Books/ Bonsai Trailer Court / Chop/ COCModSquad / Demo Stuff / FactoidHaven / FamilyIndex / Flower-Leaf / Jewelry / Lexx / Man and Beast / Mini-Food / Monthly Highlights / PenPals / Rambles / Reviews / Search / Tutes - New / Biz-Archive - First Three Years / WebCam /




Review 02-23-09: Review of Color Cards

New clayers: A question came up regarding the storage of color mixes. I started to answer the post to Ernesto and then realized it turned into a review of color cards in general. So I'm making it into a page I can refer to the next time we discuss color cards.

I found that the way to record color mixes and store them in as small a space as possible is to keep the records small.

For example: Each color card is the size of a playing card and many can be stored in one mint tin. Each color card record is a series of thin ribbons, small circles cut out of thin ribbon, smaller stars or hearts also cut out of thin ribbon.

Let's look at this color card as an example.

Starting from the left I have a ribbon pressed very thin of the cadmium red straight out of the pack.  To the left of the red ribbon are two snakes of clay, red and white, twisted together.  Below the two snake twist is the result of that red and white mix, seen as a ribbon pressed thin.

On top of that half red and half white mix ribbon are circles with white hearts and this represents red with two parts white, red with three parts white, and the mix of additional white are the circles.

Next to that is a two snake ribbon of red and yellow.

Next to that is the half red half yellow mix as a ribbon pressed thin.

The circles on top of the half red and half yellow ribbon show what that mix looks like with one portion of white, two portions of white, and a portion of pink and that's how I discovered the color peach.

The next ribbon shows the red and yellow mix with more white and more yellow.

Then we have the red and blue two snake twist. You can hardly tell that the purple ribbon is on the black color card it's so dark. The circles on top of that ribbon shows that purple mix with more and more portions of white.

That one card is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand because you don't need a lot of clay to record the mixes. You just need a small amount to make a record.

Keeping a record of the color mixes like this is very liberating actually. There are mixes that can be used for mini fruit and for faux gems. Like the mix for key lime pie can be used for making faux jade.

By recording the color cards in color families you can refer to one card over and over depending on what color mix you're needing to make.

There are color combinations you might not have thought of making if you didn't fall over them by doing these color exercises.

Using metal colors with the primary and secondary colors are my favorite discoveries.

The colors at the far right of that card are my favorites, mixing gold with green has become one of my most loved color mixes.


There are times when I'm trying to rediscover a mix I made in the past and I didn't take time to record my steps, like rediscovering melted cheddar cheese that I use for toasty top on mini bread.

This card has the different mixes I tried to recreate something I mixed by accident. In the process of seeking out the melted cheddar cheese mix I discovered pumpkin pie, dark mustard, and other colors that might come in handy in the future. No mix is a failure, it's a discovery that you don't have use for at the present time.

Keep track of the colors you mix in small thin shapes and slap them on already cured color cards that are waiting to be filled.

As for storage I have all the color cards in a plastic container set on their side. I can flip through them like index cards in a bin. They don't take up a lot of space because I don't use a lot of clay to make them.

I've seen some other color mix recording systems and they all share one disadvantage, they are too big and take up too much space. Using a one inch square of one color mix doesn't seem like a lot of clay or space, but look at how many color mixes you can put on a color card using ribbons, circles, and hearts. That card is 2 inch by 4 inch, roughly and there are 15 color mixes on the first card I shared with you.

The color cards also show you a progression from the primary color of red, yellow or blue, and how the secondary colors come from mixing those, how pastels come from adding white, how these primary and secondary colors look like if we added metallic colors to them. There's a progression and it's very compact.



Monthly Highlights Since 8/2003

The official Clay vendor for



ComboTutes: New and old stuff

 First Three Years - Biz-Archive

NJ Archive 1997-1999