I Must Insist, Tar Gel Resist

For those of you who missed it, I had my first Facebook© Live streaming event at the South Jersey Clayathon this past February 19. I did a quick demo showing how to use tar gel as a resist on polymer clay. You can access a recording of the the video on Facebook - it's a about 2 1/4 minutes long.

In the video, I provide quick how-to instructions for a tar gel resist technique that yields beautiful results. It's an easy process, though it may take you a few tries to get the exact results you're looking for. I'll walk you the process below.

Things you'll need:

Unbaked polymer clay, light in color

Clear tar gel

Alcohol inks

Translucent liquid polymer clay



Cranberry juice

Fresh lime

Cocktail shaker or similar

Sponge applicator

Dot applicator (aka the back end of a paint brush)


How to do it:

Make your clay be whatever it is you want it to be. (A bead, a sheet, or in the case of the video, an insert into a channel bracelet blank.) A light and neutral color is better, for contrast. (I used Premo! Sculpey® Pearl.)

Dunk the back end of a paint brush into the tar gel, and dot it onto the clay. It'll go on a milky white. Dot dot dot, dot dot dot, dot dot dot. When you're all dotted up, let it dry. How will you know when it's dry? The dots will change from milky white to clear. When it's dry, let the dabbing begin! Put a few drops of your alcohol inks onto the sponge applicator, blending colors if you'd like, and dab dab dab, dab dab dab. ("Aba, daba, daba, daba, daba, daba, dab", said the Chimpie to the Monk... oh, never mind.) Give the alcohol inks a few minutes to dry. They dry fairly quickly.

Once they're dry, pick off each of those little tar gel dots with a needle, taking care not to gouge the clay. Pick pick, pick pick pick. Bake your polymer clay according to the manufacturer's instructions. After baking, seal with a thin layer of liquid clay and re-bake.

Finally, add 1 1/2 oz. of vodka (preferable Stoli®) with 3/4 oz. of Cointreau®, 1/2 of oz. cranberry juice, and a splash of lime juice to a shaker with ice. Shake shake shake, shake shake shake. Pour into a martini glass (or a plastic cup, if that's what's available) and sip while admiring your dotted creation.

Here's the result:

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Hand-crafted jewelry by Terri Powell.

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