Sunday, April 18, 2010

Alcohol ink on metal leaf

Having just got Donna Kato’s book, ‘The Art of Polymer Clay Creative Surface Effects’, I thought I would try one of the techniques from it. I have had a couple of bottles of alcohol ink and some blending solution sat in my craft box for months (I originally bought them to use with Friendly Plastic), so I decided to try the alcohol ink on metal leaf technique, as I am very fond of rolling metal leaf into the surface of polymer clay.

This is my first attempt. I worked the ink too much and lost the distinct blotches of different colours (I only have two colours of ink) but the principle worked. I did as it says in Donna’s book and covered it with the thinnest possible layer of translucent clay. When it had been baked, I was rather disappointed that the black polymer clay background, showing through the cracks in the metal leaf, looked brown (not noticable in this photo). Also, the translucent clay top layer had dulled the shine from the metal leaf. I will try putting a gloss glaze over it, when it has been incorporated into a brooch design, to see if this restores the original look.

Maybe I baked it too long, or I should have covered the translucent clay layer with cornstarch (which I believe I read somewhere should stop it discolouring) or I should have plunged it into ice cold water after baking? I will have to do some more experimenting. Otherwise, rather than putting the translucent clay layer over the top to protect the metal leaf, I would rather use a glaze, so the vibrancy of the coloured metal leaf is not lost.


  1. I don't seem to be able to get my translucents as clear as some people. I plunge into ice cold water and that does help. I think perhaps the secret it having it really really thin. Hopefully some one who knows will comment. Looks like you are having lots of fun.

  2. I am definitely have lots of fun! There is so much to try - just not enough hours in the day, well weekend, when I am working full-time. At the moment, I am like a kid in a toy shop, just having a go at every different technique. I really need to spend more time perfecting each one before I move on - but I am too impatient!