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Old 08-01-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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Default Favorite Ink Brands??

Hello all!!

I am new to stamping and would love to know your favorite brands of ink to use. I know there are different types of ink (pigment, dye & chalk) and that there are certain black inks to your for sentiment stamps (versafine onyx black?) and for use with copic markers (memento tuxedo black?) But what are your favorite inks to you for general stamping of flowers,pictures etc. Also is it best to buy the full sized ink pads or try to mini spots/cubes?


Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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As you noted, it depends what colouring medium you intend to use for your images. If you are using alcohol markers of any sort, then it does indeed need to be Memento. If you are adding water in any form to the colouring, then Versafine, or Staz-on, or Archival are all solvent based inks, so won't suffer. Versafine works brilliantly, either on outline or silhouette style stamps. Not all give a nice, solid image to a silhouette stamp. For your main black stamp pad, I'd definitely say get the full size pad, AND get the re-inker at the same time. Nothing more annoying than finding your pad is drying out, when you really, really need it! I'd also recommend the Versafine Sepia- nice when you don't want such a strong image as black. As this is new to you, for other pads/colours I would say try the cubes/dewdrops etc. You can find which colours you are likely to use a lot, then buy the larger pad if you think you need it. I'm sure a lot of people here will tell you about the SU pads- I have no experience with them, so I'll leave that to those who know what they're talking about, .
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:40 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for these helpful tips!! I didn't buy the re-inkers but I will do that ASAP for the black inks and will look into versafine Sepia!!! Thanks again
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:25 AM   #4
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I really like having card stock and ink that match so I have several brands of ink and paper, Stampin Up, Papertrey Ink and Gina K. I have mostly full size pads but have bought the the spots/cubes in a few brands but have found that I don't really like them very much and all the brands that I have bought dried out really fast. If you travel with your stamping supplies, then the cubes would be nice.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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Welcome to stamping and to Splitcoast!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shazsilverwolf View Post
If you are using alcohol markers of any sort, then it does indeed need to be Memento. If you are adding water in any form to the colouring, then Versafine, or Staz-on, or Archival are all solvent based inks, so won't suffer.
I'll beg to differ with a few things here! While Memento is used by the vast majority of alcohol marker users, it isn't the only ink to use by any means. I don't have Memento in anything other than a few light colours of the Dew Drop style pads and feel no need to get it. If I'm going to colour with Copics, I usually stamp with either Adirondack dye ink in Espresso or Brilliance (pigment) Graphite Black. Both work just fine with Copics.

While Stazon is a solvent ink (which means you can use it to stamp on slick surfaces like glass, acetate etc as well as it being waterproof) neither Versafine or Archival are solvent based. Versafine is definitely an oil-based pigment ink and I think the same is true of Archival. As Shaz says though, they're all good with water-based colouring media.

You'll probably get as many "favourites" as you get replies

Personally, I love the Adirondack dye ink range - great choice of colours, good for sponging and brayering as well as stamping, works fine with Copics. Only available as full-size pads but reinkers available across the range.

I like Distress inks because they're colour-stable when you add water so they're good for colouring images as well as stamping, sponging and brayering (some inks break down into their constituent colours when you add water which can give you some nasty surprises if you want to watercolour with them). Again, reinkers available for everything and full size pads (although they're a square pad and smaller than something like the Adirondack or Versafine).

I like Brilliance becase they'll dry on slick surfaces and they don't need extra clean-up since they're not solvent-based. The metallics/pearlescents are pretty. Available as small Dew Drop pads as well as full sized and you can get reinkers too.

I like Versafine because it captures fine detail brilliantly and the Onyx Black is the blackest, most opaque black I've come across. That and Vintage Sepia are the only ones that have reinkers available but the whole range is available in either full size pads or little cubes.

I like the chalky, matt finish of Versamagic and I've just tried Delicata Golden Glitz for the first time - impressive results on dark paper!

This probably tells you I'm a bit of an ink addict! I've built my collection over several years though, don't get sucked into thinking you have to have everything NOW!

If you have a particular application in mind and you're not sure whether any of the inks you currently have in your stash will do the job, you can always just ask here.

HTH!
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:15 PM   #6
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Joanne, excellent breakdown.

My personal favorites I use most of the time are Stampin Up! Usually because I like to coordinate my inks and cardstock. Otherwise, I also like Distress ink and memento. I have not used any Archival ink pads yet, but I've been eyeballing them lately because they do have some beautiful colors. I agree with Joanne to resist the urge to buy everything all at once. I've been there, done that only to find I really didn't care much for the product. I would sample a few lines that catch your eye and try them out first.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:34 AM   #7
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Thanks Joanne- I had always seen Memento quoted as being the Goto for alcohol markers- I didn't realise that you could use the adirondacks too. The versafine will teach me to go look at the pack- I lumped all three together without checking. Ooops!
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:12 AM   #8
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Welcome NCH521! I think as you find your style,you'll run the gamut on ink brands. Many offer different things. As noted above, it does greatly depend on what your doing even if its simply stamped flowers (main image or background).
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:37 AM   #9
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I agree with Joanne 100%. I too have a vast array of inks and such. BUT, I have been crafting for over 15 years.

If you are buying a few to get started, my personal suggestions are:

Try the Versafine Black Onyx and the Versafine Sepia for your images that have fine details.

Add in a few colors that you like of Memento ink. (Most people here on SCS tend to use Memento when swapping images because many people do use Copic markers or Spectra Noir markers to color with.)

However, I do tend to emboss most of my images when I participate in swaps & such to help eliminate the fuss. Personally, I LOVE embossed images because it does make the coloring a bit easier...and I like the way it looks.

A tip about embossing though... it's easier to emboss with clear embossing powder than it is to emboss with colored embossing power....especially if you are new to it. And, you will get more use out of a clear embossing powder because it can be applied to any color ink. So, it is more cost effective and will save you $$$.

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Old 08-02-2013, 05:45 AM   #10
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I would also make a suggestion that you look at the stamps and companies that you are purchasing from and decide which inks may work better with them. Stampin' Up's old model ink pads were fine for every day rubber stamping, but I found the ink would puddle up on my clear stamps. However, I just purchased a few of the new Stampin' Up ink pads, and I found they were fantastic on my photopolymer clear stamps!

If your stamps have a lot of fine detail, then yes to the Versafine inks! I use the black for nearly every sentiment I stamp! Those inkpads are like magic, and they stay juicy forever!

Distress inks are great for watercoloring and for trying various techniques. I just don't use them nearly enough. Guess I'm not a technique kind of gal.

I think that I'm a sucker for pretty color palettes. Find the colors that appeal to you and enjoy!
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:19 AM   #11
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I have to second what Mary Rose said about the new style of ink pads from Stampin' Up...they are fantastic on photopolymer stamps and work really well on even the cheap clear stamps. I bought a TON of ink pads when I first started and was getting ok results with them, but I didn't really know how good the images could look until I tried these. (I am not a SU demo, just a fan of these ink pads!)

My go-to ink pads are Stampin Up for colored inks, Versafine Onyx Black for sentiments, Memento Tuxedo Black for coloring with alcohol markers, the black ink pad from Stamps by Judith for watercoloring, and Versamark for embossing.

A lot of bloggers swear by Hero Arts Shadow Inks, but I have not been able to get really consistent results with them and they are not making reinkers anymore. I use them for stamping backgrounds and they do work well for that, but they really don't give a crisp enough image for anything else in my opinion. They have some really pretty colors though, so I consider them a great supplement to my other ink pads.

Distress Inks can be fun too like others have said, but I don't use mine much anymore...I'd suggest figuring out if the techniques are something you'd be interested in before buying a ton of them like I did!

If you don't want to spend a lot of money at first, I'd suggest a good full-size black ink pad (the type depending on if you're going to color in the image and with what medium), a Versamark pad for embossing, and then small pads for colored dye inks (like Memento Dew Drops or Stampin Up Spots).
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:35 AM   #12
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I completely agree with everything that Joanne/Angelnorth had to say about inks!!

All that's left is for me to say that since you are new to stamping (welcome!!!), as you travel the pages of Splitcoaststampers, you will often find similar posts by Joanne. She's an amazing stamper and always has great advice to offer, so keep an eye out for her .
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:49 AM   #13
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My suggestion to you is to start with cubes and dew drop sized inks where you can find them. Play around, experiment and find what works best for you, because everyone has their own tolerances...

Every time a person says "I LOVE the new SU pads" there is another person who says "I HATE the new SU pads."

Every time a person says "Memento gives me GREAT black images" there is another person who says "Ugh, my Memento is so SPLOTCHY."

So, it's really a matter of starting with others' opinions, deciding what to try, and moving on if you find that you don't like something. And remember, if there is something you do not like, there are probably at least three replacements we can recommend.

Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:37 PM   #14
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I like Memento, Tim Holtz and Gina K
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNacho View Post
My suggestion to you is to start with cubes and dew drop sized inks where you can find them. Play around, experiment and find what works best for you, because everyone has their own tolerances...

Every time a person says "I LOVE the new SU pads" there is another person who says "I HATE the new SU pads."

Every time a person says "Memento gives me GREAT black images" there is another person who says "Ugh, my Memento is so SPLOTCHY."

So, it's really a matter of starting with others' opinions, deciding what to try, and moving on if you find that you don't like something. And remember, if there is something you do not like, there are probably at least three replacements we can recommend.

Good luck!
I have found that the people who do not like the new SU ink pads are the ones who are primarily stamping with rubber. I've given up most of my rubber stash now, and I'm picky about only buying good photopolymer stamps from trusted companies.

I haven't been an SU demo for five years now, and I'm not normally one who jumps up and down with excitement every time SU debuts some new product. That's why I'm so amazed at how much I'm loving these new inks!
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:49 PM   #16
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thanks so much everyone for all the helpful suggestions!! so much to learn and i'm loving every minute. I have been feeling like I need to buy buy buy but, I will stop that thought and begin to experiment with different brands and watch how well every thing works together. Thanks again all!!!
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:51 PM   #17
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thanks for the suggestions!! Where can I buy the Stampin up cubes? I was looking on the website and couldn't find them. I ended up buy some hero art cubes but would still like to try stampin up
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
I completely agree with everything that Joanne/Angelnorth had to say about inks!!

All that's left is for me to say that since you are new to stamping (welcome!!!), as you travel the pages of Splitcoaststampers, you will often find similar posts by Joanne. She's an amazing stamper and always has great advice to offer, so keep an eye out for her .
thanks for the welcome and will do regarding keeping an eye out for her posts!!! Thanks again!
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Old 08-03-2013, 03:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyNacho View Post
My suggestion to you is to start with cubes and dew drop sized inks where you can find them. Play around, experiment and find what works best for you, because everyone has their own tolerances...

Every time a person says "I LOVE the new SU pads" there is another person who says "I HATE the new SU pads."

Every time a person says "Memento gives me GREAT black images" there is another person who says "Ugh, my Memento is so SPLOTCHY."

So, it's really a matter of starting with others' opinions, deciding what to try, and moving on if you find that you don't like something. And remember, if there is something you do not like, there are probably at least three replacements we can recommend.

Good luck!
thanks and I agree!! Personal preference is the name of the game. And i'm learning that everyone is different and that there are tons of options which is a great thing.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:00 PM   #20
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oooh, lots of lovely suggestions here and I'll throw mine into the pot - for really crisp images I cannot go past Tsukineko inks - that's the Versacolour ones and when I want to use copic markers with them, I just clear emboss the stamped image - no runs, no spoiling the image. I also do this with SU inks because I love their colours even though they are not great for copics. hth! and welcome to the addiction.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
All that's left is for me to say that since you are new to stamping (welcome!!!), as you travel the pages of Splitcoaststampers, you will often find similar posts by Joanne. She's an amazing stamper and always has great advice to offer, so keep an eye out for her .
Aww shucks - aren't you sweet to say that? Thank you!

I love this kind of thread as I often learn stuff too (not that I need to add more inks to my stash ).
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelnorth View Post
Aww shucks - aren't you sweet to say that? Thank you!

I love this kind of thread as I often learn stuff too (not that I need to add more inks to my stash ).
There's always room for more ink
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:12 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Phantom View Post
All that's left is for me to say that since you are new to stamping (welcome!!!), as you travel the pages of Splitcoaststampers, you will often find similar posts by Joanne. She's an amazing stamper and always has great advice to offer, so keep an eye out for her .

Read more: http:////www.splitcoaststampers.com/...#ixzz2b0AmeRZ6


I love this kind of thread as I often learn stuff too (not that I need to add more inks to my stash ).[/QUOTE]

Couldn't agree more! Joanne and Phantom are both stars, you could not be in better company!
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Old 08-04-2013, 07:48 AM   #24
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It's confusing because there are so many options, but here's a little hint. Water based ink will bleed with other water based mediums (like watercolors or basic markers). Nonwaterbased ink (sometimes called oil based or alcohol ink) will bleed with oils/alcohol markers. So it depends on what your coloring with. I can explain the chemistry behind it, but don't want to bore everyone.

I prefer momento/SU for water based and stazon for oil based.

There's also dye inks and pigment inks within each category, but I mostly choose my inks by what I'm coloring with.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:01 AM   #25
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For the new SU! inks, is it just the pad that is different, or is it the ink too?

I have all of the reinkers and was wondering if I could use them with the new pads. Thanks!
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #26
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Quote:
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Water based ink will bleed with other water based mediums (like watercolors or basic markers). Nonwaterbased ink (sometimes called oil based or alcohol ink) will bleed with oils/alcohol markers.
A good rule of thumb but not always quite perfect! Brilliance, for example, is water-based but does not smear if you use it with water-based colouring media. OMS (such as Gamsol) is a solvent but I've used it to blend pencils when I've stamped an image with Versafine and not had the image smear or bleed.

My personal rule of thumb is to try a test piece if it's a new combination of cardstock/ink/coloring media or ask here whether anyone has experience of what I want to do (if I'm considering using an element that's not already in my stash, for example, so I can't just do the test piece).
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:28 AM   #27
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True, Joanne. There's a few exceptions to this. I just got so annoyed with my ink smearing that I stopped trying things out and went with what I knew worked.

Is brilliance water based? It doesn't say what it is on my ink pad.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:50 AM   #28
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Quote:
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Is brilliance water based? It doesn't say what it is on my ink pad.
It is indeed, here's how Tsukineko describe it on their "about us" page:

Quote:
...and Brilliance, an amazing water-based pigment ink with pearlescent colors that dries on vellum and coated surfaces.
I think a lot of pigment inks have a glycerin carrier although I wouldn't swear to that.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:45 PM   #29
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For the new SU! inks, is it just the pad that is different, or is it the ink too?

I have all of the reinkers and was wondering if I could use them with the new pads. Thanks!
There were five colors that were reformulated, so the current ink and ink pads are not the same as previously. You'd have to search for older threads on the pad changes to find out which-- I don't know them off the top of my head.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:57 AM   #30
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Is there a reference chart with all this information on it somewhere???
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:27 PM   #31
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I use Versafine Onyx Black with my alcohol based markers (I've used it with Copics, Spectrum Noir and Prismacolor brands) because while I know many swear by the Momento I find the texture of the pad itself results in an impression that is not nearly as clean and crisp.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:36 PM   #32
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I'm going to throw another company into the mix that has wonderful ink pads and that is Memories from Stewart Superior. They have pigment, dye & chalk ink pads. They also have a wonderful hybrid inkpad called Palette as well as my go to black inkpad for watercolor stamping and that is India Black Ink. It is fast drying and doesn't smear
when water coloring. Their pigment ink is wonderful! It has a nice slow dry time that makes it excellent for stamping and then heat embossing. Hint- when heat embossing try to match your emboss powder and a pigment ink together. You get a very rich full emboss that way and if a little bit of powder is missing from the image it won't be as noticeable as with using versamark. Palette as I mentioned is a hybrid so it dries faster than pigment but a little slower than dye based. It produces a rich vibrant color. Chalk inks are earthy colors that are duller than other inks but have a richness all their own. I hope this helps.

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Old 08-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #33
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This is the first time I've posted, but I have been lurking a while and love all the input from everyone at SCS.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned "Dry Time". I love using the Brilliance ink with my copics but it is no good if you are in a hurry as it has a much longer dry-time than the regular Memento Tuxedo Black most copic users suggest. I ruined too many images in the beginning not understanding the different characteristics of the different inks.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:00 PM   #34
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I tried the new gina K designs black premium dye ink this summer and have been very happy with it when using my copic markers. Anyone else tried this ink yet?
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Old 08-10-2013, 05:52 AM   #35
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The thing with Brilliance,as its a pigment ink, its perfect for heat embossing- if you need to dry it in a hurry, then either heat emboss with powder, or give it a blast with your heat gun. The surface you are using your inks on can make a big difference too- the less porous the surface, the longer the drying time will be. I guess heat & humidity can have a bearing on it too.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:28 AM   #36
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There are sooooo many different kinds of inks and it comes down to personal preferences. I love the Distress inks as they are readily available to me and you can do so many different things using them...stamp, watercolour, blend, shading etc.
I love making bkgs with them and just playing with the colours. For a basic black I like the Memento black.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:28 AM   #37
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You are so smart to ask this question. When I first started, there were many magazines, stores and programs devoted to stamping. I devoured them all and as a result thought that to achieve a certain look or do a particular technique that I had to have the exact product used in the article or shown in the store. As a result, I probably had 5 black pigment inks and tons of products that all did the same things. When I learned that I had overlapping products, I purged and got back to the basics. I now use only SU dye inks except for black for which I use Memories as I like the fact that it is really black and can be used with watercolor. I got rid of all my Distress inks as I didn't like the fact that it didn't match SU paper and I could get the same results with SU. For pigment ink I use only Colorbox. I always get reinkers whenever I buy an ink pad. They can be used for many techniques and still have matching results. Enjoy!
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:06 AM   #38
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In light of SO MANY new inks on the market, I thought I'd revive this old thread. Just as a jump start, these are some of the new(er) brands of which I'm aware:

Mama Elephant
Avery Elle
MFT (just reforumlated and released this week)
Simon Says Stamp
W+9 (just learned about these last night)
Hero Arts Shadow Inks (been out awhile)

It seems like every stamp company has their own! This list is by no means exhaustive, I just tried to focus on what's come out recently - semi-recently.

I personally own a smattering of these inks; who can afford them all? And as far as usefulness and color, really, don't they overlap?

Of course, to a degree, they have different uses (we've probably all waded through the dye, pigment, hybrid issue). I guess the real question is which are the best performers and value? Do you have a favorite line of inks, and why?
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #39
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Just reading this, I turned around and looked at my inkpad shelves- I have so many different brands, its a bit scary! Heres what I do have, and why:
Encore Pigment inks- gorgeous metallic colours for heat embossing. I bought these when I first began stamping, and still love them now.
Brilliance, for similar reasons, but a huge range of colours, and does not always have to be heat embossed to dry, depending on the surface.
Marvy dye pads- love these for blending into scenic backgrounds, a la Kevin Nakagawa.
Distress- all the gorgeous techniques you can do with them
Ranger Archival- half a dozen colours. Gives a good impression, a good permanent ink.
Versafine, Onyx Black is my goto for most things, beats any other black hands down. Even Memento, sorry.( Agreeing with Paulainct here,) Also have two blues, a green, sepia and a purple, Always gives a nice clean print, on the most detailed stamps.
Memento, including the black, for use with Alcohol markers, half a dozen colours again.
Adirondacks- all the colours, for brayering/sponging/scenics.
Veramark,and a couple of clear embossing pads.
Staz-on, black timber brown, teal and purple. I also have the Opaque in white, which I hate, a pale pink, pale blue and buttercream. I would not buy them again.
Hampton Arts White, and a Studio G white, both excellent.
Some Vivid, Ancient Page and a bunch of Cats Eyes all bought on sale.
Probably about 15 random pads, mainly dye ink, bought in sales here and there.
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:43 AM   #40
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The paper you are using with your inks/techniques can make a big difference as well. The same ink pad can behave very differently on various surfaces.

As far as fav inks, I'm going to throw an oldie into the ring here. I love using my Marvy water based ink pads for basic colors. They are fairly cheap and you can get markers to match. The are square and somewhere in between in size. Another vote for the Memories India ink black, it is my go to black for everything now.
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