How to Add Color Pigments to Concrete for Jewelry

SKU VID-1007
Designer: Julie Bean
Skill Level: Intermediate
Learn how to add color pigments to your concrete to make a wide array of jewelry designs. This is a very easy and forgiving technique.
Audio Transcript
Note: This audio transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate.
Hi, this is Julie with beadaholique.com crete for your jewelry projects so we're gonna be using artist concrete in conjunction with the concrete pigments to make a couple different pieces of jewelry but first i want to show you some finished examples so the pieces that are white here this is the plain concrete this has no color added to it it's a really nice base color may I say you do want something a little bit more colorful you have a whole host of colors to choose from and you can see here we've added a little bit of yellow here I've actually done a swirl design these are these great little bluish purple triangles there's a lot you can do with it and here I have a couple little samples of molded pieces I did with varying degrees of quantity of the pigment itself let me show you how to do this I'm going to fill a couple bezels I'm also gonna do a couple molded pieces what you're going to need is your gonna need the artist concrete this is what it looks like you get a really large tub of it so a lot to work with there and then you're gonna need a pigment and for this one I'm gonna be using this really pretty green and you're gonna need some water now the formula is actually on the tub itself so you're gonna need a tablespoon of concrete 1/2 teaspoon of tap water and 1/16 of a teaspoon of pigment and I pre measured those out so I have my tablespoon of concrete I have my 1/2 teaspoon of water and I have my 1/16 teaspoon of pigment now I'm using these medicinal measuring cups and I really like them for this application because they've gotten measurements actually on their side and what I do here is my tablespoon so I just mark the tablespoon and then I fill it with the concrete and then in another cup I just mark the 1/2 teaspoon and I fill it up to that line with the water and then I just measure out separately the sixteenth teaspoon of the pigment and put it in another cup ready for use so this almost feels like I'm baking here which is fun in terms of preparation you're going to want to lay down some parchment paper or wax paper or something to cover your work surface there are no toxic odors it does have kind of like a dusty smell to it but it's not toxic which is nice you can use a particle mask if you want to I'm going to be using some gloves especially because I'm using the pigment I just don't want to get on my hands it'll make it way easier to clean up here and then another just word of caution is make sure you're wearing something that you don't mind getting concrete on because that is going to be essentially what you're getting on your clothes so maybe like a smock or an apron I accidentally got some of this on my pants not really thinking about it and then I went to wash it off and thought oh I can't add water to the dust because it will turn into concrete so I ended up having to kind of use some packaging tape and try to remove it with tape so that's just another thing to take into consideration so I do want to show you how to do this let me first prep my bezels so you want your bezels to be level if you lay them down on a table it might be a little hard to see here on camera but the bail is actually making the top part of it rise up a little so it's at an angle I don't want that I want it to be flat really easy way of doing that is to just set it on a popsicle stick and then this other bezel doesn't have that problem so it's flat as it is and these are the guys I'm going to be embedding into it you can embed objects you just want to make sure that the shoulder of the object which is the widest point is submerged in the concrete and then it will really grab on to it so let's go ahead and mix up our concrete so we're going to start by adding the pigment in its dry form to the dry concrete now we're just going to start quick note about the pigments they look really intense and dark in their containers they come out quite a bit lighter so that is just something to keep in mind this is in there purely saturated form here you're essentially adding white to it so if you were to mix like really dark red with white and paint the terms you would end up with pink so kind of keep that in mind when you look at the colors of pigments they are gonna end up lighter than the actual pure pigment itself okay so we're adding a little bit of water we're gonna stir and then we're gonna add a little more water now you'll want to keep some extra water handy because you might need even more water than this you'll want to slowly add just a couple drops at a time actually it's gonna dry even a little bit lighter than this color too but I like that green is really quite pretty so hopefully you can see this at the bottom I'm scraping the base of it because there's a lot of powder to concrete down at the bottom that I'm having mixed in yet this does cure pretty quickly an hour is what is recommended at least an hour I like to just play it safe and let it cure a couple hours just that's my own personal preference I tend to do that with everything from East 6000 to resin figure a little extra curing time never hurts it does also set up pretty quickly it will start to get thick as you would imagine concrete would do relatively quickly so you're going to embed anything you want to do it within the first five minutes okay so this is about the consistency you want it is portable but it is still pretty nice and thick so I'm going to start with this bezel here and I'm just going to pour it in to begin with because this is such a large bezel and now I'm going to push it to the sides and I'm just pushing so I could leave it just like that is really pretty it would be a nice modern focal piece but I want to add these little cabochons and I think put one down at the bottom they do sink down at this level but if they were a lot lighter they would rest on the top I have just a little sample piece right here just some seed beads I sprinkled onto another piece and they just stayed on the top so that's a fun note and I just make that one in there it makes a nice little statement so I think I'm just gonna leave it with the one cabochon just make it a little piece of Modern Art and then I'll let that cure now I'm gonna fill this triangle bezel and because it is smaller I'm not going to pour instead I'm going to drip so this is another technique and I'm just going to do it pretty slowly I have in the past accidentally got a little bit on the outside of the bezel and I just was able to wipe it off when it was still wet just really carefully I wiped it off actually with my glove much as my finger and that worked fine so that's a good thing to keep in mind and I found so far this concrete is pretty forgiving if you're used to working with resin you'll know that that's very precise very technical and there's not much room for human error in this case so I have had really a good experience of being able to make a little minor mistake here and there and it's turned out fine so I'm going to let gravity do it not too much work here there we go just letting gravity work here so it's not as self-leveling as resin again if you're familiar with resin so it does take a little bit of work to get into the corners it might or might not have gone down into those corners if I had just let it be and now I'm gonna do the mold and this is already starting to get a wee bit thicker I might do this other one here since I have it handy okay there we go so now we're gonna let those guys cure in the meantime I want to talk to you briefly about the color of the pigment so I want to show you that there is quite a nice selection here so a lot of really great earth tones you also have a nice black yellow and a blue so you can find all of these on our website but really quickly what I want to definitely show you is here is this blue this is the 1/16 of a teaspoon oh this color so there is quite a difference it's a really really pretty blue but it is lighter than the actual color of the pigment also note that when you mold a piece the back is more of a like a bisque it's more of like a mat and then the molded part is a little shinier and I'm actually a little bit more intense of the color as well so you can see a nice comparison here as well so we just poured it into a bezel so it's got that really nice matte finish whereas the piece that was actually molded there's a little shinier that's something to keep in mind now I wanted to see if I could get a little closer to this color here so I upped my quantity of the color we see I added a little bit more I got a little bit darker and then I added even more yet and I got closer so this was the recommended amount one sixteenth of a teaspoon and then because I love to experiment and was curious I just kept adding a little bit more we ended up with a little bit of a darker color and then I want to show you oh so this color here is what this color is and then here's the back of it so this really ended up quite matte and then the molded piece was much shinier so that's just a quick note about those guys and so we're going to now wait we're gonna let these cure and then I'll take them out of the mold and show you what they look like here's a couple pieces already done you see they really have a nice look to them so I've waited a couple hours for this to fully cure and I want to show you what we've ended up with so I really like how this looks like traditional concrete and we are making concrete jewelry so it has a really nice surface quality to it and it's completely hard we didn't need to bake it it was something that air dried and there is no shrinkage which was nice as well so we've got the two pieces we did in the bezel and now I want to pop out the mold pieces and you're gonna see the color difference and also the difference of what the top surface area looks like so they just come out very easily and we have that darker green which is closer to the green that it was when it was wet so if we see the contrast here and they are actually nice and shiny as well very smooth completely hard but actually pretty lightweight as well which is a nice thing about this concrete as well because you think concrete and you think really heavy and it's not it's very lightweight let me show you now the collection of the pieces we have so we have this necklace or this pendant I should say in the Triangle pendant we have the molded cabochon and I've got them in a couple different colors and then let me bring over these little triangles that we did in the blue and if you remember the color swatches and then this piece here if you wanted to obtain this more marbled look you would just mix two separate colors so two different cups of colors and then you'd wear them together but you want it fully mix them and then you'd end up with this marbled look so just be careful that you just lightly stir them just give it one or two passes and then pour it into your or into your mold to end up with a marbled effect and I do want to show you really quickly the contrast to just the plain white so quite a difference here and just a couple quick tips when you're working with this stuff I think what is nice when you're doing some designing of course do whatever you know catches your fancy but if you're looking for ideas geometric shapes work really well with the concrete also gemstones are nice I think it kind of is a good way of playing off of the concrete mixing with different earth elements and then also like a real contrast with faceted metallics is kind of fun too as you see in this piece here so those are just a couple ideas to get you started with the concrete we're going to have other tutorials as well including one that is going to show you how to make a faux druzy using the concrete so you can find all the supplies here you've seen here an additional project ideas at beadaholique.com you

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