General info
...microfine glitters...suppliers glitters... glitter clay
...glitter flakes (iridescent)
Polymer shavings & chips
Play sand, pigments, dirt, etc.
Powders, metallic, & pigments
Crayon shavings
Spices, incense... herbs, dried flowers
Smell-y inclusions
Misc. inclusions...dryer lint, etc.
Websites (various inclusions)


for example
(sand, herbs/spices, dirts, powders, grit, glitter, peat, tiny beads, fluff/dryer fluff, animal hairs, etc.)



Lots of things can be mixed into clay to create coloring or a granular appearance, etc
.... these inclusions are often mixed into translucent clays, but they can also be mixed into more opaque clays (will only show on surface though)

(ALSO, for info on coloring raw clay by mixing in oil paints, oil pastels, or even small amounts of acylic paint, see Paints > Oils, or Acrylics and for coloring with alcohol inks, see Letters-Inks > Tinting > Alcohol Inks)

I suspect that a large amount of Pearl-Ex does weaken the clay, but I don't know how much. Someone, Marie Segal probably, told me that anytime you add inclusions, it weakens the clay. But it may not make a significant difference.
...I mixed a ton of embossing powders and acrylic paint into clay a few years ago, for a petroglyph swap. My pieces LOOKED like rocks, and I swear they were as solid as granite as opposed to the solidity of clay. I guess it depends what you do with the clay. Randi

Especially if you’re using a stiff clay like FimoClassic, MixQuick (or SuperSculpey, etc.) added into the clay first makes it a lot easier to work in the inclusion.

Misc. good idea: dried flower petals and leaves work nicely in translucent clay for some very pretty beads . . .But those inclusions are extra special if they are meaningful. I made beads for bracelets for my mom, me, and my mother in law with inclusions of dried flower petals from the bouquets we recieved when my first child was born. These gifts were very appreciated! (My mother-in-law even cried) I am thinking of doing this with flower petals from my grandparent's farm. (They have both passed away.) Wouldn't this be great to do with the flowers from A wedding bouquet? (Too bad mine were artificial.) Jules

One thing to be careful of regarding inclusions is that they can dull your blade. I try to use one of my old blades for cutting clay with inclusions. I'm also careful about running inclusion-filled clay through my pasta machine - sand in particular can leave a scratch on the rollers. Roll it between sheets of waxed paper to prevent that.Irene


For use with polymer clay, the inexpensive "craft" glitters that tend to be in larger pieces (often made from aluminum) don't take heat well, and will curl up ... if used as an inclusion, these glitters will stick up from the surface of the clay looking like "coconut."
....I bought a mix of glitter with small shapes (stars) in it; the tiny glitter worked fine, but the stars curled up
. I make a small test when I buy a new kind of glitter to use with clay. Jody
..some of the glitters also change colors (in the heat?). Sarajane (...only the cheaper ones?)

The glitters that work best are heat resistant
........most are polyester, I think, but a few are made from real glass
... they are generally sold for use on fabric (which will be washed and dried), for rubberstamping, or as "body glitters"
....and may also be called "artists' glitters, "micro-glitters, microfine glitters, ultrafine glitters, etc.

These glitters are sold in various grain sizes (and shapes, since some are as large as flakes), so can be used in various ways
.....the fine-size glitters can be used like Pearl Ex, etc (see Powders > Pearl Ex or Real Metal Powders for loads more possibilities)
.....but most all sizes of heat-resistant glitters can be:
........mixed into translucent clay (will need to use a lot though for it to be seen on the surface... or just add the translucent-glitter layer on top of other clay)
........mixed into liquid clays --to use as "paint" (see Powders > As Paint) ... or in other ways such as layers of mokume gane
....... sprinkled on top of an adhesive medium

microfine glitters (mostly)

With quality glitter, your pieces will look as if they are glowing...almost like they are on fire. Karen O.

SURFACE applications:
Very fine
glitters will stick to raw clay by themselves, if you want
.....but may need to be given a clear finish after baking to hold them on well, and/or give more gloss ... if the glitters are fine enough though, and rubbed in well enough, they may not come off later (similar to Mike B's techniques when using mica powders)
...Let's say you have covered a glass Christmas ball or a maybe pen with raw cane slices or a marbilized sheet of clay.
.........once you have the clay smoothed, pour some ultra fine glitter into the palm of your hand, and roll the ball around in your hands to stick a light coating of glitter all over.... The idea is to press it into the clay so that the surface is quite smooth.... Now bake it
....... when it's cool, I like to give it a couple of coats of (clear sealer) Future or Varathane. Jody Bishel
...Emma's lesson on covering raw (black) clay balls for beads with microfine glitters
..... she puts the glitters into dishes... coats each ball thoroughly with
......then rolls each ball in palms (then sometimes shapes into other bead shapes)
.... after baking, she sticks each bead on toothpick into ps foam... then brush-paints (with Fimo Waterbased Varnish) to seal

Very fine glitters (or larger glitters) can also be used mixed into clear mediums (sealers like Varathane, Future, acrylic mediums, etc.... or tinto liquid clay
...... or they can be sprinkled on top of those clear mediums (both will allow the glitters to lie only on the surface of a clay object
...using these mediums has the advantage of including a sealer with the glitter (and possibly glossiness too), as well as making the glitter into a "paint"
....glitter can be sprinkled lightly on areas where mediums have been painted or stamped or dotted, etc
...... or it can be dumped onto those areas (remove excess glitter by tapping clay, etc.)
...I think liquid clays would work better than regular glues for holding glitter in place
....... because you can apply the liquid clay just where you want the glitter, then sprinkle the glitter ...and rebake. Patty
........since Kato's liquid clay is quite a bit thinner than TLS, it leveled out creating very thin layers.... so when using liquid clay to retain a shape which I add glitter to, the Kato was practically useless because the spirals would level out and totally lose the design. tlc
........but can thicken liquid clay by drying out a bit, or by adding glitter first to thicken Kato?
.....I would be leary of using glitter with regularwhite glue (though prob. would work, just thicker)... but you could always do a test piece, bake and see how it turns out. Karen O.
(...these techniques are is similar to what's often done with mica or other.powders too, so see Powders > As Paint ...also re stencils...for more details)

Or put microfine glitters only in certain areas --with stencils or other masking materials

For the glittery pieces I used translucent clay which had either JonesTones micro glitters, or Fimo pulvers (real metal powders) mixed into them
.......then the glittered clay is made into the desired shape, and baked. Alan V.
Jackie's glitter inclusions scattered more thinly in translucent or tinted translucent clays
Judi's metallic black glitter inclusions in translucent (and also iridescent mica flakes in translucent)
Terry's (multi-color) Ultra Fine glitter bead (surface looks grainy though, not smooth?)
Kathy G's crackled foil over body glitter in clay.... can barely see the glitter clay layer though)
(see also categories on Opals & Dichroic Glas, in Faux--Many)

Or make canes with the glitter-inclusions-clay being one component for building it (or more than one color of glitter clay for several components)

.....clings are cured sheets (decals) of liquid clay which have been baked on glass, etc., using oil paints or inclusions like glitter, Pearl-Ex, mylar shapes, etc., which have been swirled intothe liquid clay first (often thinned with Diluent)
.....Norajean's example of mica powder (or could be glitter?) in TLS cling, randomly and as letters "NJ" (alone, and on clay)

suppliers, types of fine glitters

....Barbara Trombley's Art Institute Glitter carries many colors of Fine and Ultrafine glitters in Opaque, Transparent, Pearlescent (...she also carries various sizes of glass glitter)
...Prisma Glitters by Gick Crafts are all polyester ....I like the Prisma Ultra Fine....can be found at Michaels Arts & Crafts stores near the fabric paints)
glitters by Jones Tones
....I now use only "quality" fabric glitters: precision cut from Jones Tones or Premimum glitter from Creative Beginnings, or Poly- Flakes from Glitterex, etc. ....You can usually find theses glitters in the stamping area or fabric areas in the craft stores. Karen O.
...I found some really pretty pink flakes at the scrapbook store called pink party ice and thought "hey this would look cool in clay!" And it does! (I used it in) Premo bleach translucent.... Cindy
...Arnold Grummer also carries glitters, as well as other powders, etc.
...EJR Beads (Emma Ralph in the UK) carries 21colors (Glitz, bright colors; and Blendz, more muted and blended from other colors)
...MagicScraps ...lots of glitters and "shaved ice" glitters (for scrapbooking) a rubberstamping store...some will not hold up to the heat, but the lovely Mark Enterprises glitters will. kellie (Michaels?)

Donna Kato uses our (which?) transparent glitter in her translucent clays and bakes them... she loved the results... " Brett

I put "body glitter" in my raw clay and it works great for a glittery look. It's a powder.... I did notice that their were some other colors in another brand, but I like the plain color. can be found in the make up section (the Olsen twins have some out in the younger teen make up), Kathy G.

Perfect Fx (see Powders) -- glittery or pearlescent flakes and grinds in various sizes and colors

(see also fine glass glitters just below)

(real) glass glitters

Art Institute's Vintage Glass glitters (made from real glass... grains), Wilma was telling me about these new glitters...they sound like they'd be ideal for polyclay. Anita
...but they're "sharp"??... come in various sizes though ...

"glitter clays" (by FimoSoft)

FimoSoft makes (several colors of) glitter clays...the base clay is fairly transparent, except for the glitter inclusions already in them
they are distinctly sparkly, with a somewhat glassy background color
...The manufacturers call these clays "Metallics," but they definitely are
not what the other clay brands call "metallics" --which contain mica, not glitter

I wish that when you buff the glitter colors, the glitter didn't turn silver!!! Leigh
.....(could cover the glitter clay with a thin layer of translucent or liquid clay before buffing?)

...Karen Omodt's planet with rings made from yellow glitter FimoSoft (possibly mixed with other colors) & Pearl
...Elizabeth's marbled beads with some glitter metallics (rolled in bead rollers to avoid having to sand... glitter comes off too much?)
....Marie Segal outlines every cane segment in black for many of her canes. This border color prevents bleeding and produces a bright pattern that reduces without the losing integrity of the design. Katherine Dewey

Could use for glittery things like xmas ornaments, but
lots more regular clay things also look interesting with a bit of glitter clay (or glitter clay mixed in with translucent or with other clays... or in liquid clays)
....Marie's pendants (using glitter clays?, and glitter in liq. clay)

.....Valerie's scene plaque of tree/leaves/flowers/vines (gone)

(see more on glitter clays in Characteristics > FimoSoft)

(...there are also a few other "special colors" in the FimoSoft line with a bit of glitter but opaque or translucent-opaque clays used)

"glitter" flakes (iridescent))

"Arnold Grummer's Iridescent Flakes"....mine were $2.50 for about a cup-sized bag... (no weight recorded on bag)
...Arnold Grummer also has lots of other cool inclusiony" things too ..glitters..powders, and other cool " Lorretta
...I've seen the Grummer flakes at the JoAnn etc store next to the paper making supplies. Jenn
. . . I got mine from Carol's Craftique, in Minnesota, (218) 233-3220. Catherien
Judi's Iridescent Flakes inclusion (plus Metallic Black Glitter inclusion)

Catherien's lesson on rose quartz, using Grummer flakes
...I made rose quartz and lapis lazuli cabochons with them (even in person you can't tell they aren't real stones until you pick them up... the light weight gives them away)

I baked them too hot then I put them (which?) in the convection oven and put the temp down lower and they all came out great!!!

Perfect Fx (see Powders) -- glittery or pearlescent flakes ...and also grinds in various sizes and colors

POLYMER CLAY ...Shavings & Chips

Polymer shavings and chips make wonderful inclusions just by themselves.

Could be mixed with thinned liquid clay (thinned to maximze tranpsarency if using TLS brand) which could give you some wonderful mosaic stone effects.

Think of the opal chip or turquoise mosaic jewelry you may have seen. Would be perfect for baking into those jewelry mountings that are solid backed bezels (cabochon settings).
.... That would solve one of the bigest questions of using those scraps : " How do you get back the color that is muted because of the rough surfaces?" The TLS would hold the scraps together to allow for surface polishing. I think best results could be obtained from using just enough TLS to leave a rough, bumpy surface that could be polished down to a sheen, since TLS is SO hard to sand. That should also leave you some cracks and "veining" to fill with acrylic paint coloring and wipe off. Of course this is all top-of-my-head theoretical speculation. Sara Jane in NC

I was thinking that it would be great with faux stones, which tend to smear and marbelize a lot if you sculpt them or press them onto a base.... Rough shaped, parbaked, and then turned should show the colors just like real stone which was carved.

like Sara Jane, I've been mixing them in liquid clay to add with my little fancy paper collages on clay. Syndee

I've been shaving small amounts of pigments from my hard pastels onto translucent clay. Pastels are almost pure pigment and I don't have to worry about spilling the powder because it's in a neat little stick.

In the woodshop at Arrowmont, Derek (shop coordinator) and I drilled, glued, veneered, sawed, turned and sanded 3 brands of BAKED polymer clays with different results
(…while this was happening there was a constant flow of "polydust" theives going through shop) Woodpants

He also made "grog" ... he ground up thin-baked polymer to a powder, then screened it just like you do with fired earth clay
...he then mixed the ground clay into the raw clay.... adds body for throwing, and also gives a very earth-clay look
The cured and ground up Sculpey inclusion began my experiments ...first I tried "chewing" the pieces with a pair of pliers, but that was too hard to manage for my hands, so I went outside and searched for a hand-sized rock, then I found an old cast-iron skillet and used the two items as a make-shift mortar and pestle. Tinidril (Yvan)

With my sun-dried, hard canes (after crumbling them), I whizzed the pieces even finer in my food processor, then incorporated them into some "mud" clay I already had--and came up with my own version of Granitex!
...I put it aside to use later, but alas --for the Granitex idea anyway-- by the time I got back to that project a week or so later, the dried out pieces had become "reconsituted" by the good clay, so that when I ran it through the pasta machine a few times, the speckles blended into the rest of the mud clay.
LynnDel (so use and bake soon)

It looks pretty cool too to use the hard crumbled pieces from the food processor as is, in pasta-machined sheets
... I have several sheets that look almost like scenes with varied layers of fine, speckly colored bits... and/or sometimes even dimensional rough lines that look very geological. Diane B.

Take some clay and chop it up pretty fine in the food processor... then bake the crumbs about 5 minutes (this is enough for them to remain kind of hard).
....Then I mix them into soft clay that is a lighter color or at least contrasting color .
...Then I roll it into a cane and take slices to cover things. ...Because the crumbs have been cooked only a little, they slice really easily ....if the crumbs are cooked too long though, the blade will catch on them while cutting slices and sort of pull them out of the soft clay instead of slicing through them'll have
some of the pure crumb showing at each slice, as well as the shadows of the crumbs inside the clay.
... it ends up looking like stone (It's not a strictly imitative technique though, so I don't go for any particular colors)
...I made some really neat ones using Sculpey's Bronze mixed with gold leaf for the crumbs, plus bronze mixed with white to form sort of a cafe-au-lait color for the soft clay. ...i took thin slices and covered beads formed with scrap clay then Futured them

What about using the sharpenings (whole or chopped) from polymer pencils?? DB (see Pens > Pencil sharpening)
....sharpenings are gorgeous! Sue

Are you sawing black PVC pipe? If you want to save the PVC dust/bits left over , it makes a groovy inclusion in translucent clay.

Desiree's Sparkling Moss Agate bead
(lesson ....translucent clay sheet.... covered with black clay speckles of finely chopped clay plus areas of Sparkling Copper Pearl-Ex powder (larger flakes)... rolled into spiral ...cut on sides with blade curved-- resembles footballt) (larger photo at bottom of page)

chess board: I used a small amount of blue granitex mixed with translucent [Sculpey III] for one set of squares, and white pearl mixed with translucent for the other set of squares. I made a template out of cardboard for the size of squares I wanted, and then placed them on a sheet of black clay, which I had rolled out on the thickest pasta setting and then cut to the finished size. I also used the largest pasta setting for the squares. Anyway, I then baked the board, and it came out great!! Still have to sand it.

Play SAND & DIRT, etc..

Also one of the best is good ole dirt!!!! Marie
(...dirt can also be forced into dark acrylic paint when making veining in the surface of faux turquoise, or in other depressions... see Faux-turquoise)

Heather R's covered mini bottles (Granitex clay? or inclusions?)
...I mix my own with Granitex or "stone" clays with translucent clay and sand

For a piece you want to look more rustic (like brick, stone?), you might try a blend of sculpey's tan, terra cotta and translucent clays, adding sand to your mix. Jeannine?

adding colored play sand (very fine grain, available at craft stores) to translucent clay
.... I've found that a concentration of 3/4 teaspoon per ounce of translucent clay is a good saturation level. ... many work best at 1/2 t or less sand can be good for faux jade... Lindly Haunani
.......Lindly's lesson and tips on using sand for jade (near bottom, mixed in with crayon-jade lesson) can also use some of the pink sand color as an inclusion in making faux rose quartz. Patty B.
(see more on rock and stone in Faux--Many)

I've been getting some really interesting effects by mixing a palette in translucent clay using play sand in the primary colors (yellow, red & blue)
.......the particle size is large enough that there is optical mixing going on, so the resultant color mixes look like heathered yarns and waxy cacti skin after being sanded and buffed.

....for using sand or salt for surface effects (rather than mixing it into clay), see Faux-many > Raku and Lava and Aged Looks, etc.

This material is like a cross between sand and glitter? It's made out of recycled glass and supposed to be very safe.. Wonder how it would be in inclusions? ...Has anyone seen this or used it? DeB

(Pearl Ex, Fimo pulvers, embossing, pigments, etc.)

I was not prepared for the striking results when I used Premo translucent and various inclusions!! . . . the green-yellow Pearl-ex fairly *glows* in sunlight ...the antique gold glitters deeply, too.
. . The surprise was the purple Pulver (with antiquing) which produced a truly lovely faux amethyst! Tinidril (Yvan)

Heather's lesson on mixing brown embossing powder with translucent clay to use as a "sand" onlay (Tropical Goldfish Switchplate)
Sarajane's embossing powder inclusion samples

Lindly H . . . adding powdered pigmentsof various kinds too clay. Try it!
.....Start with translucent clay (brand of your choice)... then fold in 1/32 of a teaspoon at a time into one ounce of clay.
...........for embossing powders and metallic powders like Pearlex and earth pigments... try 1/2 t per ounce.
...............for sands and gravels ...try 3/4 t per ounce.

Norajean's mica powder mixed with liquid clay (or could be glitter)

see also in Glitters & Flakes above for more powdery glitters as inclusions

the powdered pigments sold to make your own paints are pretty expensive, but are available from some art stores or from catalogs such as Sax Arts and Dick Blick. (look for their on line sites.) Patty B.
....for heavy metals and dyes and intense pigments, 1/4 t or less per ounce of translucent clay should do. Lindly

Stay away from any art pigments which are toxic ( banned from sale in the US?)
...Do use a dust mask with ultra fine powders. Lindly

Dinko Tilov used to use dry tempera (aka tempra) paint to color his clay as he had no idea the clay came in colors
...Sue Screws used (black?) "Tempra Powdered Paint" to mix in with her clay too, and it worked pretty good .Tamila
....however, the dry tempera available in craft stores has a lot of filler that you really don't need, so the dry pigments are actually cheaper since they go a long way. Patty B.

...for much more on including metallic powders (and other powders) in clay, see Powders ..and alsoTranslucents)

CRAYON shavings

Just add any color or combo of colors of crayon gratings or shavings to translucent clays (or to tinted translucents)

Lindly Haunani was the first to do mix crayon shavings into (translucent) clay, I believe, many years ago
... her lesson and variations on using crayon shavings of various colors...some mixed in well, some left more spotty

NOTE: doing this will cause the crayon wax to ooze out a bit wherever it touches the surface of the clay being baked since wax melts rather than hardening... not too much of a problem, but put something porous underneath the clay-with-shavings to catch any wax.
....the more the shavings are mixed into the clay, the less will ooze out

Kay P's various colors of crayon inclusions ....jade... coral... lapis... turquoise ...... and various pastel tints
(for more on faux jade & coral, etc., see Faux--Many)

Banu's lesson on mixing crayon shavings from two greenish-crayons with 2 oz of FimoSoft's "Marble" clay (white with occasional black spots), then making a miniature teapot, tea cup, saucer and tray with it to get green "speckled" crockery

Danielle's lesson on mixing two colors of shavings in translucent clay, separately
...each clay sheet with shavings is put through pasta machine till bits of color are evenly distributed, then both mixed sheets are twisted together a bit.... speckled colors

Heather R's blue & purple crayon inclusions (gone?)

I've also been fooling around with grating crayons onto a pool of liquid clay
....... then setting it with an iron .....and baking (...put the TLS on parchment, grate the crayons on it, cover it with more parchment before applying iron) get some cool "tie-dye" starburst effects, but I'm not sure what to do with them yet.
......maybe sandwich it between a sheet of solid color and a very thin sheet of translucent, then bake, sand, and buff? Suzanne I.

SPICES, Incense, HERBS, dried flowers

Inclusions like these may give a relatively smooth visual appearance, or have lots of plaquing, or be quite speckled/lumpy and can resemble whole grain crackers ... just depending on which are added

Marie Segal’s extensive inclusions samples using herbs, spices, dirts, sands, etc. (click on all 7 pages)
Muriel's sample beads mostly with spice inclusions... plus names of spices used

I have even wet sanded these after baking with no adverse effect…Marie

Kris Richards' lessons on mixing many inclusions into translucent clay sheets, like:
...flakes of metallic leaf or
Jones Tones foils . ...metallic threads
...Pearl Ex (mica) powders & mica flakes
...colored embossing powders (and clear UTEE)
....fine glitter (round, stick, or star-shaped, etc.)
...colored sand ....spices
...old makeup (shadows, blush, etc.) ....crayons

...acrylic paints (sm. amt)... Lumiere paints
(...can also use Beedz teeny tiny beads, but
do not use Beedz when mixing in pasta machine!...mix by hand)

powdery spices

Mary D's "spice rocks"
Muriel's samples of bicone beads with various spices as inclusions
....(see also Marie's samples just above)

Go to the grocery store and get yourself something in the spice rack called rubbed sage!!! This is one of the best things that I have mixed in so far.When I first mixed into the clay,I thought well this one is going to be no big deal.But I made a tile and baked it anyway,when I got it out of the oven I couldn't tell which one of the herbs or spices that I had used, it had changed sooo much!!!! It is truly one of my favorites and soooooo beautiful to look at too!!!! . . . About the "rubbed sage" maybe they don't even make any more …the reason I love it cause it gives the clay a mossy feel and changes so dramatically after baking ....FUN!!!!! Marie
kitchen sage ...wonderful texture and color... Jeannine

Kathy H. likes adding pumpkin pie spice to translucent for an earthclay look

Judi's swirled bicone beads with cayenne spice in translucent clay (alternating with gold mica clay)

I made a major, old-spices cupboard toss a few months ago...before I got into clay... Dang! Dang! Dang! ...Sunny

Spices can also be used for coloring clay (marbled or solid)... some are strongly pigmented like paprika or turmeric, others are more subtle and heather-like

herbs, flakes, dried flowers (organic)

Dianne C's inclusions were made and used in several ways (then sanded and buffed):
...into translucent clay, she mixed either crushed blue lobelia, crushed marigolds including the stems, or crushed rose petals
...another mix was ropes of caramel clay mixed with instant coffee granules, gold clay mixed with Perfect Fx Stardust, & translucent claymixed with Perfect Fx Copper Grande ...twist ropes together ...fold and twist as long as wanted

Dianne C. also "encased" some of her inclusions under a very thin layer ( #7) of translucent clay
.....for these she used glitters, metallic leaf flakes, thin translucent-opaque cane slices, etc.
......she simply sandwiched her inclusions between the # 4 thickness base clay sheet and the # 7 transcluent sheet (without mixing them into the clay)....bake, sand and buff
...this encasing also helps create a smooth surface, if needed, from a bumpy one if any of the inclusions in the sandwich are dimensional
...... so could also be used on a mixed inclusion sheet
(same link as just above)

I saw Marie's herbs, dirt, flowers under translucent (bleached trans.) and they were wonderful. I think that the flowers "bake" and dry during the baking process.
...I'm making the coolest votive based on one I saw in Marie (Segal)'s shop.
.....Mix translucent with a little statis (a very dry purple flower).... both petals, and some of crumbled leaves/greens.
.....Then roll this out and cover your votive with it.
.... Take some of the actual flowers (it helps if you trim them a little first to be flatter) and smoosh them into the clay all around.
.....Cover this layer of flowers with a VERY thin layer of translucent (Marie even put VERY thin slices of translucent and white lace cane over the top.)
.....Put some kind of border around the top

I have used herbs, seeds, plants (dried), in clay and have never had any problems.

Kathy, the flower petals do bake and dry but I have found that if I dry first and then mix in clay, color stays better. Statice retains it's color best!!! Bougainvillea is pretty good too!!!! When I use the flower petals fresh they tend to plaque clay more than normal from the moisture! Moisture does cause plaquing!!! This too could be good!!! Marie

Someone was talking here the other day about including flowers and things in polyclay beads. I have a friend who grows the world's smallest roses. They would be great in jewelry or to use with figures or scenes. Just thought I'd pass that on. Robert H. is the page which has 4 lessons on using rose petals (no polymer clay) as inclusions for sculpting roses, or anything (making a flour dough, or simply boiling and possibly adding glue, etc.) wombn
another lesson, using fixatives to preserve scent, etc. (cooking or simply soaking)

(see more on using organic materials in Mixing Media > Nature Materials)

SMELL-Y Inclusions

Various liquids, herbs, etc., with scent can be incorporated into polymer clay, and it can be done in various ways.

After time though, the scent will weaken (more with some materials than others), but it can usually be revived for at least awhile:
...what about rubbing them (friction and heat) when you want a hit of the smell after it's weakened?
...heat also releases the essential oils of plants so I wonder if just wearing them against the body would affect the strength of smell? Stone

......and what would happen if we used this for votives??? Would the scent then be released with burning? Stone
..or didn't someone mention sanding the back side of a scent-impregnated piece occasionally to revive the smell?

What holds the frangrance, in pot pourri anyway, is dense, cellulose-based material.... after the woody materials absorb the fragrance, they tend to hold on to it, then release it a little at a time over a long time

I have lots of essential oils, so I put my whole raw? cane into a closed container with some essential oil-soaked paper towels (for some length of time)... don't know how it turned out later though because I sent it to the swap. Patti S.
...If you want to try embedding scent into an already-made polymer item, put it in tightly closed container... soak a couple of paper towel sheets with essential oils (just put a bunch on, don't drench it). Then close it all up together for at least a week. I don't think it matters whether raw or baked, but the fragrance will burn off in baking. Patti S
.... this sounds like a good method might be that heating the polymer item just before enclosing it with the fragrance might make it even more receptive though?? Diane B.
....we all know that many plastics can absorb smell very well ...the problem is that many don't hold the fragrance for a long time... you would have to keep exposing it to doses of fragrance. I suspect polymer is like that. Patti S.

I'm going to make some clay cores tonight with various scents, and let them bake awhile and then air dry all night... I will keep you posted, but the broken one smells GREAT!

I left cotton balls soaked? with fragrance inside some baked polymer clay "rock" vessels ...but within three days they fell apart because the fragrance had eaten through the baked clay
...... if I lined the vessel with aluminium foil though, this didn't happen. Cindy TX
...But what kind of a fragrance was it? and how much did you use right next to the clay? ... do you know if it was alcohol-based like (regular?) perfume, or was it an essential oil?... and if it was an oil, which one was it? Elise
...what I sometimes do instead is to just cover the outside of tiny (metal?) bottles (either silver or gold toned, available at some craft stores in the jewelry section)..... I've also covered tiny glass bottles that use a cork for a stopper ....and also the perfume pen kits available from companies such as Penn State for wood workers
..... this way the customer adds their own scent later, whether it be essential oils or regular perfumes. Patty B.

If you want to really see your herbs, sandwich them between two layers of translucent clay

liquids, powders, herbs

I think some of the essential oils may be too volatile ... the essential oils that work better are the thicker ones, sandlewood, rosemary, patcholi(sp), rosewood, etc..

Try also the perfume oils. . . they are thicker and sometimes stronger smelling than the essential oils. Pip

I put one drop of a very pure essential oil on the rose itself several months ago (I did not use Varathane or future on these). far there has been no interaction with the baked Premo at all. Elise

Good health food stores carry essential oils and perfume oils, and also herbs that are harder to find. Stone

I think flavor extracts will work ..but how does their alcohol affect the clay? (I just have a sneaking suspicion that the perfume oils may be even better!)
....flavor extracts are available in many scents, not only vanilla, lemon, peppermint, rum, etc.
...there are some things that they call extract or oils in the drug store that can be had very cheap too... ie; citronella

I think it was Marie Segal who did an entire article in Jewelry Crafts about a year ago about using various spices to scent clay.
...I tried it with anise (I ground the dried anise myself) for a watch band and for a book mark, and it worked great.
...From what other people have written about their experiences, most of the scents wore off quickly, but my watchband and bookmark, now both well over a year old, both still have a sweet smell, faint, but there.
...The watch band has a Future finish, but the anise scent is still as discernible as the bookmark without the finish. LynnDel

a woman at our guild used some ground cinnamon or cloves I think, and her pieces SMELLED wonderfully !!!!
crushed cloves and cinnamon smell wonderful, adds to the effect when you make little gingerbread figures, or miniature pumpkin pies.
Marie R's lesson on making gingerbread family with cinnamon in the clay (1/2 teaspoon or more, in one block of clay)

I have always used cinnamon/ginger/cloves in my gingerbread mix--sometimes even pepper--and they have been around for about 6 or 7 years with no adverse changes.

If you want a divine odor, it's expensive, but... crush vanilla bean. Then you just knead it into the clay.

I mix this stuff right into the clay!!! ....even the oils! .....I really don't know how they manage to do that, but it is great isn't it.
...oregano is one of those that keeps it's smell too and looks great, but do you want to smell like an italian dinner waiting to happen all the time....LOL!!!!!!!
....I think it has to something to do with the more woody herbs!!!! Randi

i put the cloves and cinnamon sticks in my blender, or I crush them with my mortar and pestle for a coarse grind.
...Then you just knead them into the clay

try ground coffee!!!!!.... flavored coffees are fun (Irish Creme) Marie

I have tried lemon balm...very easy to grow and makes a great tea too
... but I think that lemon verbena is a better one, not for color but for smell. Mureecgul

powdered incenses are great too!!!... WOW.
(...btw, good site about making your own incense --cones etc which actually combust., or non-combustible types just meant for heating to release scent )

what about ground potpourri for both color and scent?
...I met this wonderful couple at the embellishment show and they have great stuff to mix-in clay. Victorian Scented Beads, they are in Ohio(1-614-252-7875) talk to Gwen.Tell her about the polymer thing so she knows what's going on!
. . . She also mixes her own blends of potporri that are very nice and I think would be great mixed in the clay!

I didn't let my little lavender-scented paperclay bead dry all the way, and it cracked my clay . . . if I had put a little hole in the clay for the moisture to escape it may have helped....
...Pip,Why not poke the hole in your bead before you bake?? poke it in the paper clay first, then cover with clay and poke in polymer!! am just thinking that the lemon verbena is more woody and that some of it's essences might take heat

a great scent is the herb Bergamot (bee balm flower)

Citronella! ...What a fun idea! I love the idea of bug-repellant jewelry! Too bad citronella is so strong-smelling...I wonder if mixing it into the clay would lessen the "impact" of a heavy fragrance like that?


MISC. inclusions

(real, not synthetic) silk pongee (normally bleached and is sold to silk painters as scarves, etc., or in the fabric store)
...after using it in liquid clay for my wings, I even tried teasing/chopping up scrap bits of the silk and encorporating them in ordinary clays for strength... it does work quite well as long as you don't overdo it and add so much that it can be seen (actually, the texturing can quite be a pleasing effect). Alan

dryer lint

I was trying to duplicate Granitex, Sculpey's "stone" clay, which always looked to me like it had dryer lint in it didn't turn out like Granitex, but it was kind of cool anyway
....I mixed a quantity of dryer lint with chocolate brown clay in a food processor, and added some Diluent... then conditioned it. Suzanne looked and felt just like leather after I used a leather-like texture sheet on it. Suzanne seemed more flexible than cured polymer clay usually is though do have to cut this mixture with a scissors (even uncured) though because it's too fibrous to cut with a clay blade (however, my dryer lint contains a large ratio of dog hair, and maybe if you didn't have furry pets you could cut this "faux leather" with a blade!) Suzanne
.....(for other possible ways to cut or handle a Granitex-type mix, see Characteristics > Stone-type Colors > Granitex )

maybe moss agate could be simulated with green dryer lint, since my REAL moss agate ring has a spidery texture to the green inclusions lint mixed into a lot of translucent mixed with white, a bit of green, a bit of black... chop in food processor... moosh it, but don't blend...cut off chunks and roll into beads.

(various inclusions)

Marie Segal’s extensive inclusions samples ... (click on all 7 pages)
Tinidril's metallic powders, ground baked clay granules & sands in translucent Premo... some molded & antiqued... + faux jade

fatbak’s many tiles of different techniques, some with inclusions
various inclusions from ClayPen
PolymerClay FAQ | Stone Clays
Clayspot: roses, turquoise, "stone"

Inclusions swap (website gone)
"natural bead" swap ("natural" tones and natural inclusions)
(website gone)

Maggie’s bottles (floral, glitter & mica inclusions)

Linda Goff’s "inclusions" with translucent tube beads necklace
Cindy P's spice bowl (rosemary, sage, cloves, and some roots... food chopper first; (non-shiny) metal mixing bowl as form)
antkar Karen's covered glass votives with gold leaf, powders and spices