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View Full Version : Do you use Pearl Ex?


Logodae
10-02-2006, 12:59 AM
From what I've read, the stuff sounds pretty neat, but it's a little pricey. I'm shopping around for deals, and I could definitely do better if I don't try to get a complete set... but never having tried it, I'm not sure what's what. So, questions for the experienced:

Are the regular colors sparkly/metallic looking too -- i.e., will I get a different effect from "Flamigo Pink" than if I just used bright pink paint?

What happens if you mix them -- do blue and red make purple, or more is it more like glitter, where you'd just get mixed blue and red sparkles?

How much difference is there between the similar-seeming colors -- say, "micropearl," "macropearl" and "pearl white"? Which of them do you prefer?

How well do the "Duo" colors work, and are any of them more or less effective than the others? And do the "Interference" Colors work at all like the "Duo" colors -- as I understand it, the Duo colors work on the principle of interference (as do iridescent butterfly wings) but the official description of the Interference colors isn't that exciting...

FWIW, I'm hoping to use these directly on polymer clay sculptures, and possibly for fairy wings.

indimew
10-02-2006, 08:01 PM
Okay..let's see.

Pearl Ex powders are wonderful. I use different colors of clay with different effects. I want to see if I can answer some of your questions.

Are the regular colors sparkly/metallic looking too -- i.e., will I get a different effect from "Flamigo Pink" than if I just used bright pink paint? That's a bit hard to answer. They have a metallic sheen to them, but at the same time they don't. It's a lower sheen/metallic than the duos, or interface.

What happens if you mix them -- do blue and red make purple, or more is it more like glitter, where you'd just get mixed blue and red sparkles? I have NEVER tried this. I don't know why--but I just haven't! So I can't answer that. I think the thing is, they are very messy. Very light powders, the glitter goes everywhere and it's hard to get off of stuff (more like tedious than hard though) it would be a very delicate process to mix outside of a container, depending on quantities. but thinking of it from a molecular standpoint- maybe pink and blue would mix to give purple, but there will still be a bunch of pink specks and blue specks. Not sure if they are small enough to make a new color, but they don't chemically change to a new color.

How much difference is there between the similar-seeming colors -- say, "micropearl," "macropearl" and "pearl white"? Which of them do you prefer? I'm not sure on this, but I think it's the sheen. Micropearl has a very high glossy shine to it, and pearl white is like a regular color, just a tiny bit of a sheen.

How well do the "Duo" colors work, and are any of them more or less effective than the others? And do the "Interference" Colors work at all like the "Duo" colors -- as I understand it, the Duo colors work on the principle of interference (as do iridescent butterfly wings) but the official description of the Interference colors isn't that exciting... I Interface colors are almost like a more muted powder than the others. Duo colors are AWESOME. In the right light, it is either blue, or red (in one case) the prime favorite of mine is a duo white/violet. I forget the name of it, but it shines with all colors of the rainbow. I use interface colors and mix them with translucent polymer clay for faux abalone effect. it doesn't oversaturate the clay in color, and yet it does give a shine when sanded and glazed, and gives the clay a nice color.


Now--I have like...24 or so SMALL jars of the stuff. A little goes a LONG LONG way. I am finding more and more things to mix it with to get different effects. Here's a tip

In a local Jo-Ann or Michaels Store, if you are a member or if you check the paper, there is a 40 or 50% off coupon on any regularly priced item. In the store there is also a couple packs of different pearl ex powders, about 12 per pack. Very small. I think it's around $24 for the pack. Well, give the coupon and pay half.

I use coupons a lot, to buy polymer clay mostly, and I find it really helps on expenses if you're patient enough to wait.

I suggest you snag a pack, and try them for yourself and see what each one does. It's really quite fun to play with, and would be gorgeous on fairy wings. I brush them on my dragons to give them a great opalescent sheen.

Hope this helps!

Logodae
10-04-2006, 12:13 PM
Indimew,

That's exactly the sort of information I was hoping to get -- thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm especially excited to hear that the duo colors really "work" -- I can't wait to get my hands on some! I have a thing for dragons too, so some iridescent-scaled critters are definitely on my to-do list. :D

I'll keep an eye out for coupons, but the 12-pack sets don't really have the selection I want, since there's only one duo in each on. I think I may end up buying some of the bigger jars, then dividing them up into smaller sets -- one for me and a few for E-Bay. :wink2:

-Morgan

P.S. I can't find any duo colors with violet... do you think the color you talked about might be interference violet? :confused:

indimew
10-04-2006, 03:54 PM
it's actually a white color--let me run downstairs and have a quick look--


it's called interference violet. It's got quite a sheen of nice colors on it (I put it over some dark blue, so maybe that's where I got the blue and violet colors from) it's a white powder and it's very very snazzy I might add.

The only thing I suggest is when working with them, use a paintbrush to lightly dust over clay, and then bake. Applying the pearl ex to unbaked clay is a pain, and the effects aren't as nice. (Plus it rubs off)

Once baked, I don't think the powder rubs off. I usually seal my clay works with future floor wax or a coat of poly.

indimew
10-04-2006, 03:55 PM
it's actually a white color--let me run downstairs and have a quick look--


it's called interference violet. It's got quite a sheen of nice colors on it (I put it over some dark blue, so maybe that's where I got the blue and violet colors from) it's a white powder and it's very very snazzy I might add.

The only thing I suggest is when working with them, use a paintbrush to lightly dust over clay, and then bake. Applying the pearl ex to unbaked clay is a pain, and the effects aren't as nice. (Plus it rubs off)

Once baked, I don't think the powder rubs off. I usually seal my clay works with future floor wax or a coat of poly.

Logodae
10-05-2006, 03:10 PM
Awesome -- thanks for checking on that for me! "Interference Violet" it is. :)

I've definitely heard good things about Future Floor Wax, so that's going on the shopping list too. Which is to say the "hardware store" shopping list, not the "Dick Blick" list. :wink2:

Hey, if you make dragons, you might want to try out this scale technique I just discovered:

1) Press part of a fine-toothed comb into the clay.
2) Change the angle about 30 degrees and press again, over the original impression.
3) Smudge the clay slightly with a finger in the direction you want the scales to go.

I think it looks pretty nice, although I've only done it on scrap clay so far. I'm planning to make my own little "comb" out of wire, since even a small plastic comb would probably be too awkward for a real sculpture... hm. Or I could just cut up a plastic comb, that would probably be faster.

Anyway, I thought it was a neat trick and wanted to share. :D

gourdburner
10-05-2006, 11:18 PM
Just looking around and happened to see this post. I don't do clay, but I've used the Interference Violet over brown (a gourd) and you still get the beautiful color range. Looked great on dragonfly wings. Bet the fairy wings will be great too.

indimew
10-14-2006, 09:42 PM
I like to make my dragons scales one by one, which can be a pain but....oh well! Thanks for the idea though! Definately going to try that one out!

Noadi
10-14-2006, 10:21 PM
Here's another idea for a scale tool. I'm planning on making some dragons soon so I'm going to try it out on them. http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/texture_tool.html

And recrisp's texture stamp tutorial (I've made a couple of these for pebbly skin) http://4dw.net/crisp/tuts/stamp/tools.htm

Toadie
10-17-2006, 07:58 PM
I just tried them! And am haveing fun. I mix them with a little Glaze and paint them on. I used them to paint a pair of fairy boots and liked the look. I tried it for a pale eye shadoe and found out less is more for body coloring. I am going to try the advice of applying them to unbaked clay and baking next, I tried polishing them on bakked clay and they would not stay on. I really like useing them on my fairy wings.
Toadie

gbot
10-20-2006, 04:56 PM
This is a great thread. I just came from Hobby Lobby and purchased 1 bottle of pearlX, can't wait to work with it. Thanks for all the info.

Logodae
10-23-2006, 04:23 PM
Indimew: I really like the look of hand-applied scales, but man, does it take a while... but if you've got the patience to do it that way, more power to you. :)

Noadi: That's a neat page on stamps... I'll definitely have to try making some. I'm not so sure a stamp would work for scales, though... could you get them to line up right? And the litt(le fish-scaler is cute, but it still looks pretty time-consuming, especially if you wanted to make smaller scales.

Going back to Pearl Ex, I just found some interesting stuff here:
http://www.wholesalecolors.com/

If you look under mineral makeup > colorants you'll find all kinds of sparklies... I'm definitely going to order some samples. :D

Noadi
10-23-2006, 11:36 PM
I've used the stamps a lot, but like I said I made one for pebbly skin and other more random textures where overlap doesn't show. I guess that other tool might take a while but I think the result is nice. Maybe you could make some that instead of one point has multiple almost like a saw blade, and most thin metal is pretty flexible so you could could even apply it on a curved surface.

Logodae
10-26-2006, 07:53 PM
That would definitely speed up the process... and you may even be able to find a little sawblade that would make the right pattern.

As an update to the Pearl Ex / mica power saga: I got my order from TKB Trading today! Which is pretty impressive, considering that I live on the opposite coast from them. Everything looks really nice, especially the Crucible Khaki... it looks like it's an actual sheet of gold in the ziplock bag. And the sample sizes seem quite generous to me... it seems like the ten "teaspoon" samples I got weigh about as much as the ounce packet, which would mean they're 0.1 ounces... which is the same as the amount you get in a small Pearl Ex jar.

Of course, that means the tablespoon samples (of the less pricey stuff) are three times as much powder as the Pearl Ex jars, and that includes the "interference" colors, and various pearly and metallic ones, too. Definitely a good deal... especially since you can pick out exactly the colors you want, instead of getting a whole set.

Anyway, time to stop burbling about this stuff and start playing with it. :D

Edit: Just to clarify, all of TKB Trading's samples are $1.50, regardless of the cost of the pigment, which ranges from $3 to $14 an ounce. Unspecified "samples" are a tablespoon, whereas the samples for pricier pigments are marked "1 teaspoon."

gbot
11-06-2006, 12:49 PM
Does TKB Trading have a website? I'd like to check things out, those samples sound wonderful. What does TKB stand for?

Gladys

Penguintrax
11-06-2006, 04:22 PM
Here you go Gladys: http://www.tkbtrading.com/

Logodae
11-07-2006, 12:09 AM
I'm not sure what TKB Trading stands for, but you can find their website at the (much more descriptive) www.wholesalecolors.com. And the Mineral Makeups > Colorants category seems to be the place to go. :thumbsup: