – It’s mostly a personal preference. Kato is great for making canes. Some people find it difficult to condition, but they are working on a new formula to make it easier. I sure hope they don’t make it too soft! (I’m a Kato person myself.) Anyway, it all depends upon what you like… :)

    ~Lisa :)

  10. Jill, 27 February, 2010

    @Lisa Whitham: Thanks, Lisa! It’s always fun to experiment. I think I’ll get some.

  11. Peggy Barnes, 27 February, 2010

    Sue you are indeed a kind person willing to give up your time to do this for so many. I have been spending some time on the internet lately more than usual. Watching tutorials on canes. I have become obsessed with canes in the last 2-3 mos. I use Kato in my cane work so I am sure I will be able and even try to use these beautiful colors.
    Thank you so much Sue for tweaking Cindy’s recipes into Kato.
    Thank you Cindy for the original color you and your hubby.
    Uuuuuggggggs to all, Peggy
    Oh I have been doing at home therapy and hope to be back in my studio by the middle of next week. It has been almost a month since I have worked with my PC………Yep I’ve gotten the PC withdraw and it gets worse every passing day. To those of you who pray would you mind asking God to help me find the strength needed to get me up and going again. God Bless you all, Peggy

  12. Lisa Whitham, 27 February, 2010

    @Peggy – I’ll pray for you Peggy. And I sure hope you are able to get back to claying real soon..!! When I’m not up to claying I like to hold finished pieces in my hands…

    I hope you are feeling better soon!
    ~Lisa :)

  13. Cheryl Hodges, 27 February, 2010

    I use a small cutter so i’ll go with parts; makes it easier.

    Thanks so much Sue for the recipes.

  14. Sue F, 27 February, 2010


    Sorry for the delay in replying… I’ve been out of town and didn’t take a computer with me.

    The question about parts was really whether you prefer to work with recipes expressed only in whole parts, or if you’re all OK with fraction parts too. And if the latter, how small.

    For example, if we had a hypothetical recipe like the following:

    10 parts Colour 1
    1/8 part Colour 2

    we could also express it as:

    20 parts Colour 1
    1/4 part Colour 2

    which would be how I’d currently write it for sending in to Cindy. Halves and quarters are quite easy with my square cutters because I just cut from point to point across the diagonal, but there isn’t such a precise reference point for going smaller than that. However I didn’t like any kind of fractions at all when the only small cutters I had were round!

    For my own colour chips I’d express it using only whole parts, because I’m really fussy about precision (a couple of my square cutters have one edge that isn’t 100% straight, and the smallest don’t have nice sharp corners for lining up cuts against):

    80 parts Colour 1
    1 part Colour 2

    I don’t expect anybody else to have the patience to count up to that many parts though! ;D

  15. Sue F, 27 February, 2010


    I found the Kato colours to be quite logical to mix because they’re nicely spread across the spectrum. Shades of Clay also have an EXCELLENT Kato colour mixing chart:


    As always, the colours you see on the screen or a even colour printout are only approximate. I made the whole chart up as a reference set, which is a handy starting point when I want to mix a specific colour, and also gave me a really good feel for how the colours behave (e.g. their relative strengths). Even making a few up would probably be a good help because you could use them to calibrate the onscreen/printed appearance of the chart with your selected real life samples

    For measuring parts, I usually roll my clay on the thickest setting of my pasta machine and use square cutters too, picking a square cutter size that will give me the correct amount of clay once I’ve got all the parts for the recipe together.

  16. Sue F, 28 February, 2010


    I too have to have numbers in my recipes! My own convention is that when colour recipes call for a “smidge”, “hint”, “touch”, etc. of a colour, I use 1/32 of a part. At least that way I can reproduce the colours on my colour chips precisely, even if it’s not 100% the colour that the original recipe author intended.

    I use different size cutters depending on how much of the mixed-up colour I want. Most of the time I use square cutters in the range of 15mm to 30mm. However, when I’m working out a recipe I use TINY round cutters — less than 5mm across — because that makes it easy to add extra bits of whatever colours I think are needed without using up a large amount of clay in the end.

  17. Sue F, 28 February, 2010

    @Cara, illaya, Phaedrakat, Lisa Whitham, Joyce M:

    Thanks for letting me know that you’re OK with the fractions. :)

  18. Sue F, 28 February, 2010

    @Joyce M:

    I can’t buy Kato locally either… I do know of one place in Sydney that stocks it, but it’s a long way away from where I live and not very convenient for parking. So I buy Kato online too, sometimes from Melbourne… and sometimes from the US! I do the same for the Premo that I have too, although I don’t keep huge quantities of that. Interestingly, the only polymer clay I can buy locally is Sculpey III (which I dislike; apart form the strength issue, even Premo is too soft for me) and Fimo (Soft, Effects, and a partial range of Classic), and out of the “common” polymer clay series they are the two that I’m least familiar with!

  19. Sue F, 28 February, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes:

    I hope you’re back in your studio, claying happily, as soon as possible! Best of luck to you. :)

  20. Sue F, 28 February, 2010


    I agree with Lisa Whitham that the use of Kato, Premo or any other brand of clay is mostly a matter of personal preference.

    I like the strength and handling characteristics of Kato, but some of the things I like are the exact same things that some people dislike! LOL

    If you want to mix up deep saturated metallic/pearlescent colours but don’t have Kato Concentrates, Premo is better, however. The coloured pearl clays (red, blue and green) mean you don’t need to add as much ordinary clay, so you retain more of the mica shift when you’re mixing strong colours (although Kato seems to have a higher proportion of mica than Premo to start with). And the darker colours like Alizarin Crimson and Ultramarine Blue let you mix dark colours without having to add black to counteract the lightening effects of (say) a pearl base, do you don’t desaturate your colours (unless you want to). The most excellent thing about polymer clay, however, is that you can mix the brands according to what you require, and get the best of all worlds!

  21. Jill, 28 February, 2010

    @Sue F: Thanks for your response. I can’t believe how much I learn when I come here.

  22. Sue F, 28 February, 2010


    I should read these in order rather than jumping around, shouldn’t I? LOL

    Anyway, you sound like me. I like whole parts too — although even I admit that they’re a bit tedious when you’re getting into the hundreds! — and often scale fractions up. Thanks for your feedback! :)

  23. Silverleaf, 28 February, 2010

    I tend to scale fractions up to whole numbers too, mostly because I only got square cutters fairly recently so it’s been hard to cut a perfect half or quarter of my round “parts”.

    I also had it drummed into me at school when studying maths that when you’re expressing a ratio, you can either make everything integers (whole numbers, e.g. 4 : 3 : 2 : 1), or call your largest number 1 and write everything else as a decimal (e.g. 1 : 0.75 : 0.5 : 0.25). Or you could express as percentages. Nothing else was allowed! And I can’t seem to get that idea out of my head, lol.

  24. Peggy Barnes, 01 March, 2010

    Sue, Thank you for the well wishes and asap return to the studio. I am really eager to get back.

    Lisa I am grateful for your prayer and I love the idea for holding finished beads in my hand. Made me feel warm and at home and it also gave me a feeling of peace. For the first time since my last flare up I feel very hopeful,
    God bless this clay family and all the warm and fuzzy feelings you get for being a part of it
    Love and Uuuuuggggs to all……………………..

  25. Phaedrakat, 01 March, 2010

    @Peggy Barnes: I’m so happy that you were able to get that “hopefull” feeling, and that you are getting closer to being able to get back to your studio. I know how it feels coming back from surgery, and having so many things you want & need to do. Being unable to do them is awful, but please know that we are thinking of you, and wishing you the best. You are such a sweet lady, I pray you are feeling up to claying very, very soon! (I also pray you’re getting lots of Uuuuuggggs from your loved ones!)

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