In a recent chat with syndee holt (Sculpey’s demonstrator extraordinaire), she mentioned that she’d been working with some new colors of Pearl Ex. Hold the phone! Say what? New Pearl Ex Colors? Yes, she told me all about them and then hooked me up with the folks at Jacquard Products so I could learn more. Sure enough, there are five new Pearl Ex colors and they’re available to buy from your favorite retailer starting today!
What is Pearl Ex?
Pearl Ex is a lovely line of sparkly mica powder manufactured by Jacquard Products. (Jacquard also makes Piñata alcohol inks and Lumiere metallic paints, both long-time favorites of polymer clayers everywhere.) If you’re new to mica powder, you’ll definitely want to read my article about it here, to get you up to speed. Sometimes confused with chalk-like pigments, mica powders are a mineral that’s used with all kinds of art and craft media to make metallic, pearlescent, and shimmering colors. Pearl Ex is a line of 54 individual mica powder colors. There are golds, silvers, pearls, bright colors as well as interference and duo colors that appear different depending on the base color. Pearl Ex mica powders are, essentially, pure sparkle powder.
New Pearl Ex Colors
So, what are the new Pearl Ex Colors? There are five of them. One is a revival of a previously discontinued color, Duo Green-Yellow. Two more are beautifully colorful duo colors, Duo Aqua-Blue and Duo Blue-Purple. And finally, there are two brilliant metallic colors, Knox Gold and Hot Copper.
Duo colors have two colors, depending on the color of what it’s used on. If you apply it to a white or light base, you’ll see the first color in the name. But applied to a dark color, you’ll see the second color in the name. So Duo Green-Yellow looks green on white polymer clay and yellow on black. Here’s more about the new Pearl Ex Colors.
This isn’t a new color for the Pearl Ex line, rather it’s a revival. The color was discontinued a few years ago, but is now back with a slightly different color. Below is how the new color looks when applied to white and black polymer clay. (Mica powder naturally sticks to unbaked polymer clay, making it an excellent pairing.)
The new color is a bit more intensely colored than the previous version of Duo Green-Yellow. Here are the two versions, so you can see for yourself. You might find this new version meets your needs better, and if you have the old version, you can see how different it is.
This is a color that shifts very much, depending on what it’s covering. It would work nicely to color mermaid tails and aquatic scenes. It ranges from aqua to turquoise to a deep aquatic ocean blue.
This gorgeous color mixture behaves differently from other colors in the Pearl-Ex line. It is a brilliant turquoise-blue powder with a distinct purple shimmer. On white clay, it makes a bright, almost chalky, intense cerulean blue and has very little sheen or sparkle. Used on black clay, you’ll see a dark midnight blue but with a slight purple shimmer. The camera doesn’t capture this color well as the shimmer is quite subtle. You can see it better in the earrings, below.
Neither the Duo Aqua-Blue nor the Duo Blue-Purple have rich coverage. They are fairly sheer and give uneven coverage. I think they would make better accents or added on a variegated base rather than applied in broad expanses of solid color.
Knox Gold and Hot Copper
Just go right now and buy these. You will love them. They are the richest, most brilliant and shining mica powders that Pearl Ex has created yet. They are so bright and shining that you will think you’ve covered things in foil.
The Knox Gold isn’t a yellow gold. It’s almost orange. The coverage is excellent and there is little difference between the light and the dark base.
And here’s the Hot Copper color. It’s so rich that it’s almost red. Certainly not a penny-colored copper.
And here is what those brilliant colors look like when applied to polymer clay to make some neat little succulent plant pots. Notice how the mica doesn’t look sparkly like glitter, but rather there’s a reflective glow over the whole area like it’s covered in foil. Very impressive material. You’re going to love it!
Using the New Colors
I enjoyed using the new Pearl Ex Colors, especially the brilliance of the new metallic colors. They were jaw-dropping when used with my crackle effects (instructions in the Crackle Compendium here). You can see below in these earrings that use the new Pearl Ex colors.
All of these earrings were made with the shape templates that you can get here (it comes with a tutorial showing how to make earrings neatly and professionally). And you can also learn how to make those two crackle effects with the new Pearl Ex colors by using the instructions in the Crackle Compendium that you can get here.
Where to Buy Pearl Ex
Pearl Ex mica powders are broadly available at craft retailers all around the world and your favorite shop (here are some) will be getting the new colors very soon. I know that Dharma Trading Company has the new colors starting today.
Free Pearl Ex Color Chart
Would you like to see all the Pearl Ex colors in a giant chart? Even better, would you like to print the chart for your studio wall? I’ve photographed all the colors of the Pearl Ex, including the new ones and the discontinued ones and compiled them in a color-corrected chart that you can find here. There is a small downloadable version for your phone and a high-resolution color-corrected 18×24″ poster version that you can get printed at your local print shop. There is also an interactive comparison tool where you can choose colors to see side by side so that you can pick the exact right color of Pearl Ex for your project.
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