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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Alcohol Inks (Honeycomb necklace)

Tax season is over and it's time to play.  I am planning to do at least one new technique a month (there are so many on my to do list!).  So I thought I'd start out with an easy one:  alcohol ink.

Just the other day I had planned to enter three things in the Lakeland Art Association annual juried show.  When I got my pieces together that I had thought about entering, I decided not to enter one of them, which left me short a piece.  So I started going through my fused glass cabochons thinking I would do something with one of them.  I settled on this piece because I always like the texture in this glass, and this particular piece is unusual because of the color variation:

Usually I think it looks like corn on the cob, but it also reminds me of a honeycomb.  So, why not make a "honeycomb" necklace?  So I'm thinking, what else can I do with a honeycomb theme.  I remembered a chain tutorial I had seen in Art Jewelry Magazine sometime ago.  I didn't need to look up the article because it was a very simple design.  At least that's what I thought.  Actually I looked up the project so I could post a link to it and this design is actually superior to mine.  It was in the July 2007 issue entitled "Egyptian Mystery" by Marie Cristine Knuff.

I had a 3 pack of Adirondack inks and I wanted to play around with them.  So I made three spirals out of copper, put a little of each on a felt square and sort of dabbed the inked felt against the copper -- don't rub, because that rubs it off more than puts it on it seems.  Anyway, here are my three spirals after I inked them:

The ink colors are Sail Boat Blue, Watermelon, and Citrus.  I think the Watermelon on copper looked very reddish orange and went well with my cab:

Now my plan started to take off.  I started making lots of spirals and colored them all with my watermelon ink.  You might be able to see the groove around the edge of my glass cab that I did with my grinder.  I wire-wrapped the cab with copper wire and colored it also.  Then I put the links together into a chain and wire-wrapped my cab right into it.  I made it asymmetrical, which is unusual for me, but nature isn't symmetrical so this couldn't be either.

I did learn something here which I can pass on to you and save you a little trouble.  Even though the ink had dried on my spirals, it still rubs off.  Here's a pic of the red ink that rubbed off on my fingers:

So after I put the chain together, the ink had noticeably rubbed off and I had to redo it.  I also hand forged a clasp out of thick copper wire and colored that with the ink as well.  I added a little bronze chain and for the finishing touch:  a copper bumble bee colored with the citrus ink.  Finally I finished it all up with a couple coats of acrylic spray.  (Don't want the red ink rubbing off on someone when they wear it.)  Here is the finished necklace and the earrings to match:


  1. Wow, wow, wow!!! What a fascinating read and a fabulously unique necklace, Roxanne! Hey, and good luck with the art show - hope you are picked!

  2. Thanks Catherine! I really had fun making it. Sometimes I think I should just stick to wire work. Somebody once told me that was my "thing".