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Powders: Types  
Fri Apr 28, 2006  9:14 am
Getting All Bugged Out (Was: Have any of you started creating bugs yet?)


Oh we're on the same wave length. I got my laundry done and am getting week end
chores out of the way today too.

Because we were talking about "Living Jewels" and looking at pictures of real
bugs that have metalic colored wings I mentioned it to my girlfriend who works
as a cosmetic chemist. She is so smart about such things, makes lipstick
formulas and such all.  I was moaning about how I don't have Pearl Ex powder and
even if I did I've not seen any that have the saturated color that these bugs

So she sent me 101 small samples of colored mica! The box came in this week and
I just about fell over. As a miniaturist the little plastic containers would
have made me happy even if they were empty. But these were filled with colored
mica samples and they were labeled with a name and I think the manufacturer's
name on most of them.

For the last couple of days I've been making an inventory of the different names
on the small containers and looking at this pallet of powders and the colors are
just gobsmacking amazing. The saturated colors are the like that we don't see in
craft stores. Some have two colors depending on which way the light shines on

I asked her for links to where these powders are bought. They are used in the
cosmetic industry so the sites are geared for that and not for arts and crafts.
(Rona is the cosmetics division of this company and they
make all the pearls)
(these people invented pearls! they were originally Merle.
they also make REAL pearl powder.)\

(another option but limited)
(prespearls are supposed to be cheaper.)

I asked my girlfriend what are the chemical properties of these powders and she
told me. Then I did a search for the chemical properties of Pearl Ex powders and
it's the same thing.

So I'll be working with something I've already had exposure to. Since these are
powders meant to be in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and moisturizers, they seem to
be smaller particles, ground up real fine. They are supposed to be relatively
safe since they go into cosmetics, one would think. With all powders one has to
be careful, wear a face mask, don't toss the stuff around like you're having a
glitter party, that sort of thing.

I'm building a web section to share this information and I figured if I use
black clay as a blank canvas and experiment with these metallic powders I could
see if my theory that using these saturated metal colors on black we could
replicate a real wood boring beetle like this one.

I was thinking of making one beetle, curing it, making a mold of it, then making
a couple of hundred black beetles. 101 beetles to show what each mica powder
looks like stand alone. Another batch to mix colors to see what we can come up
with. My girlfriend said that putting the powders in some sort of medium, like
acrylic floor polish or TLS would be the best bet, then applying a finish over
it after curing.

So I'm getting all Bugged Out on this experiment. I'm learning more about
chemistry than I ever imagined. I'm thinking maybe there's another cheaper
source of these pearl powders than at the craft store, eh? I like cheap. I LOVE

So here's a big hug and tons of kisses going out to Irini, who was so generous
to us. I say "us" because all this information is going up on my website.

But that's not the secret thing we've been working on, just in case you might
have thought it was.  LOL


Fri Apr 28, 2006

Some more information on the "Pressie Powders"


"Pressie" is a term for presents.  ClayMates from the UK, Australia and New
Zealand have used that term.

More information from my girlfriend:

"They are sorted by particle size and chemical nature. 15 to 150 mircons."

Oh I'm so glad I didn't mix up the samples. Just took them out of the pack,
logged them in an inventory and put them back, so they are still sorted as

"The particle sizes are pretty big. Up to 150 microns (look at the reflecks) they
are the largest.
Particle size is very important for feel and visual affect and emulsion
the ultradescence are the smallest particle sizes."

Some of the trade names:
Flaminco Sparkle

"What is plated on which substrate also determines the visual affect. Reflected
light and absorbed light play a part.
Do you have pigment there? hmmmm? Which ones? That plays a part. Interference
colors are titanium dioxide plated unto mica,. sometimes silica. One of the web
sites given there is small talk on optics and the effcts of interference colors.
You might want to know about mass tone and reflection. Some people call it the
flash or sheen."

"But you must not confuse the micas with the calcium sodium borosilicates, the
calcuim aluminum borosilicates, the
silicas, and the pure titanium dioxide. they are not all micas."

That's right, mica is an ore.

Typical Chemical Analysis
Silica (SiO2) 73.5%
Alumina (Al203) 15.0%
Iron (Fe2O3) 0.15%
Soda (Na2O) 3.0%
Potash (K20) 7.0%
Lime (CaO) 0.3%
Magnesium (MgO) Trace

"acrylic floor polish:
I don't think you can credit me with that one but it is another idea. I think I
recommended clear nailpolish or clear acrylic
media (used for painting in acrylic paints, go to your local art supply store)"

I thought we discussed acrylic floor polish. Well, it's one thing we have on
hand and we can experiment with it. TLS too.

Speaking of bugs, there's a bug that's used for pigment, and in a lot of foods
we eat and we don't know it. Hmmm.
This is an interesting link she sent. It is good information for those who eat
Kosher or Hallal foods only.

Now I know this is a bit more than most clayers want to know about powder that
glitters and shines, but it doesn't hurt to know what's in the products we are
using. It also doesn't hurt to look for other outlets for powders that have
saturated color that we can't find in the craft stores.

So as I get more information I'll be posting it here so it'll be easier for me
to gather up this information when I make web pages about it.

I still got to find some box or tuppa ware container to hold these samples
without mixing them up.



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