Monday, April 05, 2010

Alcohol Ink + Friendly Plastic test = success.

There was a time that you could get flat yellow friendly plastic.
Happy were the fairy wands, bee stripes and bright yellow suns I made from it.
Alas, I have only bits and pieces of it that I covet, saving them for use in a special project designated to happen "some day". Friendly plastic never had a metallic yellow to my knowledge. Why? I have no idea. Yellow must be hard to get right or must be unstable or something. Yellow, being a primary colour, would seem to be a colour you would expect to find in a friendly plastic artist's toolkit. It just ain't so. One day I was lamenting this fact to someone who had a solution for me. Make my own yellow.



An aside here: I am a friendly plastic purist. I have never been interested in trying to make my plastic look like glass or marble or whatever. I want it to be shiny happy plastic. It's what it is and I love it that way. I have never sought to change it ever so taking this advice was tough for me. But I love yellow and I need yellow and now I need brown too so I may as well change and adapt. As a human being this is what we've done for millenia and so I convinced myself that it would be okay.

So I set out on a search for Alcohol Ink.
Alcohol Ink faq here

I tracked it down at my local stamping supply shop, Heather's Stamping Haven, (here's her website, and her blog), and was thrilled to discover many colours. I kept myself to the plan (always tough) and purchased Lemonade to try to make yellow and upon consultation, Ginger to create brown. Sad to say but brown is another friendly plastic colour that's come and gone! BROWN?! yep. When I saw gold cobra go, well that was sad, but to think metallic brown would go too? It's still a mystery to me about the foils on the surface of fp (more on this in later posts as I may have found something to do about that as well!) but you have to cope with what you've got or innovate and I am innovating.

I opened the bottle and let the liquid land on the surface. The ink has a long needle-like nozzle/nose and I pushed it all around my plastic with the side of the nozzle while it was wet, and then if there was a spot where I thought there should be more I put more. I waited until it dried then tried to rub it off with my finger. A little came off so I let it dry longer. We're talking a couple of minutes. Nothing more. I chose flat metallic white as my base and the yellow really showed. I tried some yellow on a piece of orange copper and it made it a yellowy-orange. I liked it but it didn't change it enough for me for what I wanted to make this time round. But being able to slightly alter colours and get variations is very important to some of my plans for fp. Next I did the same process with Ginger on flat metallic white. I did get a good brown. Yay!

And for my first try I made these things with my altered whites...

Yellow Easter Chick

Pin and Earrings

Monkey Juggler Pin

So the colour seemed permanent on the plastic before I cooked it up in the toaster oven. After it baked I tried to rub it off again and it didn't budge. I'm not sure how it will do over time. I don't know if the colour will fade or flake or what. I was using sharpie markers on friendly plastic ages ago and when I first wrote on the surface it seemed great. Permanent. But overtime it faded to a purpley tone and it sort of spread out, it diffused within the plastic somehow and so the writing that seemed so legible when I first made it turned fuzzy and faded. We'll see what happens to the ink as time goes by. So far, so good. The heat of the oven didn't obviously change it.

Now the only thing is the plastic breaks white. Like the foil, the ink sits on the surface and when disturbed the plastic's main colour shows through. It's not necessarily bad, or anything, you just have to figure out how to use it to its best advantage. I suspect with the ink I could brush it into the cracks/seams where I find the white especially distracting. I am sure it would work and IF THAT WORKS... well. It never ends, one idea leads to the next, and it's why I am glad to be making fp things again.

1 comment:

Mylene said...

Great post! Love your animal characters - they are absolutely charming!
Did you know that there is yellow available in Metallic Print Rainbow stripe. I know it's only a thin strip of yellow but it is definitely metallic yellow. Yellow was also available in a pink-backed stick - copper/yellow/orange combination. It's a shame that one was discontinued because it was one of my favourites.