I will start by apologizing for taking so long to get this up.
Second I will explain my color test. The alcohol based ink is by printworks and is called re-inker. It’s made to refill ink pads for rubber stamps. I know that I said I would post pictures of the test, but I am ashamed to say that I didn’t even think about pictures while I was making my test. I will say that the test worked but I didn’t use them. The colors where not what I was looking for. The red, had to much orange in it and the green was to transparent. So I ended up using the acrylic paints. I think I lean to these personally because of the ease of mixing colors and the ability to duplicate the colors with out much trouble. The alcohol inks are so thin, that I will need to get an eye dropper for each color, and right down formulas for each mix. It just seems like a lot of trouble to fix something that is not broken at the moment. Here is a pic with the alcohol ink and the epoxy I am using.
Now on to the good stuff, The first pic is with the red and first layer of green. Yes I know I said I wasn’t going to use green, but it felt right when I started mixing. For the red color I used a metallic acrylic red paint and I added some of the white glitter that I picked up over the holiday. For the green color I used a metallic inlay green and added extra green glitter to it. I did not test the glitter first, so hopefully it will sand up nicely.
The second picture shows all three voids filled. I have been experimenting with a way to get rid of the air bubbles and with some practice this is what I have come up with so far.
After filling the voids, I take my propane torch and carefully allow the flame to heat the air above the epoxy. I keep the flame about 1-2 inches above the epoxy making sure I never point the flame at it directly. Just allowing it to run parallel to it. The first time I tried this I saw the bubbles rise and pop and got excited and point the flame directly at the epoxy. Bad idea. It baked the top layer of epoxy making impossible for any more air bubbles to rise. You can see a spot in the red epoxy where I let it get to hot and it cooked it a little. This is what you don’t want to see. LOL
Once the air bubbles stop rising, the epoxy is much warmer than normal and will flow. At this point I will lean the piece quickly side to side and tap it of my bench a little. This helps fill any voids in the epoxy and helps the last of the air bubbles to rise. Kind of like getting the bubbles out of cake batter. Then it’s the boring part. So far I always have a couple extra bubbles that like to come up at the end, so I sit there with a tooth pick and wait for them. It is kinda like waiting for water to boil only slower. When I see them, I carefully poke them with the toothpick and wait for the next. By this point the epoxy is getting thick and sticky again and will pull out of the piece if you don’t move slowly and carefully. We will see how I did in 24 hours, when I sand it down.
I wish I could have taken more pictures of the process, I didn’t want epoxy all over my iphone, and no matter how careful I am, with or without gloves, I get the stuff all over me. I mixed the epoxy, glitter, and color with a metal paint spatula. It’s about 1/2 in wide and maybe 8-10 inches long. You can get them at any art store. I like it because the epoxy will scrap right off with a utility knife blade after it has cured for a few minutes. Even easier if you can wait an hour. I gather up all of the epoxy on the spatula and then push it into place with a toothpick. Using the toothpick to guide it into place. I use a lot of toothpicks LOL.
I know this episode rambles a bit, but there is a bit of technique in the process. The more of these I do, the more I refine it. I was told by a friend that he puts his epoxy in a baggie and mixes it in the bag. Then cuts the corner off the bag and uses the bag to put the epoxy into the void. This sounds like a great idea and seems like it should work great, but I cannot get it to the corner of the bag. So far that trick is a bust to me, but I will have some fine lines coming up and I will have to figure out how to make it work for me.
Well enough of my rambling. I’ll blame it on the coffee. LOL If I have made this completely confusing, the let me know and I will try to write it up in a more orderly manner. If you have any questions, tips, or insights, please feel free to share.
Happy New Year everyone,
-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks