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Here are some classes that some of our wonderful Rubberstamping Angels have graciously given us:

by Gail Klingele

When I started stamping many years ago, I didnít know anything about inks (actually anything pertaining to stamping! LOL) so I had to experiment with what I had to learn about them. I thought Iíd share some of my findings with you and then you wouldnít have to have so many ruined projects.

DYE BASED INKS: These come in several forms. First of all, there are real cheap pads made for kids to use. They wash off with water and arenít very permanent or bright for long. They are okay for kids to use and for you, too if they are in a color you need but donít have in your nicer ink pads, otherwise, just let the kids use them. If they forget to put the lid back on, they will dry out fairly quickly.

Dye ink pads such as Adirondack puts out come in a solid color or multicolor such as their woodlands pad. These are really nice inks and not too expensive. When you use them, they will smear if you use a wet marker or water colors on top of them. They are good for coloring in with colored pencil. Or just stamp your image and donít color it. Generally, dye inks can not be embossed but there is an embossing powder out there that will do dye inks if you are quick about it. Dye inks are good to use, too for fine line images as pigment inks clog the fine lines and wonít give as good an impression.

The Big and Juicy pads come in a multitude of colors and rainbows. They are dye inks and are very good for brayering as the pads are large so they accommodate the Fiskars 6Ē brayer. To use these with the brayer, simply hold your brayer in your hand, lay it on the pad, roll to the other side of the pad, pick it up and return to the start, roll again, etc. picking up each time until your brayer is inked. Donít go back and forth as you will only be inking up a part of the brayer. To apply to the card, put a piece of waste paper underneath your card, start brayering off the card on the waste paper, proceed to the other side of the card, then brayer off that end, too. Roll with a little pressure and go back over the same area until you are satisfied with the color. If you see that you have a line developing across the card in one place, it means that you are rolling back and forth and not picking the brayer up at the start and the other end. OK, this started out as an article on ink pads, not brayers. Thatís another class.

So, back on track. Another type of dye ink is the permanent type like Memories. These come in several colors and are beautiful, again not too expensive. Use these inks when you want to use water colors or markers to color your images as they wonít smear once they are dry and they dry quickly. All dye inks can be used on glossy as well as any other type of paper. They will not smear on glossy like pigment inks will. These are not water soluble so you must use a cleaner put out by several companies, or just live with stained rubber. It wonít hurt your stamps to be stained, they will continue to work just as well as brand new stamps. However, if you just canít stand stains, use the cleaner as soon as the image has been stamped and you may be able to keep your stamp clean.

PIGMENT INK PADS: This brings us to pigment ink pads such as Color Box puts out. When stamping on glossy with pigment inks, you must emboss the image or it will never dry and will smear. These can be stamped on non-glossy and not embossed and they will dry okay. As mentioned previously, they donít always do well on fine line images as this ink is thick with glycerin so it can clog the image and you wonít get a real good print. These are water soluble so clean up is easy. I donít believe they stain the rubber, either so donít be afraid to let them stay on the rubber a while before cleaning up.

MARKERS: Another ink, but not a pad, is markers. By using Marvy markers on your stamps, you can color, huff on the stamp to remoisten it, stamp onto glossy or non-glossy and either emboss or not, whatever you choose. Some other brands are good to use on stamps such as Le Plume and Tombow. The cheap markers you can buy for the kids really arenít good as they dry too fast to be able to stamp with them. I guess you can use them to color in images that have already been stamped, if you donít have any better markers but markers last a long time so it would be a good investment if you donít have any. They do cost quite a bit but last a long time. Another ink pad that I have not used is Encore metallics. I really canít tell you much about these except that they cost more than other pads, are extremely beautiful when stamped and, I believe Iíve read, do not have to be embossed like other metallics do.

A Versamark Water mark pad is really a cool pad. It looks white but when you apply your stamp to it and then to non-glossy paper, the image comes up in a darker shade than the paper. This can be embossed, too if you want to. If you donít clean this ink off the rubber right away, it is difficult to clean. Use a cleaner from one of the companies to clean it.

Acrylic paints can be used on stamps either by making a pad of paper towels and applying the paint to that, then using it like a stamp pad or just using one of those sponge paint brushes and paint the stamp directly. This works very well for stamping on clothing. I like to use a brush or one of those make up sponges to apply the paint as I have better control and donít get too much on the rubber. This brings us to the last type of ink pads that I know about and that is Fabrico. These are used for fabrics and the stamped fabric must be heat set after use. Clean acrylic paints and Fabrico off the stamps right away so they donít dry.

Remember that these are my observations on inks. You may have worked with your inks differently, if so and you want to tell us about it, go for it.
If you have questions or problems about my article, please email me at
Thanks, Gail

More to come!!!!!