Saturday, March 12, 2011

Copics and the Perfect Crafting Pouch

Over on the forums recently, Amy Roszak asked if anyone had ever tried the Perfect Crafting Pouch with Copic markers.  Amy, if you don't know, is the inventor of this magic little product that helps stop ink from smearing, dries ink more quickly, acts as a release agent for molding compounds, etc. etc.  It's similar to an old-school graphic arts product called Pounce.  You can check it out on her website

I have the pouch but I don't use it a lot.  Right now for printing I'm using an HP Photosmart D7560 with their Vivera inks and for the most part I don't have any problems with ink running or with drying time.  However some papers are almost impossible to print on and ink bleeds like crazy - like a vellum parchment I'm very fond of using for srapbook journalling - and with these the pouch is absolutely essential.

So when Amy posed the question about using the pouch with Copics, the general consensus was - if you use the right paper then Copics don't bleed, the powder will clog the marker tips, and just use the right ink for stamping.  All good points ... but you know what?  When there's a "right" way to do something I immediately start thinking of "wrong" ways to do it.  I'm cantankerous that way.  Sometimes I don't want to use the "right" paper.  There are too many gorgeous papers out there with lovely colors and textures, I hate feeling limited in my choices.  And knowing that the tips are easily replaced if the powder does clog it, I had to test this out.

First I did just a simple color swatch on 3 papers - a generic fibrous cardstock, Neenah Solar White, and Cryogen White.  I used R27 Cadmium Red since the reds are the most bleedy of the colors.  Right away you can see that using the powder does help with the bleeding and leaves a crisper line.  Interesting.

Next test - blending.  Neenah Solar White on top, same random cardstock on bottom.  I'm a messy colorer so the variations in each swatch are due to my "technique."  The powder did not lead to any evident problems with blending, and again it did keep the bleeding down.  I have a tendency to heavily saturate my paper with ink when coloring, so this test leads me to think that especially with reds and especially with paper that tends to bleed, using the pouch might be a very good idea.

Next test:  coloring an image.  For this I chose a digitstamp from Priscilla Styles, and a random rubber stamp.  (Sunflower with Y08, Y06, Y11, Y000, E53, E34, E000; flourish with R32, R35, R0000.  Don't look too closely, I've never been one to color inside the lines, lol.)  However I got an unexpected and unpleasant result here - on the side treated with the powder the ink ran when I started coloring.  It's really bad on the random cardstock.  I let the ink dry for several minutes on the other two samples and even hit them with a blast from my heat gun for a minute, but it didn't solve the problem.  The running ink isn't as bad on the Neenah, but it's still obviously muddy.  The stamped Memento ink was the most successful but it too muddied a bit with coloring.

Bottom line - I do think using the pouch will come in handy in some situations, but I would probably avoid digistamps, or at least approach them very cautiously.  You may have a different experience if you have a different printer with different inks.  For using "wrong" papers with rubberstamped images or possibly with hand-drawn images (still need to test inks/pencils for this last) the pouch is definitely a new tool in my coloring box.  And I don't feel that the powder clogged my marker tips at all.  Again - your experience may vary so do some testing of your own before starting a real project.


ScraPerfect said...

VERY COOL KARA!!!The negative you found was an issue with the printer ink --not the copics. This is odd since we use the pouch with our printers all the time...Try using your black ink only cartridge (set the printer for greyscale) not the photo black ink cartridge. The photo ink is not only more expensive, but the photo (pigment) ink sometimes doesn't like the pouch. (I also have a HP Photosmart.) I usually set it for greyscale only when printing in black to save $$. I'll be curious if that was the issue. Have you tried coloring with regular stamp ink, the pouch and copics?

Also, the Perfect Crafting Pouch so handy for a lot more than just printing and that's why it was renamed. Have you ever stuck fiber to double sided tape (or used xyron) and had little remnant sticky bits? Just tap with your pouch and no more sticky situation. Have you tried stamping or using markers on twill tape or popsicle sticks and the ink bled? Just wipe with the pouch before writing or stamping. How about using pigment ink without heat embossing? Just tap with then pouch after stamping and INSTANT dry! Here's a reminder on what the pouch does:
✦ Stops bleeding & smearing of wet inks
...For inkjet printers; pigment, dye, & solvent stamp inks; permanent & water-based markers; gel pens, and other wet inks...On slick, absorbent & shiny media including vellum; coated, textured papers; acetate; ribbon; twill tape; acrylic; fabric; wood; cork; more!

✦ Dries inks instantly in a variety of applications from inkjet printing on vellum to over-stamping pigment inks

✦ Anti-static bag for glitter & embossing powders

✦ Release agent for polymer clay and other modeling compounds with stamps and molds

✦ Deactivates stickers, sticky tapes and adhesives

Check out the videos on my website for more tips and tricks.

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