Monday, May 14, 2018

Fired Alcohol Ink Ceramic Tiles

Earlier this year, I started playing around with starting alcohol ink on fire (a controlled burn). Lighting the ink on fire mixes the ink and makes the ink seem brighter or darker (depending on the color). It's a really addicting process. My first attempt was on a larger ceramic tile. I also tried it out on a mirrored candle plate and plain glass plate. I feel like I'm finally starting to get the hang of it.

So, I knew I wanted to do the whole fired ink thing again, but I didn't know what to try it on. I dug through my craft stash and found some old 4 inch ceramic tiles that I had used as experiments in the past. They were in various states of cleanliness. Fortunately, alcohol ink comes off ceramic tiles pretty well (even after sitting for a year or more) with rubbing alcohol. I put the tiles in the kitchen sink, sprayed a bunch of rubbing alcohol on them, left them for 30 seconds, and came back with a paper towel and rubbed them off. They were good as new. If you used tiles with a satin or matte finish, they might not clean up as nicely, but the good old cheap glossy ones (that sell for like 15 cents a piece at the hardware store) clean up nicely.

I set up my station with an old cookie sheet and a cork trivet (using your kitchen stove is also a good option). Just make sure you clear the area surrounding your tiles and that they are set on heat proof surfaces (that can get some ink on them if it spills over the edge).

I took a picture of the ink before I lit it on fire, but it turned out very blurry, so I just squirted some alcohol ink in three different colors (twilight purple, raspberry, and limeade) on the tile. I squirted a little bit of rubbing alcohol on the tile with an eye dropper and lit the tile on fire with a long handled lighter.

I then added some sailboat blue and lit it again (and had an interesting thing happen with my camera where it looked like I turned the lights off--I didn't). This is about as big as the flames get doing this project (unless you go crazy with the ink and alcohol). So plan accordingly. They burn for 5-10 seconds and everything cools down fairly quickly.

Next I added some more raspberry and watermelon red and I think some clover (it's a teal). The pink sort of took over the tile.

So I started putting single drops of colors I had already used onto the tile to break up the color. I'd drop the ink on and light it immediately. I repeated it until I liked the way it looked and then moved on to the other tile.

I used all the colors I had used on the previous tile and just dripped them all on with a little rubbing alcohol dripped on too for good measure.

Then I lit the thing on fire and watched the ink move around and fill in. Since I knew where I was going with the colors (the second attempt is always faster), I was able to fill the tile in more quickly and add drops to fill in areas in no time.

When I felt like it was pretty much done, I dripped tiny drops of rubbing alcohol on the tiles with an empty (just kinda wet) eye dropper. The flamed ink projects use a bit more ink than some other kinds of application, so they can remain sticky for quite a while. I left mine to dry for a couple hours before handling, and since they are matching colors, they'd make great coasters. I'll have to seal them with some glossy mod podge to use them as coasters. I've also used acrylic spray, but it can stipple the ink just a bit so you have to apply it carefully in thin coats. Some folks swear by Kamar Varnish or giving it a clear coat with resin. I don't have experience with either methods, but they are both on my list to try.

For now, I'm just really pleased with how bright and vibrant these turned out! I can't wait to try another project with flamed alcohol ink.

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