I have tried to mix my polymer clays to get new colors but the resulting color is never what I would have expected, I guess I have to brush up on my color theory.
AgentAlmost, a lot of the problem re mixing colors
isn't with you! Most polymer clays are not
"pure" colors, and often contain other bits of color (which may not be obvious) and which can tone down your colors or keep them in a certain color range no matter what you do.
differ on this too... for example, the clearest colors come from Premo or Kato clays (primaries and secondaries) ...the most toned brand is FimoClassic. Kato comes in 8 basic "spectral" colors (pure rainbow colors, and also change color the least during baking) ... Premo was developed specifically to have pure colors which used oil paint names so they could be mixed in a similar way (Premo's red, blue and yellow each come in a warm version and a cool version too).
The very best colors for mixing though can be magenta, turquoise, and lemon yellow
for the clearest and truest palette, though of course all kinds of other palettes are wonderful too.
There's a load of info on all that, plus recipes for many individual colors and whole palettes on the Colors page at my site that I linked to in my first post.
. . . marble effect beads from translucent clay ....I rolled out thin painted acrylic on, and let all of the colors dry except the one that I wanted to be the dominant color, then I rolled it and squished it a few times to marble it . . .I'm thinking of using this technique for other things than beads. . . .
Cool! ... do post them.
Be careful of using acrylic
polymer clay though, if not dried first. Acrylic paints contain water, and since polymer clay is oil-based, water (or even moisture from hands) can get trapped in the clay, then swell during baking creating bubbled areas, etc. Usually a little
acrylic paint is fine mixed in wet, but it's less trouble to use other colorants like oil paints or alcohol inks, etc.
Another tactic is to let the raw clay item sit out overnight to allow some of the moisture or air to work its way out and evaporate off before baking.
Coating sheets of clay with paints and inks is something that's often done for the "mokume gane
" technique too.... but there, after any acrylic paints or alcohol inks are dry, the layers are stacked, and then distorted in various ways; then parts of the distorted stack are shaved off (or sanded off if baked) to reveal incredible patterns, and in that case the paint used will show up as a very thin "layer" of color in the pattern.
If you're interested in the mokume gane technique, look on this page:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/mokumegane.htm
(...for this version, click on "Paints & Inks
" under "Between Layers"...)
Oh, and if you're interested in more on marbling colors, look at the "Marbling" subcategory on the Colors page I mentioned above.
. . . I haven't gotten the hang of shaping the beads uniformly yet but they do look great. . . .
Re shaping beads
, are you talking about uniform sizes or uniform shapes?
Most clayers actually prefer the slight variations of hand-rolled beads to exact round balls, etc., but if you want that, you could always purchase or make a set of "bead rollers." They're certainly not necessary though because it's usually possible to handmake beads close enough to the same shape that they seem
If you're not getting the same volume
of clay in each bead though (when you want that), one way to do it is to roll out a uniform-thickness sheet of clay (with a pasta machine if you have one), then use a small cutter to cut out identical shapes, and make your beads from those (or cover those base beads with uniform slices from canes, etc.). You'll have to figure out a sheet thickness and a cutter which will give you the exact volume you want though.
Another way to do it is to roll the clay into a uniform-thickness log (try rolling over the log with a sheet of glass or acrylic), then cut the log into equal slices for the beads (some people use a Marxit, ruler, or comb to mark equal segments first).
These two pages have info on how to learn to roll beads well by hand, and use bead rollers, as well as various ways to make holes in beads:http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/beads.htmhttp://www.glassattic.com/polymer/beads-holes.htm
HTH and keep up the great stuff!
GlassAttic ...polymer clay "encyclopedia"http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm