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Techniques For Making Alcohol Ink Tiles

By Joshua Reynolds

For those individuals who are creatively inclined, there are so many different mediums that might me used to make wonderful products. Every one of them will possess a unique suitability range and set of characteristics. Making alcohol ink tiles with beautiful marbling effects using multiple colors could be a great project for those who love this look.

What makes this medium stand out from others of similar type is that it is acid free, has concentrated pigmentation, dries quickly, and is very forgiving. The colors are really vibrant, yet easily diluted, which gives them a highly versatile nature, allowing them to be used in many ways. The product is intended for non-porous surfaces as it would tend to saturate a porous one and produce a faded or muted look.

To begin the project, one must first amass all the required materials and any embellishments they might wish to add. Ceramic pieces will be the working surface, and they come in many varied sizes and shapes, both in matte or gloss finish. The choice of the which specific items to purchase is entirely up to the artist as the techniques can be adapted to virtually any format and circumstances.

The medium can be purchased in packs of three complementary colors, or as single bottles. Metallic additives which can create a luminous or polished finish, a blending solution, and customizing pigment for making unique tones, can help add versatility to the inks and enhance the final project. Additional tools needed for this project include a clear sealant, felt, compressed air, coffee straws, gloves, refillable makers, and stamping applicators.

Technique number one is applying a couple drops of the colors one has chosen, to the piece of felt that has been added to the bottom of a stamp applicator. This is then tapped against the ceramic surface repeatedly and with varied pressure, to get the coverage and patterning desired. Although by its nature, felt tends to leave loose strands in the liquid, they can be removed easily after the medium has had adequate drying time.

An alternative method is to apply the medium directly on the chosen surface, which allows better control of how much is used and precisely where it appears. These areas can be blended in various ways using compressed air, straws, gloves or fingers, or felt. To get a lovely fractured dispersal effect, droplets of blending solution can be applied to dilute the colors.

A third way of completing this project is to add a little medium to a bowl with water inside of it. The inks remain near the surface and as on dips their ceramics into the liquid, the colors will attach to the tile. This marbling affect has a slightly different look that is beautiful as is, or which may be altered as in the other two techniques.

The look of technique can be altered to preference by either dabbing it with the felt stamper, blowing on it with either straws of varied widths or compressed air, using the markers to add detail, or applying blending solution for dilution. This is a very forgiving medium that can be wiped off and reapplied as desired. To protect one's work from damage and possible fading, add about three thin coats of a quality clear sealer.

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