Saturday, June 15, 2019
Last week on Art With a Needle
After I complained about a bottle of long-ago-purchased-but-just-opened acrylic ink, Cheryl pointed out that the globs on my bottle and pen are due to the acrylic medium drying out. In this type of ink, pigment is suspended in a dilute acrylic medium. Then Idaho pointed out that with india ink, pigment is suspended in water, so it behaves differently. She wrote: "I am a firm believer in understanding the makeup of what you are using and what it is best for, thus avoiding some pitfalls and frustrations, wasted time and materials.... once you know 'the rules' then you can more effectively experiment by breaking them."
Oh my, how I hate to be reminded that there is a better way than just buying something, opening it up and seeing what happens! She's right, of course, I should look things up before I leap in. But it's so much more fun to just leap in. Yes, this occasionally brings pitfalls and frustrations and wasted time and all that bad stuff but for some reason I keep doing it.
Shamed into it, I did a little more research and discovered that acrylic ink not only has the pigment suspended in plastic, it has the pigment permanently bonded to the plastic. So it is more durable and lightfast than other varieties of ink, including india ink. Perhaps worth putting up with some globs. Or I suppose I could go buy a new bottle... but I want several bottles, in lots of different colors, and by the time I use them all, they'll all probably have globs....
Idaho also found in her research that you should clean the pen or brush before acrylic ink dries. I'm always pretty obsessive about this part with all kinds of ink, even more so when I'm using brushes rather than pens. But I don't believe that I ever saw my father, lifelong user of old-fashioned india ink, clean his pen -- in fact, some of the pens I inherited from the mug on his desk still had ink on them, decades later, and they worked just fine.
By the way, I've wondered why my colored inks vary so much in value, while my black ink is always black.
Some comments also on my post about mending a silk blouse with the help of organza. I love mending and am always happy if I can persuade somebody else to give it a shot instead of throwing away something with lots more life in it. Warning: you can get very fiddly with mending, especially when you don't have enough material, or you're trying to make the mend invisible, or it's a slithery fabric, or any other tricky situation. I find myself sinking into a zen state when that happens, and quite enjoy it -- but it's easy to spend more time on a mend than the salvaged garment really deserves.
Anyway, thanks, friends, for reading and commenting.
Here's my favorite miniature of the week, a little fish trailing a halo of bubbles: