faux amber

akaLiaJune 17, 2002

Karen, did you say you had made this with polymer clay before?


I didn't like the very deep orange colors I saw on some on the web. I mixed up a combination I was happy with and DS7 and I made fish beads. They looked a lot like goldfish crackers! LOL!

So I'm happy with the color but not the translucency. I'm not looking forward to polishing them and don't even want to bother if it's not going to make a difference. They're probably 95% translucent clay and I was SO happy --no plaquing! So... does this polishing make it look more like amber?

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Lia- The amber I made is much more like a opaque Tibetan amber bead than a piece of clear Baltic Amber. I used 1 part golden yellow with a pinch of bordeaux and mix to check the tone. The more bordeaux, the more orange it becomes.
Then this warm orangish yellow gets mixed with an equal sized lump of translucent. Then they are bundled and fused and rolled out the same as creating ivory to get some striations, only the striations can be a little wider and less uniform than they are for ivory.
After baking, rub burnt umber acrylic paint into the piece & work into all the nooks & crannies or texture marks you might have made for an antique effect. They should just be polished with a piece of denim or paper bag to give it a low satiny luster.
My finished amber is inside a shrine which I need to finish before I can post a pic. But here is a photo of one of my "ivory" books, antiqued, textured, and with photocopy transfers for decoration. Inside are pages of crumpled brown paper bag with petroglyphs stamped on them.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 7:40PM
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forgot the link. Also wanted to add that we inset pieces of pre-baked faux turquoise and coral into the pieces and the book has faux coral beads on the "binding". The teacher recommended Fimo for these and the elasticity of the clay worked very well for all the striating & rolling. I used Fimo & Kato clay.

Here is a link that might be useful: faux ivory petroglyph book

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 7:48PM
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Thanks, Karen!
I did that with the polishing (couldn't leave it alone --heehee!) and liked the low-luster, as you said. But I was wondering about the paint color. I had been studying this piece by Karen Lewis (link below) and wasn't sure...

I'll have to do some research on the different ambers.

Your book is adorable!! I'll bet that was great fun!

And speaking of the faux ivory... I've been working on that, too. I made some "relics", a la Luann Udell, a while back and got a pale shade that looked convincing to me. But now, even though this is just as light, it doesn't look like ivory to me. It looks like wood. Maybe it depends what you make with it? I think the more striated is more like bone; less so reminds me more of ivory (tusks).

Sheesh! now I remember why I work with clay so rarely: my fingers hurt! :-(

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 8:19PM
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"My finished amber is inside a shrine which I need to finish before I can post a pic."

(...gasping in shock...!) Karen! You mean YOU have unfinished pieces, too!?! ROTFL! Remember the Big Lots' dress form you sent? Still not *quite* done... :-/
(and the list goes on...)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 8:26PM
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You two are just tooooo busy. Loved the book especially the inset triangular shape....turquoise? hahaha I have a dress form that is still naked too.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2002 at 11:50PM
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Lia- I think my ivory looks like wood, too, but I could not find champagne Fimo so I used a tan shade in my recipe. My amber looks to be a teeny bit yellower than Klew's, but it could be because I was using Kato clay yellow and not the Fimo golden yellow as my base color. My striations are more subtle cause I went about one step too far when I mixed- you have to watch it carefully. It is not that shiny, either, but I like it a little less shiny.
"Rosie"- the turquoise is straight-from-the-pack Fimo turquoise which you can sprinkle a bit of inclusions into (like black ep) and then antique with the burnt umber after baking. It actually looks better a little under-conditioned & crumbly around the edges. You can roll sheet of it and bake it, then just use scissors to cut off little chips to inset into the ivory or amber.

(ps- If I ever finished everything I started I might have a decent body of work, lol! This is a goal I am working on for myself.)

here is a link to some good basic faux recipes:

Here is a link that might be useful: faux formulas

    Bookmark   June 18, 2002 at 10:06AM
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