Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Splitcoast Product Review - Clearsnap Dyestress Inks

I have hit the ground running this week, after two weeks away from home, but before I left I had the chance to sit down with some NEW inks from Clearsnap… these are ColorBox Dyestress Blendable Dye Inks!

The ink line debuts with 12 lovely colors. This is a water-reactive dye ink with an extended drying time that makes it ideal for blending and other techniques. It can even be used for embossing, though I haven't had a chance to test that out yet.

I swatched out the colors, and found the pads to be beautifully juicy. The shape of the pad is unique, and easy to hold on to - since the pads are intended for distressing techniques, that's an important feature. The pads stack very nicely for storing - I used a strip of label paper (1/4" x 1") to add a color swatch to the side of each pad so the colors are visible when the pads are stacked.

To start off my testing, I pulled out a Ranger blending tool and went to work with one of Clearsnap's new Stencil Trio sets to create a background - I was really pleased with how vibrant the inks were, and how well they filled in all the stencil openings. (Stamps used here: Rodeo Silhouette, Like The Rest

My next experiment was a stencil print, where I inked up one of Clearsnap's new stencils, then misted it with water and laid it onto watercolor paper to create a dreamy background (I shared the finished card last week here).

For the next background I blended the inks onto watercolor paper using a Ranger blending tool,  then flicked water onto the panel with a wet brush. With other inks I've had to blot the panel to lift ink from the splattered areas, but here was the result without blotting.

I made 2 smaller cards with that panel (3-1/2" x 5") - for the shadows I used a blending stump to apply a little diluted Graphite Dyestress ink to the scene. (Stamps used here: Cowboy Border, Thank You Kindly)

I shared this final card last week - with limited time before I left home, I was testing products together so I used the inks to watercolor this debossed die image (blog post here). I wasn't fully thrilled with my results here, but at least I was able to show that the inks can be used for palette watercoloring, and I'll revisit that again soon. I'm curious to know if there is any color variation when water is added to the inks - some inks will change or split. We'll see! (Product links here: Spotted Deer Frame dieLayered Bow clear set, Mini Rectangle Tags 1 Die Set)

I always enjoy testing out new products - I feel like the greatest strength of these inks is in their blendability, direct-to-paper and using a blending tool. I did have mixed results with water as well, but loved the reactivity with the water droplets - water stamping and other lifting techniques should be equally successful. Specialty inks each have their niche, which means there will be applications where they don't shine... for the stamped images on my project samples, I preferred the clear and crisp results from the ColorBox Premium Dye inks. It's great that Clearsnap has a product to meet every need!

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