Recently, I joined the A.I.A. Oh, I am not referring to the American Institute of Architects, I am talking about Alcohol Inks Anonymous! You know they say the first step to treatment is admitting your addiction. Well, here I am, admitting I am addicted to alcohol inks! Ok, if there hasn’t yet been a support group for alcohol ink alkies established, there should be and I wouldn’t mind being the founding member, as I know others will follow quickly!
Alcohol inks are the most exciting art material around. Artists, crafters, scrapbookers, recycle artists, journalists, collage artists, sculptors, and just about anyone with an artistic bone in their body is using these great inks!
I guess the first time I saw them used by local artist and friend of Cheap Joe’s Cathy Taylor, another Alcohol Inks Anonymous member, I was really intrigued at this unique and special product! Cathy is an experimental collage artist and uses anything she can get a hold of to create with.
She painted these beautiful images using alcohol inks on a non- absorbent surface called YUPO.
Cheap Joe’s now carries the complete line of Pinata Alcohol Inks from Jacquard, which are beautiful, saturated, acid-free, transparent colors. They are alcohol based dyes that are indelible and moisture resistant when dry. The inks are packaged in 1 oz. dropper bottles and are also available in 4 oz. refill bottles in select colors. They come in a wonderful array of beautiful colors with names that remind you of the old southwest, including Sunbright Yellow, Tangerine, Calabaza Orange, Santa Fe Red, Chile Pepper, Senorita Magenta, Passion Purple, Sangria, Sapphire Blue, Baja Blue, Lime Green, Rainforest Green, Havana Brown, Burro Brown, Shadow Grey, Blanco/White, Mantilla Black, Rich Gold, and Silver (both metallic).
Highly versatile, Piñata Colors may be applied to paper, plastic, wood, glass (for decorative purposes only), canvas, metal, foil, ceramic, rubber, vinyl and more. They are great for rubber stamping, fine art, and scrapbooking. We tried them on several common surfaces and some not so common.
When applying the inks to an absorbent surface like Kilimanjaro watercolor paper, you really do not get much movement, instead, the ink stays crisp and clean, with sharp edges.
Drafter’s vellum (similar to heavy tracing paper) is a paper that is transparent and non absorbent. The alcohol inks will stay on top and when dry will be very shiny. This is a great effect for journaling and scrapbooking!
One of my most favorite surfaces to paint on is YUPO. YUPO is a synthetic paper made from plastic pellets and because of its slick surface, it is ideal for use with alcohol inks. The inks seem to move freely when applied to the YUPO surface.
TerraSkin is a relatively new synthetic painting surface that has just recently hit the art industry. It is made from a stone/ resin mixture and is more absorbent than its synthetic cousin, YUPO. Yet, when the alcohol inks are applied, the results are more controlled and deliberate.
Since we have received the complete line of colors, Jacquard Piñata inks have been flying out the door as quickly as we can stock them on the shelves. I decided to grab as many as I could before they were all gone, and try my hand at them!
I first visited Jacquard’s website for some tips and tricks and found they have some great projects using the inks. I really learned a lot and found this great video on bronzing children’s shoes with the Pinata Alcohol Inks!
As you can see from the video, the amazing thing about the Pinata Alcohol Inks, is that they can be applied to almost any surface! I used them on a aluminum can to make a votive holder, transformed old earring to new and fashionable, and cut the bottom out of a water bottle to make a snowflake ornament!
But the most exciting discovery I made was when I tried them on some discarded back splash tiles from my Aunt Maggie’s kitchen redo! Once, I realized these tiles were more than an ideal surface to work with, I just couldn’t stop!
The process is simple. Just apply the Claro Extender solution to the surface, spread evenly with a brush, drop on any combination of the ink colors and watch them come alive! The metallic inks are just great to add some glitz and sparkle. The silver is more prone to mix with the colored inks on the surface, however, the gold ink stays on top as it seems to collect at the edges of the tiles and creates a luscious gilded border that I just love! The Claro Extender can also be added to thin the inks and make them more fluid and active on the painting surface. The Clean Up Solution is also available to remove the applied ink when desired, whether damp or dry.
NOTE: I will caution you to wear thin plastic gloves or use pliers while working with them, as instead of a green thumb, I now have a very yellow finger! I even tried the Clean Up solution with little results in removing the ink from my hands. I think it might take a while for it to wear off!
I allowed the tiles to dry overnight before fashioning a copper wire setting to hold my new art piece! You can create magnets, pins, ornaments, and other useful items from these little beauties!
NOTE: Because the alcohol inks are dyes, it may be necessary to seal your creations to prevent fading over the years. This is especially recommended for artwork that may be exposed to direct sunlight. I highly recommend Golden Archival Spray Varnish to protect your art from the elements.
I have to admit, this is really something I will continue to enjoy. I love the possibilities, the surprises, and the exciting results of this medium.
So, after over indulging in the alcohol ink craze, I am officially and happily, an Alcohol Ink Alkie! And as the founding member of Alcohol Inks Anonymous, I welcome new members to show off their addiction by sharing them on the Cheap Joe’s Facebook Page!
Have a Happy Alkie Inks Day and Keep On Inking!