Joyous Barrel Decoration with Alcohol-based inks - International Association of Penturners
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Old 11-07-2016, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
Bob in SF's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: San Francisco
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Default Joyous Barrel Decoration with Alcohol-based inks

Alcohol-based inks are dear to my heart. They also take nicely to metals and other non-porous surfaces.

I call these pens Holiday Inkies; and they come together well with Jimmy Durante's immortal Inka Dinka Doo in the background:

I was "upgrading" some holiday tree ornaments when a little light bulb went off in my head (not as momentous as Edison's tungsten filament + bulb + vacuum + current, but a lot of fun and variety); steps:

Clean brass or nickel or white-enameled pen tubes with acetone.
I set up a pair of pen tubes on the reversibly-rotatable Penn State slow dry blank drying system, but any of these techniques can work without it.
Assemble some alcohol-based inks - I use bottles of Jacquard Pinata ink and Ranger Adirondack ink in combination with Blick alcohol-based markers.
The inks go through some amazing color shifts as they blend; and they dry quickly.
A butane torch causes some nice color shifts, particularly in the red end of the color spectrum.
I've wrapped the tubes of one of the below-pictured pens in 26 ga. black jewelry wire for a faux-stained glass look.
Clear 3" wide packing tape makes a great "canvas" for the inks - and you can wrap it around the tube until you are happy with the overlapping design.
Seal the artwork with brushed-on Judikins Diamond Glaze (all of these things are available from or Dick Blick or Jerry's Artarama)
Let the sealant cure x 24 hours
Cast tube-in with PR (I use Douglas and Sturgess Clear Casting Resin)
Turn and finish as usual:

Happy Monday, and best regards to all - Bob
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Fantastic pens Bob! Thanks for all the pics and process description!
Charlie W.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Those look amazing, Bob!!
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Very cool!
Derek Oliver

Penturning - Its basically taxidermy for trees.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I wonder if this process would work for "painting" the tubes before gluing into a clear blank?

What I mean is, I have a blank that is mostly clear resin with some layers of blue within it. If I drill it, you would be able to see the tube. This may add a layer of color....will have to see how the alcohol based ink reacts to CA.

Great job on these Bob. You are one of the masters on this forum that seem to push the limits of pen turning...thank you.
Keith K.
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I loved a few alcohol inks, but they ran together in the resin. A seal coat was my next experiment. Well done!

Non Impedite Raditioni Cogitationis.
(Unencumbered by the thought process.)
Tom and Ray Magliozzi
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
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WOW, Bob !!!! . Those are OUTSTANDING !!!!!

Kids rule the world !!! .... eventually if not already !

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Old 11-07-2016, 01:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great looking pens, Bob!!!
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: Bloomington, MN
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Those are fantastic, Bob. I like the Virages best. The Virage has become one of my favorite component sets.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lawton, Ok
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Absolutely gorgeous cacophony of color!

Suggesting a further upgrade .... go as usual to create a background pattern, then cut a thin strip of your "canvas" to wrap around in a spiral pattern over top! (though it looks like you may have done something like that to the center one in red)
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