As you may have guessed, I like to play with dichroic and opalescent looks in polymer. I have found the iridescent flakes are very useful when creating an opal look, but I have not been completely satisfied. One thing missing has been color control. I tried manipulating the background using metal leaf, alcohol inks, and glitters. While I was able to get some lovely colors, I couldn't seem to control which colors I got, and where they appeared. Obviously, it was time to experiment some more.
The pendant to the left demonstrates the use of the iridescent flakes on a colored background. I like the effect of the smooth sparkle and color magnified by the textured black surrounds. However, there is no real control of the color of the opals other than through the use of a colored background. As you can see, the opals appear multi-colored.
Today, I'd like to share with you my latest iterations of faux opal. I wanted to be able to create specific colors when and where I wanted them. The trick, at least for me, turned out to be using alcohol inks, iridescent flakes and translucent liquid polymer to create a slurry. When baked on a metal leaf background, the slurry effect has depth, sparkle, fire and the colors I wanted.
Below on the right, are three pendants. In the one on the left, I concentrated on a purple coloration. I also included a small section of blue and yellow for contrast and interest. In the middle piece, I focused on an overall blue, while in the piece on the right I used green and yellow coloration.
The last photo shows 2 pendants with my version of a "fire opal." On these, the use of reds and oranges in the background as well as in the flakes seems to have added additional depth and inner glow.
I'm really quite pleased with the direction these experiments are taking, and plan to play some more.
I'm also going to have to work on more natural looking settings, but that's a future project.