Above: Ink and gouache sketch, with Memento Rubber Stamp ink details (box bits and stencil). Oh, and Washi tape. It's all on a page in the Shinola Sketchbook that I worked in earlier this year. Click on the image to view an enlargement.
It's true, almost all year I've been in such a mood over rubber stamp ink. Why? Especially since I recently gave all my rubber stamps away (more about this in a future post).
I've been in a mood because my favorite rubber stamp ink that I've been using since the about 2001 has changed!!!! Brilliance Stamp Ink from Tsukineko now has FRAGRANCE added. I've probably grumbled about this a little in other posts.
BEFORE THIS CHANGE it was the best stamp ink for my purposes because it was pigmented, water resistant (I actually found it waterproof on most papers), virtually odor free, quick drying, and available in a ton of sparkling colors and flat colors that were opaque and yummy.
The new fragrance is actually quite startling in a bad way because it's ROSE fragrance and my grandmother, named Rose, actually used perfume of that smell. I hate perfume, and I'm not fond of rose perfume, even though I loved my grandmother. Life is confusing that way.
Let's just say I wish flowers didn't smell!
But I really, really wish that stamp inks didn't smell.
I have a friends in the rubber stamp business from when I did a lot of mail art. I asked one of them about this. She confirmed that all her new pads had the same fragrance. She told me the ink company wanted the pads to smell nice for the female audience. EEEEEE. They are so mistaken. All my female stamping friends want nothing to do with fragrance.
Before the fragrance was added all you had was a slight smell that was hardly noticeable for about 20 seconds. That's it, nothing really. And now—well I would have to air out any stamped pieces for 3 weeks before I could approach the journal again.
So with the help of some stamping friends I started to look around for alternatives. The news is not good. I have been in the process of testing the inks on various papers and ranking the odor of each (from chemical to floral—both ends of the spectrum being awful for me). It will be a big post and I'm not going into it today.
Today is my day to vent a little sadness. Today's image is how I would work all the time if I had non-smelly rubber stamp ink. It's messy, loose, and oh, so fun!
I broke down in the middle of my tests and just started throwing things at this paper (Shinola Sketchbook). It held unto this mixed media treatment and the gouache worked well on its surface. I had a ton of fun.
The stamp ink I was using was Memento. I can't tell you exactly how it rates in my tests because I don't have my lists in front of me (but I'll share all that soon).
I would like to have this much fun every day, without smelling roses or anything else.
For while it looked as if I would have to give up my main mixed media techniques all together. I now sort of see a way out of the woods, but the way has lots of undergrowth I'll have to chop through and that's never fun. Art should be fun and rubber stamp ink should NOT SMELL OF ROSES.
Enjoy your favorite products while you can, because one day you'll go to Michael's and bring home some ink pads and open them and get hit with a floral scent that knocks you back across the room. And the smell won't becoming from the absorbed fragrances that everything from Michael's carries out of the store.
I try to prepare you all for things changing: paper, pencils, inks, paints, and now of course rubber stamp ink. But I have to tell you this has had me in quite a mood.
I used rubber stamp ink that I had on hand in my 2016 Fake Journal (here's a link to one page). When you look at the journal as a whole you can see that I was using ink pads that were running dry (as I was out of reinkers that weren't fragranced) and I was grumpy.
DO NOT write in and tell me they added the fragrance to mask a chemical smell because there wasn't one with Brilliance. They just really screwed up.
OK, I've got it out of my system for now. I'll go work on compiling my test notes.