Hi all, I’ve been experimenting with alcohol ink again – yay!!!  It’s actually been a really busy time personally with not much studio time which has sent me a little crazy I must admit.  So yesterday I decided to clean away everything on my table which meant packing up the Ironlak Alcohol Inks and I thought I might start fresh with something else.  The first job on the list was to sort out the foils/mylar box.   I had bits and pieces mixed together so they just needed a general tidy up.  Which led me to the mylar….hmmm I wonder if I can use mylar as a substrate for alcohol ink – Ironlak Alcohol Ink in particular.  That stuff is so vibrant – I wondered if it would work.  So I decided to have a little play.  I wasn’t recording anything at this stage or taking pics – purely in play mode but I soon found out I would need to take some notes and document what was going on.

So let me share what has happened over the last two days.

I taped some opal mylar onto small ceramic tiles and coloured with Ironlak Alcohol Inks.  They worked beautifully.  I tried basic patterns to start off with – simple stripes and blocks of bold colour.  I left this for quite a while to dry and then cut up the mylar and popped onto black clay “leaves”.  These were cured and then coated with Kato liquid clay.  Just beautiful.  Because this worked so well yesterday I decided to try the other alcohol ink pens I had on hand and you’ll see from the pic the difference in “brightness”.  The other ink pens don’t tend to “bleed” into the other colours as well as the Ironlak Pump Action Ink Pens do also.  The pump action pens are full of ink so they saturate the surface you’re working on with lots of ink which is quite different to the other ink markers on the market.

I made sure to record everything that happened, today especially.  I know I’m going to want to go back and look at this technique again, so I need to make sure I’ve got a good record of everything.  I use simple display files and keep samples of what worked and what didn’t work.  I’ve been in the habit of doing this for as long as I can remember and I have to admit, it sure does save me lots of time in the end.

After the first batch of leaves, I decided they needed shape to them rather than be flat so the next two batches were shaped on the side of a coffee mug and cured that way.  I played with different mylar colours, tried cutting the mylar in a variety of ways and placing the mylar mosaic pieces differently each time.  Some of the mylar worked, some didn’t.  Some of the inks colours showed up better than others.  This was all about playing and exploring the medium.  I chose to use the same leaf shape so I didn’t have to bother my brain with coming up with different designs – it was simply a leaf everytime and that was it – easy!

I did however create one round cabochon and this is how it’s turned out – quite funny I think.  Okay so the story of this one is…I wanted to create a cabochon so I could encase it in a netting design I’ve been playing with lately.  I decided to try Lisa Pavelka Magic Gloss and as I’m soooooo not an expert on this product, you’ll notice the really bad resin job.  This has huge potential though.  Check out the amazing colours of the mylar under the glossy resin.  It really does look quite beautiful (just don’t look at that really bad resin job).

Okay so the leaves have all turned out better than I expected and because I have worked with mylar on polymer clay before I know they’re going to need a coat of something to seal and protect the mylar surface.  I tried with Kato Liquid Clay, Sculpey Glossy Glaze, MagicGlos and JudiKins Diamond Glaze.

The Diamond Glaze gave a nice finish but didn’t knock my socks off.  It easily marks as well so I doubt I’ll use this one again.  The Kato Liquid Clay turned out quite beautiful but I did notice some of the colour faded during the heating process.  This wasn’t too bad but it did effect the outcome.

The Sculpey Gloss Glaze had a nice finish and was quite glossy but when I went to do the scratch test, some of it started peeling away….not good.  I decided to see if I could save this one and put some of the MagicGlos on the surface.  This is where I got a total surprise.  In my experience with MagicGlos I’ve found the product always (emphasise always) pulls away from the edges of the piece (I think that’s what it’s meant to do).  Sometimes it’s very frustrating which is probably why I don’t use the product.  So when I popped the MagicGlos coating onto the already sealed leaf….no pulling away whatsoever.  I was holding the leaf at the very top and a slight area hasn’t covered properly but that’s the only area.  Everything else coated beautifully and I didn’t have any of that “pulling away business” I’ve had in the past.  This was huge for me and I dare say those who use this product know that already but I was pretty happy about it that’s for sure.

This the finished leaf with MagicGlos and I can’t tell you how good this looks in real life, especially in the sun.

So that’s been my very awesome experience over the last two days.  I’ve even found more very cool stuff to do with the Ironlak Pump Action Ink Pens but that will have to wait for another day.

Here are the leaves so far – they’re yet to be finished and that’s going to have to wait for another day as well.

Until we meet again, happy creating everyone.  Sending you all lots of love and happy wishes.

Love Deb


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tracey Lowe
Tracey Lowe
6 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing this experiment and your experience with the Mylar. I have learnt and taken away so much from this blog. Thank you! I just looove those leaves too.

Claire Fairweathet
6 years ago

Love the effects on the leaves Debbie and this is really emphasised by the resin on top. Are you not concerned about the alcohol inks fading over time with sunlight? I thought this was an issue with alcohol inks, so have always steered clear of them.

Dini Alves
6 years ago

Fascinating experimentation! If you happen to have a practice leaf left over that you’re willing to part with, I’d love one to work with!!
Hugz, Dini

6 years ago

Very interesting Deb! I love the leaves and of course Mylar is one of my favourite things to play with. Great review!