Using Pinata Alcohol Inks For Tinting Premo Clay

Tinting Polymer Clay With Pinata Inks - Polymer Clay TutorVideo #728: In this video you will see why it takes much less ink to color translucent clay as compared to white polymer clay.

Today I am going to teach you about tinting polymer clay with Pinata Colored Alcohol Inks.

Recently I received a small selection of Pinata Alcohol Inks from Jacquard, and was testing saturation by mixing the inks into both Translucent and White Polymer clay. Seeing the samples side by side, and noticing the difference in how the pigment looks in white versus translucent clay, it occurred to me that most people may not actually understand how adding a pigment like alcohol ink, actually behaves with polymer clay.

We have been using alcohol inks with polymer clay for years. In fact I have a sample of a necklace I did for a tutorial done back in 2012, called Frosted Rainbow Flower Beads Tutorial. I used Adirondack Alcohol Inks in that project. I also have some samples of other tutorials using alcohol inks. So we know that inks in general, are compatible with polymer clay.

Up until now I hadn’t had the opportunity to try the Pinata Color Inks from Jacquard. They don’t have them in my local Michaels and I just hadn’t gotten around to ordering them online.

So I made up some sample chips and a small batch of beads and cabochons to test the colors and the saturation of the ink.

As you will see form the baked sample chips, the color in the translucent sample is much darker and richer than the samples of the inks mixed into the white clay. In fact, the sample of translucent with only 1 drop of the Pinata ink is multiple times darker than the sample of white clay mixed with 3 drops of ink.

The reason for this is because the white clay, isn’t just clay without any color… it is clay that contains a white pigment. So when the white pigment mixes with the colored pigment of the alcohol ink, it creates a pastel color. Whereas when the alcohol ink pigment mixes into the translucent, there is no pigment particles to mix with, so it tints the translucent clay whatever color the ink pigment is.

Watching the video will help you to visualize all this, much better than just reading my explanation.

So… to anyone that asks if it is possible to just buy white polymer clay, and make your own colors by adding alcohol ink, paint, powders etc. (a common questions)… the answer is yes and no.

Yes you can tint the clay to make new colors… but no, you can’t really make the same deeply saturated opaque colors that you can buy in the colored clay. You would need the same kind of highly saturated pigments that the manufacturers use, along with lots of patience and experimenting to get the right formula figured out. And by then, it would be much more expensive and much harder to do then just buying the opaque colors of polymer clay.

Using the inks on the outside is a completely different story though, which will need to be told on another day.

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… Tinting Polymer Clay With Pinata Alcohol Inks … the Subscribe Button is right near the top of that YouTube page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor
  1. Sareana V, 04 April, 2016

    Have you tried Copic Re-inkers with Polymer Clay? Just wondered if the re-inkers is more concentrated than other alcohol inks and if it will affect the colour of the clay.

  2. Cindy Lietz, 05 April, 2016

    Hi Sareana, although I haven’t tried the Copic Re-inkers, I have used Copic Markers with polymer clay and it is compatible… therefor the re-inkers would be as well. As far as how concentrated it would be against the other alcohol inks, that I do not know, because I have not done any side by side comparisons of them yet. Something to add to the list though. Do let us know what you think, if you end up trying them yourself.

  3. Fran V, 12 April, 2016

    The article linked to below, in Harriet’s comment, says you can buy empty Copic markers and fill them with Liquitex Acrylic Ink with which you can then draw on polymer clay. I don’t know about mixing acrylic ink with the clay, it would be more opaque than alc inks, but it might still be interesting to experiment with….

  4. Cindy Lietz, 12 April, 2016

    Yes I agree it would be something to test alright! I’ll add it to the list!

  5. Tina Barry, 06 April, 2016

    Hi Cindy,
    Just wondered what the effect of using alcohol ink with Premo” pearl” would look like? I’m new to this form of medium and LOVE it!!! Just started watching your videos almost 24/7 and there is so much to learn but you have definitely made the learning curve easier! Also just want to say I went from a toaster oven to the Convection oven and think it’s a must for everyone. So much easier and have no worries with burning. Thanks for all your good energy and great tutorials!

  6. Dixie Ann, 07 April, 2016

    Tina, best way to see this is to make a sample. Play around and see what you can come up with. All of the inks are compatible with Polymer Clay.

  7. Harriet Russell, 08 April, 2016

    Love the look of the thin translucent clay with the dye inks. Some day I want to make something like the string of disks you have sitting next to you!

    I noticed one thing, however, which is that you talk about pigments in the dyes. Dyes do not actually contain pigments, as I’m sure you know, but I realize that’s kind of beside the point in this video, and too much to explain.

    Here’s something I found that people might find interesting about dyes and pigments.

    Thanks for doing all these tests, so we don’t have to! …Harriet

  8. Fran V, 12 April, 2016

    Harriet, what a great article, thanks!


  9. Cindy Lietz, 12 April, 2016

    You make a good point Harriet, about the difference between Pigments and Dyes. You are right I should have referred to the alcohol inks as dyes rather than pigments, that was a mistake on my part. And you are also correct that sometimes a short video can’t explain all that there is to explain in the limited time. This distinction is something that I should delve more into in future videos. Thank you for bringing up that point and for passing along the link to Ginger’s article. It is a good one that explains the information quite clearly.

  10. Lena S, 17 April, 2016

    The most impressive thing about this video might be that you didn’t get any ink on that white shirt during the demo! (;

    Thanks for all your good info!

  11. Cindy Lietz, 18 April, 2016

    That’s funny, someone on YouTube said the same thing! I wasn’t worried… I rarely get stuff on my clothes. :)

  12. Lena S, 18 April, 2016

    You are a rare breed! I would have been a hot mess. LOL.

  13. Cindy Lietz, 27 April, 2016

    Perhaps you should get yourself a HAZMAT suit, to wear on such occasions? LOL

Copyright © Polymer Clay Tutor Bead and Jewelry Making Tutorials