July 31, 2008

Using Bleach as Ink

Posted in Art for beginners, Art samples, Beginner's art, Crafts, Learning art, Papercrafts, Rubber stamping, Techniques (art) tagged , , at 10:04 pm by amateur-in-art

I had wondered about and then read about using bleach as a type of “ink” for rubber stamps, and finally thought I’d give it a try. Here’s how my first attempt turned out. One large stamp, and then a smaller border-type stamp. Obviously – and perhaps I should make this a formal disclaimer – there was no attempt at “perfection” here, but I figure everything I do at this stage in the game is experimentation and learning. So I try to give myself a lot of leeway to make mistakes.

I was surprised when I got a yellow result from this. I was expecting either a lighter shade of olive or maybe even nearly white. I did read somewhere that “newer” bleach was better – mine is several years old, so perhaps that had something to do with the results. But then again, maybe the bleach just brings out the “base” color of the paper, whatever that might be – in this case, maybe, yellow.

To do this, all I did was to take a paper towel, folded fairly thick to sort of make a stamp pad, put it in an aluminum foil tray, like you get at the grocery, douse it with some bleach to get the towel good and moist, but not too soppy, and then used that for my ink pad. After inking the stamp, I placed it firmly on the paper and held it in place for between 20 and 30 seconds. I think the longer I held it on there, the heavier the impression, though it may just be that I got more ink on the stamp to begin with. You’ll see several places where there is a noticable ridge or lack of impression – my guess is that I just didn’t get the stamp good and inked at that point; maybe there was a dry spot on my makeshift ink pad.

As you’re doing this, it also takes about an additional 30 to 60 seconds, after you lift up the stamp from the paper, for the air to hit the bleach and start really giving you an impression. It is light at first, but gets bolder as it is exposed to air.

I like the results I’ve got, here. Kind of reminds me a bit of an old-fashioned Victorian wallpaper. I’ll definitely use this technique again. I like the look, and I also like the surprise of not really knowing quite what I’ll get (like the yellow).

© amateur-in-art, 2008

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