I love the contemporary look that is created with colorized Crystal Clay and Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. Once you get the hang of the process, the creativity is endless! In this tutorial you will learn:
- How and why to clean Nunn Design Bezels
- How to apply tape to open back bezels
- How to mix Crystal Clay
- How to colorize Crystal Clay using Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments
- How to apply Crystal Clay into the Open Back Bezels
- How to create a Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Color Sampler on colorized Crystal Clay
- How to apply the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments to the Crystal Clay
- How to seal Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments on colorized Crystal Clay
- How to remove and clean the tape off of the cured Crystal Clay
- How to create a colorized Crystal Clay Drop
- Other inspiration on how to use colorized Crystal Clay within Open Back Bezels
Fast Tutorial Video:
Watch this Fast Video For a quick overview of the process and then read the full tutorial below!
Long Tutorial Video:
Watch the Long Video to see the complete process!
Nunn Design Open Frames
Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments-Blue, Black, White
Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments
Castin’ Craft Resin Spray
Other Supplies Needed:
Glossy business cards or card stock
Plastic Bags, such as a Ziploc Bag
Mixing Stir Stick
A Resin Mixing Cup
How and Why to Clean Your Nunn Design Bezels
Step 1: The Nunn Design Findings are oxidized to provide the aged look to the precious metal plating. The oxidation, when it comes into contact with the Crystal Clay could change the color of the clay. To avoid this, clean the findings thoroughly prior to applying the clay. Get the tip of a Q-Tip wet with rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidation from the Open Frames.
Learn more here on How and Why it is Important to Clean Nunn Design Bezels.
How to Apply Tape to Open Back Bezels
Step 2: To create a solid backing for the Nunn Design Open Frames that we are using in this tutorial, cut a piece of packing tape and place it on your work surface. Place the Open Frame onto the tape. To make sure the tape is burnished down and fully attached, use your fingertips to press the frame down onto the packing tape and rub back and forth on your work surface. If it isn’t fully attached, the resin will seep out from underneath the sidewalls of the frame.
Tip: Check to see that your packing tape is clear and there is no residue or mottling in the adhesive. If there is, it will show up in your finished resin piece when you remove the tape once the resin is cured. Try to use an area of the tape that does not have blotches or marks. If you are curious on other tape options, you might be interested in reading this blog post: Painter’s Tape vs Packing Tape for Open Frame Resin-Filled Bezels. Make sure to read the comments for other great suggestions from other resin artists!
Step 3: Trim away any excess packing tape from around your Open Frame to avoid the curing resin piece from being potentially disturbed.
Tip: I like to place each frame on its own individual piece of packing tape. It makes the pouring easier to manage and eliminates the chance of disturbing the frame next to it.
Step 4: I tend to work in a small area (typically my kitchen table), so I like to work on a surface that projects can be easily moved around and not be disturbed. Place some business cards or some heavy card stock onto your work surface, making it easy to move the pendants without getting any resin on your fingers.
Tip: I would recommend covering the card with glossy packing tape. This will prevent the resin from sticking to the paper.
How to Mix Crystal Clay
Step 5: Crystal Clay is a 2-part epoxy. Mixing equal parts of A & B activates the clay. Once the clay is activated you have 90-120 minutes before the clay hardens and you can no longer sculpt or embed into it. Prior to mixing the 2 parts, it is recommended by the manufacturer to wear gloves when handling. Once the clay is mixed it is activated and is neutral and gloves are no longer necessary.
The gloves that are included in the Crystal Clay 50gr Kits are not my favorite. They are way too big for my hands and I have a heck of a time mixing and colorizing the clay while wearing them. If you are having the same challenge try a different brand. If you do not have a latex allergy, I recommend using a pair of industrial, powder-free, 5 mil, latex glove sized to fit your hand snugly.
I use my latex gloves over and over again to prevent waste. To get the most usage out of the gloves, place baby powder generously over your hands prior to putting the gloves on. This will make it easier to get the gloves off once you are finished mixing and colorizing the Crystal Clay.
Step 6: With the gloves on, open up the packages of Crystal Clay and pinch off two equal-sized balls of Part A and Part B. Blend together the 2 parts fully until the clay is no longer marbled and is uniform in color.
Tip: I guesstimate the amount of Crystal Clay that I will need to fill the bezels for the project I’m working on. I would recommend having plenty of bezels prepped just in case you have excess clay.
Tip: Make sure to wrap up your Crystal Clay to prevent it from drying out and hardening. Store Part A and Part B in separate Ziploc bags to avoid contamination while it is in storage.
Step 7: Use a wet-wipe to fully wipe down your gloves, removing any Crystal Clay. You will want to keep your gloves on for the next step of colorizing the mixed Crystal Clay. If the clay is sticky, you can wait 10 minutes to let the clay set-up a little. This will help it be less sticky when you apply the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments.
How to Colorize Crystal Clay using Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments
Step 8: To decide on the Pantone color you’d like to create, download the Nunn Design Pantone Cheat Sheet to see the dozens of colors and color formulas that you can choose from. For this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the steps for creating a denim blue color and a sampler of other colors that can be created by tweaking the portions of the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment.
By looking through the Pantone Cheat Sheet of color options, I could see that in order to create a deep denim blue color, I would need Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments in White, Blue and Black. The color formula was meant for mixing with Nunn Design 2-Part Resin, so I knew there would be a little tweaking that needed to happen, but those 3 colors would get me started in the right direction.
The color formulas call for different portions of Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments. The portions of the pigment are created using toothpicks. Here is a visual of what the formulas portions look like:
1 ttp = 1 tiny toothpick
1 tp = 1 toothpick
1 ltp = 1 large toothpick
Here is the color sampler with the color formulas that I used to create the various shades of denim.
Step 9: To create one of the colors from the sampler, shake the containers of white, blue and black Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments. Squeeze a heavy squirt of each of the pigments onto a piece of plastic.
Tip: Make sure to apply the lids of the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments right after you use them. I can’t tell you how many times I have contaminated my colors by putting on the wrong lids!
Step 10: The formulas are based on applying the colorants to a round ball of mixed Crystal Clay about the size of a very large blueberry. If you are mixing a larger size of a ball of Crystal Clay, just adjust your formula appropriately.
Step 11: If you don’t have your gloves on, now is the time to put them back on and let’s colorize the Crystal Clay! Flatten the large blueberry size ball of Crystal Clay, creating a nice small patty. Follow the color formula from the colorized Crystal Clay sampler (or use your own!). Add the right amount of toothpick sizes of colorant to the Crystal Clay. I like to place the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments onto the flat surface of my large blueberry sized ball with the intention of trying to keep more of the opaque pigments in the clay and less on my gloves when it comes time to mix it! Once the pigments are applied, fold the clay around the pigments like you are folding up a burrito or a crepe (is it lunchtime yet?).
TIP: For this tutorial, I was going to fill a lot of bezels, so I tripled the formula and worked with a ball of Crystal Clay the size of 3 large blueberries.
Step 12: Blend the clay and opaque pigments fully until blended. If you want to create a darker color, add more of the blue and black. If you want to create a lighter color, you can add white or more of the non-colorized mixed White Crystal Clay.
Step 13: To be able to reuse your gloves, wipe them down fully with a wet-wipe before removing. To remove the gloves from your hands, pull at the fingertips and then pull the full glove off. This will prevent it from turning inside out and potentially getting some of the opaque pigment on the inside of the gloves and on your hands. The colors are potent and stain very easily.
Step 14: Whatever colors you create, be sure to record your formulas so that you can recreate it another time or better yet, share it with others! Store your formulas in a bag and have it ready for the next time!
How to Apply Crystal Clay into the Open Frames
Step 15: Pinch off the amount of mixed Crystal Clay that you guess will fit into your Nunn Design Bezel. Roll the thoroughly mixed Crystal Clay between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball.
Step 16: Press the ball of mixed Crystal Clay into your bezel using the tips of your fingers. For this particular technique, I wanted the Crystal Clay to be level with the lip of the bezel. Because the back of the bezel is open, you can choose to keep the bezel on your work surface while adding the clay or use your fingertips to provide support under the tape.
If you have too much clay, you can pinch off the excess and pat down until smooth again, or remove it from the frame altogether and remove the excess.
Step 17: Use a wet-wipe to clean up any excess Crystal Clay that might have been left on the jewelry finding. The Crystal Clay hardens like cement, so cleaning it up now and being tidy as you go makes the process easier and the results so much nicer.
How to Create a Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Color Sampler on Colorized Crystal Clay
Step 18: It is helpful to be able to see what the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments look like when they are applied to the colorized Crystal Clay. To learn how to create a color sampler, read a previous blog post featured on our blog. How to Make a Colorized Crystal Clay and Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Sampler.
How to Apply Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments onto Colorized Crystal Clay
Step 19: Once you have inserted the colorized Crystal Clay into the Open Back Bezel and you have tested to see what the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments color of choice looks like when applied, you are ready to apply the powder onto the Crystal Clay. You will want to do this step when the colorized Crystal Clay is still moist and uncured.
To create a barrier that will allow just a section of the Crystal Clay to be colorized with Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments, lay onto your work surface a small piece of plastic, like a small Ziploc bag. Sprinkle a dusting of baby powder onto the plastic. Smear the baby powder around with your fingertips until the plastic is fully covered. Since you will be applying the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments onto the colorized Crystal Clay while the clay is still wet, powdering the Ziploc bag will help it not stick to the wet clay.
Step 20: Take a moment to think about the design you would like to create using the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. Lay the powdered Ziploc bag onto the wet colorized Crystal Clay. The area that you cover will remain the colorized Crystal Clay, with the exposed clay being colorized with the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. Gently run your fingers, or a Q-tip, along the edge of the Ziploc to make sure that the plastic is fully adhered to the clay. This will allow for you to have a nice crisp line when you apply the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments.
Step 21: Open your container of Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments. Apply a generous amount onto your Q-Tip. If you have a lot of excess powder on the Q-Tip, tap it a couple times on the side of the container to remove the excess.
Step 21: Smear the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments onto the wet colorized Crystal Clay, fully coating the clays surface.
Step 22: Peal back the Ziploc bag and remove.
Step 23: Let the clay full cure. Wait to remove any excess Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments from the bezel. You will go back and clean it once the clay is cured.
Step 24: If you have any areas that need more Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments, use your Q-Tip to go back in and touch up the areas.
Step 25: Let the Crystal Clay cure for 12 hours.
Step 26: Once the Crystal Clay is cured, use a wet-wipe to carefully wipe away the excess Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments from the edges of the Open Frame Bezels. The Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments can still wipe off of the clay, so be careful not to disturb the clay while cleaning.
How to Seal Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments with Resin Spray
Step 27: There are several ways to seal the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments that have been applied to the colorized Crystal Clay. You can read more about this on the Nunn Design Blog. How to Make a Colorized Crystal Clay and Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments Sampler. For this tutorial, we are going to apply and seal the Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments with Castin’ Craft Resin Spray.
Step 28: To apply the Resin Spray, take the bezels outside and place them on a piece of paper. Shake the can thoroughly and spray an even coat of the Resin Spray over the full surface of the colorized Crystal Clay.
Step 29: The Resin Spray will dry very quickly. Wait 10 minutes and test to see if the surface of the tape is slightly tacky. It should be dry to the touch.
How to Remove and Clean the Tape Off of the Cured Crystal clay
Step 30: To finish your Open Frame, remove the packing tape from the backside once the Crystal Clay is fully cured. If you have any excess residue from the packing tape on the backside of the resin, use the tape to remove it like you would when you are removing lint or animal fur from your clothes. Keep touching the packing tape onto the sticky surface until it is no longer sticky.
Step 31: If the residue isn’t coming up, try Goo Gone!
Follow the manufacture’s instructions for best results. Place the bezels onto a piece of plastic, such as a Ziploc bag. Apply a couple drops on the backside and let the Goo Gone sit for three minutes. I then used a stir stick to scrape the tapes residue.
To remove all that sticky mess, use a wet-wipe and wipe it away.
Create a Colorized Crystal Clay Drop
Step 32: To create a colorized Crystal Clay drop using the Open Frame Circle, pinch off a small ball of colorized Crystal Clay and roll it into a smooth round ball using the palms of your hands.
Step 33: To thread the Crystal Clay into the Open Frame Circle, create an oval shape with the clay. Thread the clay into the circle and use the tips of your fingers to sculpt the clay into place. You are wanting to sculpt the clay so that there is equal amounts of clay on both sides of the Open Frame Hoop.
Step 34: Once you have the clay inserted, roll the clay inserted into the Open Frame Circle around in the palm of your hands using your fingertips. This is doing two things. It is allowing the clay to adhere to the Open Frame Hoop and it is forming a nice round ball.
Step 35: Wipe the Open Frame Bezel with a wet-wipe to remove any excess Crystal Clay. The clay will harden like cement once cured, so take your time and wipe down the bezel.
Step 36: Once your drop ball is just as you would like it, thread the loop of the Open Frame Circle with a toothpick and suspend the toothpick across a resin mixing cup. Let the Crystal Clay Cure for 12 hours.
Other Fun Techniques!
Instead of using Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments, you can also us Gilding Flakes!
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