Oh, this one was fun! It was exciting, and maybe even just a little bit dangerous. This alcohol ink tile was created by actually — literally — playing with fire.
This was an adventurous ink project. The other techniques I’ve tried have all come from Richard Cheadle’s book, Alcohol Ink Mastery. Not this one.
I was browsing around one afternoon and discovered Will Black on YouTube. I watched with curiosity as he demonstrated the process of setting alcohol ink on fire! I couldn’t wait to try it. I actually didn’t watch the complete video. After seeing his first two tiles, I was rushing toward my alcohol ink station, ready to light up the studio.
I have used a butane torch before with some of my acrylic pours, but for alcohol ink the technique — and the purpose — is a bit different. With acrylic pouring, heat is applied to help cell formation. The paint itself is not set on fire. In fact, too much heat can ruin a good pouring, causing the acrylic to bubble and burn.
With alcohol ink it’s a different story. The object is to actually set the tile on fire and watch it burn, baby, burn!
Of course I chose fiery colors for my first go at this unique inking method. Orange, yellow, red. Oh, this was fun. I was careful, too. I managed to do this without setting anything else on fire. After the first firing, I decided to add a little gold. I did use my expensive blending solution for this project, by the way, so I dropped on a bit more, added the gold ink, and then fired it all up again.
The ink reacts to fire in fascinating ways. It tends to “shrink up” into different shapes. Before I set it alight, I did “manipulate” the colors a bit by moving the tile around.
It’s not possible to “control” the ink, but it is possible to play with it and make it flow in different directions. I’m learning to add one color at a time, look closely at the design it is forming, and make good decisions about additional colors and where to place them.
But even with all that, there’s no telling what a finished piece will look like when you set it on fire and watch it flame!
Oh, yes, alcohol ink is such fun!