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Topic: Question about Kato colour concentrates.  (Read 1427 times)
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« on: April 08, 2009 10:07:16 AM »

I was reading an excellent page on glassattic.com about inexpensive ways to use polymer clay but I can't find the link now. I read on there that a good idea was to get the Kato colour contrates. I was thinking of doing this but realised that they come in very small packs (half the regular small size) and I wasn't sure as I had a few questions about it.

Would you recommend this to a beginner?

Does the concentrate really produce a lot of coloured clay? I do not mind buying heaps of white clay as I use it anyway, but I would be disappointed if I had to use a lot of the coloured clay to get one colour right. For example, how much of the yellow concentrate would you have to mix into a 2oz block of white clay to get a yellow similar to the regular yellow polymer clay that is sold?

Does it have the same texture and softness/hardness of Kato's regular polymer clay?

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you very much.

My craft experiences (mainly polymer clay):
Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009 08:40:12 AM »


It was probably the "Color" page at my site (glassattic.com) that you saw with info about Kato's Color Concentrates:
(oops... can't find it there but it should be, so I'll come back later when I find the exact page)
You may have also read about inexpensive ways to do polymer clay that I've written before here at Craftster (they have a lot of overlap):
...Or perhaps you were seeing this page:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/kids_beginners.htm (under the Info. for Beginners category, which is a little different?)

Most clayers don't need the concentrates because it's so easy to mix colors just by mixing colored clays together** (though it helps a lot to start with very pure colors, not those which have already been toned down in the package).  Artists oil paints (in tubes) and alcohol inks also work very well as concentrated liquid pigments to color clay.

When you say that you're using "white" clay, you should know that if you're using bulk white Sculpey (in a 2 lb or larger box), that line is very brittle after baking in any thin or projecting parts so is seldom used by hobby clayers or "serious" clayers too. They're also fairly soft for good handling and details, etc.  (flesh-colored SuperSculpey and Sculpey III are a bit better, but not as good as the other brands/lines, with Fimo Soft in that grouping being the least strong but still fairly strong.)

**All that's really needed to make just about any color of clay is 3 "primary" colors (pure versions of a yellow, red, and blue... or even better Lemon Yellow, Fuschia, Turquoise), plus a little black and a lot of white.  Translucent or mica-containing "colors" can be added for more effects, etc.
If you want to make the absolutely clearest colors you can (for tinting translucent clays, e.g.), then using a liquid concentrate would be better than adding a bit of solid clay because the liquid concentrates are generally transparent, but that's not generally necessary to do when mixing colors.

There's loads of info on how to mix just those few colors together to get virtually any color you want on the Colors page at my site linked to above.

As for how much it takes to color a certain volume and color of clay, it's probably not a lot since it is a concentrate (and not much oil paint or alcohol ink either), but that also depends on the total volume of clay you usually work with and you didn't mention that as well as the color saturation you want ... in other words, you'd use a lot less if you were making pendants and miniatures for example, than large sculpts or coverings for tabletops/cabinets/etc., a lot less if you don't want the most saturated color.

I assume that the feel of the clay doesn't change much after adding a concentrated pigment because the amount of colorant is so small, and Kato clay is stiffer than the other brands except for FimoClassic anyway if you're using those.  You probably wouldn't want Sculpey, SS, or S III, any softer than they already are though, if it did change a lot.


Diane B.

« Last Edit: April 09, 2009 08:54:42 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009 03:31:45 AM »

I think it was the colour page I was reading about.

Thank you ever so much for your response Diane. You are always so helpful! Smiley

My craft experiences (mainly polymer clay):
Polyclay Freek
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009 07:00:35 PM »

the concentrates are better used to alter the color of other clays or to make color metallics beyond the traditional gold, copper, silver and pearl.

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