Monday, August 26, 2019

Alcohol Ink Glass Gems: Plastic Wrap Application


A couple of weeks ago I finally got the plastic wrap alcohol ink application to work on a ceramic tile. Ever since, I've been trying to figure out how else I could use that method of application. So I thought I'd try it on the most popular alcohol ink project on the website: glass gems.


To decorate the gems you'll need:
clear glass gems/flat marbles
plastic wrap
alcohol ink (I used ranger inks)
table covering (I used craft mats)
if making necklaces: glue on bails and cording


I started out by laying a sheet of plastic wrap onto my work surface and then squirting several colors of ink all over. It's ok (actually better) if the plastic wrap isn't smoothed out during this process.


I then placed my glass gems flat side down onto the ink wherever the colors looked interesting. And that's it. I carefully slide the whole works over to the corner of my table to dry for a day.


The next day, the ink had gotten darker as it dried. I didn't really know how it would turn out. I know that this method works well on white ceramics--I've pictures of other projects online that have turned out great--but I haven't seen it done on small clear glass objects before.


And it was a pretty good success for the first time out. I had some really good ones with multiple colors and crease lines, but I also had some that were pretty blah. And some that were hard to see because I pulled the gems out of my leftover bag and some had pretty heavy iridescent coatings.


So, as a test to see if it made any difference, I repeated the process on about half of the gems. And yes, you can reapply ink if you need to, but most of these had so many colors on them they started browning up a bit.


After they all dried, I decided that they would benefit from aluminum foil tape backing so the designs would really pop. I used a pencil to trace around the gem on the aluminum foil tape.


Then I cut the circles out with a scissors and applied the foil tape to the flat side of the gem. (You can see just how translucent the gem is without the foil when it's sitting on my hand.)


The foil tape is awesome stuff. It seals the inked surface and provides a nice finished looking back on the gem


The tape also makes the ink more visible and provides a nice metallic shimmer.


I foiled the backs of all of the gems and then selected a few of my favorites to turn into necklaces. I'll probably turn the rest into magnets.



I used some E6000 to glue bails onto the backs of the best gems and then after letting the glue dry, I used some faux suede cording to string them up.

 

I think these turned out really neat. The gems have multiple colors and a lot of visual texture from the creasing of the plastic wrap.

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