More Alcohol Ink Experiments

I have come to the realization that I am terrible at blogging. I’m not sure what it is. The time it takes to upload the pictures, sort them and make the post maybe? I know I get lost in my studio and say to myself ten times a day, “I should blog about this!”  But then it doesn’t happen.

 I think I just need to make myself blog no matter how quick and unpolished just to keep a journal, even if only to myself, of what I have been up to. So I am going to try to be better. 

I am really busy in the studio and I am accomplishing a lot though it doesn’t show here. I want to post real quick about what I have done the last few weeks with the alcohol inks. They are not the only thing I have been playing with but I am still very excited about them.

 They are just so bright and playful!

My next experiment after the shells was with the flower beads. After all, this is what I bought the inks for. I made a small ink stamper by gluing a piece of felt onto the end of a small tool I had. 

I have since realized that it would have been better if I had glued a piece of velcro on the end so I could change the piece of felt and made a better tool. Learn as you go!

I loaded my stamper with three colors of ink and stamped away with the ink.

I think the results speak for themselves.

I am so excited about how they turned out. I absolutely adore them.

These blue ones are my favorite so far but I have only started playing with these. I can’t wait to try more color combinations.

I went on to try sealing some of these with resin. Although I am fascinated with resin and plan on doing much with it, I found that I prefer the matte finish on these flower beads. The pictures of the finished resin beads did not turn out well so I wont be including them in this post but here is a picture of one pair of earrings I made with the resin ones. As you can see, they are much shinier and the resin made the inks run together. I could probably alleviate that with the sealer and I may try again next time I pour resin.

Since then I went on to play with shrink plastic. I haven’t done anything with this medium before except play with shrinky dinks when I was little. I had no idea what I was doing! I started out by inking a nice wing on the plastic and then proceeded to paint it with my inks. I loved how it turned out.

I still had to bake it though and really had no idea how this would go. To start out with I am fairly sure I had the oven too hot. It curled up quite bad and wouldn’t go back down. When I took it out the inks looked almost black in places. It was dark dull and ugly I thought.

Holding it up to the light you can still see the color somewhat but even that was minimal.

So I spent the afternoon experimenting and realized that: 

1. I was using too high of a temperature. 

2. The inks intensify when baking.

 It is much better to apply them afterwards.

3. It is better to apply a weight after bringing the piece out of the oven to help keep it flat as it cools. 

So I made a few smaller pieces. Inked the outline as before and baked them without the alcohol ink. Then I applied the alcohol ink afterward. Much better! I also cleaned the ink off the big piece and reheated it and flattened it with a weight (my bench block worked perfectly)

All in all, I am in love with the alcohol inks. I still have a lot to learn about them but I think we have become fast friends. The shrink plastic is also an interesting medium. You can do quite intricate works of art on it and then shrink it down to have a nice piece in miniature. I am sure I will also be playing with it a lot in the future. What I really want to do is wrap it in wire.

Until next time I wish you well,

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