What Are Blending Chalks?
Blending chalks are just that, chalks that are blendable. Blending chalks can also be called chalk pastels or soft pastel chalks. Chalks can be used on a variety of surfaces, including polymer clay. Their color can be easily applied with a brush, sponge-tip applicator, and a variety of other applications.
Chalks will cling onto the surface of the clay and add color to the surface of the clay only. Depending on what quality and type of color pastels you use, you can add a very nice & subtle wash of color to a bold and intense wash of color. While chalks are not a permanent color option for polymer clay, once a piece is sealed the color will be steadfast. Depending on the chalks you are using and have chosen, many chalks can be pigment-rich. Many chalks are easily blendable with buildable color properties, this makes them one of the surface options that I love to work with on raw (unbaked) clay.
Please note that chalks are not the same as mica powders.
Because I make whimsical figurines, chalks are an everyday work-horse for me. In fact, my blending chalks are used so much that they sit right next to my work surface.
How to Use Blending Chalks
Blending chalks can be easily and quickly applied to raw (unbaked) polymer clay. There are many ways to use them, but here are some of my favorite ways:
- On a soft-haired brush. When you place the color on a small soft-haired brush, it can easily provide a slight wash of pure color (there is generally no mica in pure blending chalks) or buildable color.
- On a sponge-tip applicator. When a need a soft-focus, gentle wash of color, particularly for my figurines and faces, this is the best way to go. The soft-focus, illusion color veil is exactly what I need.
- On a cotton swab. When I want to add just a round “dot” of color, I gently twist a cotton swab directly in the pan of the chalk. Using a gentle motion, I lightly “dot” the surface of the clay as many times as needed until the full color you desire has been achieved.
- On your fingers. Sometimes the coolest color effects can be achieved by taking a wet finger and rubbing the surface of the blending chalk block and then rubbing my finger over a stamped design, then wiping off my finger to remove all the pigment. Then use my finger and pick up the pigment from the stamp and touch the surface of the clay. In this way, I am transferring the design without imprinting the clay. It’s a really neat design for texture without texture.
Have you ever used chalks? What’s your favorite way to use them on polymer clay? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.