October 10, 2011

What I did with the f'opal wreckage

Hey Blog and readers, you recall my post about how I made f'opals (faux opals), and you recall how I ended up with some crazy bits and pieces of crystalline awesomeness also known as f'opal wreckage, right? Right! Well,
I tucked that stuff in a baggie and saved it, because I already knew how I was going to use it in future.

You see, some weeks back I came upon pretty much the coolest idea for faux rocks I've ever seen. Like, drop your jaw and have roll away under the couch awesome. It was a sandstone and opal combo devised by a polymer artist called Randee Ketzel. I didn't know how she made them (and still don't, but she does sell a tutorial I believe), but I was determined to try to make my own. And as you can see here, I did!

So, for any of you who braved your way through my f'opal tutorial, or otherwise have devised a method to create twinkly crystally stuff that would work in this sort of rock, here's what you need to make it happen:


  • some faux opal chunks or other crystalline polymer clay fauxness
  • white granite polyclay (like Premo Sculpey white granite, which I used)
  • tan/ivory polyclay
  • teensy weensy seashells
  • large embroidery needles, knitting needle, or other pointy tools
  • beading hole wires
  • brown acrylic paint
  • Future floor polish


Blend a smidge of tan clay into the granite clay to create a color that is off-white. Roll it out into a thick sheet of clay.


Take a chunk or two of crystals and wrap them in some sandstone clay. Make an irregular stone-like shape, leaving the crystals peeking out. Make sure the part of the stone that will have the threading hole doesn't have the pathway blocked by the crystal(s).

Use the tiny seashells to create fossil-like markings all over the stone, including the back. Then use two or three sizes of needles or pointed tools to create pits in random groupings and patterns over the stone.

Insert any wires through the rock for threading later. (You can drill holes if you prefer, but because of the rough surface of these rocks, you don't need a neat, smooth hole and can do it this easier way instead.)

Bake per your clay directions (I did 25 minutes at 260 degrees).


Mix a warm, golden brown color of acrylic paint and water it down just a bit. It should be thin in consistency but still opaque.

After cooling your rock and removing any wires, paint it one area at a time with the paint, and then rub off the paint immediately with a clean cloth or paper towel. You'll get the hang of removing most of the color from the surface while leaving paint in the little fossil marks and pits to accentuate them. Try not to get paint on the crystals.

Carefully give the crystals two coats of Future to make them extra shiny.

Your sandstone and f'opals are ready to string! I made this fun set of necklace and earrings, which I am in fact wearing even as I type! As Blog here would know, if he weren't just an anthropomorphized non-corporeal being without actual eyes. I love these rocks and am eternally grateful to Randee for having come up with such a fabulous idea. Yay Randee! Yay clay!


  1. Awe-mazing! What you can make from a little blog of clay boggles my mind. I love your creativity! I'm going to show my daughter this post because she can make things from bits and bobs as well and would LOVE this necklace.

  2. Aw, Tameri, you are too kind! I'm very excited you want to share with your daughter. Love it when creativity passes from generation to generation! And I can't take the credit...polymer clay is pretty much the most versatile, user-friendly art medium there is.