Friday 23 September 2011

A review. Unsolicited.

 A while ago, Shopkeeper Gal chucked a couple of ink pads at me and asked me to use them in workshops.  She said they were pretty good.  At the time, I genuinely thought 'gah, not another ink pad - what's this one meant to be good for..?'.  As I'm a good girl, I have been using them, as prescribed by Shopkeeper Gal and the text on the label.  They are intended for use with clear stamps and are partially pigment inks.  So, for the non-scientific purpose of a review, I thought you'd like to see it in action.  I know.  It means basically that I remembered to take photographs.  I can't help myself, efficiency is my erm, middle name.

So:  take a brand new stamp (Basic Grey, straight from the packet...unopened but brought about six months ago.  Ahem.)  Routinely I would use sellotape or a plastic eraser across the surface of a new clear stamp to attempt to remove the 'coating' that moulding/manufacturing often leaves.  It ruins your inking attempt see.  But this time, I didn't, just to give the new ink pads and run for their dosh.  So, control first - here's the stamp and resulting image from using a Memories ink pad on the stamp.  
You can see the inevitable 'beading' of the ink on the surface of the stamp - silicone really seems a bit ink resistant.  And you can see that on the resulting image - not a bad one at all, but not entirely black or as solid as you would expect from a solid image stamp, huh.  

So enter the Clearly Better ink pad:

 I didn't clean the stamp after the initial inking with the other pad.  I probably could have been bothered, but didn't want to give the new ink pad an advantage by changing the surface!  No really, remember, I'm doing science here.
 You can tell immediately that you have an ink pad with glycerin in it, just from the purchase that the ink gets on the stamp.  Lovely coverage - some beading but not as notable as with the true die ink.  And then you have the stamped image.  Lovely, opaque solid image, and...nice and black.  And....showing up the paler areas of the image well - no 'filling in' that sometimes a Brilliance ink pad or a full on Pigment might deliver.  Nice.
So - you can tell already - I like it.  I like it most because the element of glycerin involved means that there are gold and silver in the range and they are truly gold and silver metallic, and there's a season coming up that needs such things!  These inks need a slightly longer drying time than average dye based inks - inevitably because they are partially pigments, but they dry quickly enough for impatient crafters like me - and you can always heat set them if you're in a hurry. The ink pad labelling is not great - all the cases are white; the lid labels are all printed to look alike and in the main, printed in black - the label border and the Fleur De Lis logo is printed in the colour of the ink pad within.  A tad confusing unless you know what you're looking for in terms of speed recognition.  I've also noticed in workshops that there's a hesitation before examining the ink pad - the word 'Clearly' leads some to think that they're looking at a clear ink pad.  Small gripes which I'm sure, will be overcome - either by tweaking of the design or perhaps a retailer/user awareness campaign - I can't say I've seen much bragging going on about these ink pads and their superior inking quality for clear stamps.  

 I've got more ink pads than I need, but am very happy to say that these Clearly Better pads are definitely going to find space in my cupboard - just what clear stamps have been waiting for if you ask me.  I know you didn't, but if you're still reading this, you must have been waiting to ask, huh!

EDITED Friday afternoon:  These ink pads are from The Paper Company 'TPC' in the US, and I guess most stores will know of them - they are a wholesale source, so you will have to ask your local shopkeeper.  Over here in dear old Blighty, Bramwell Crafts are the UK distributor, again, a wholesale supplier that your local store will probably have contact with.  Meantime, as this is entirely an unsolicited review, I guess I can add a plug - if you're in a real hurry for one - how about asking Shopkeeper Gal to supply them by mail order?  Kraft Crazy 01980 844010.  


Mandi said...

I actually don;t like clear stamps, because fo the naff inking thing
Good on you for posting this
youa re a star!!


Chrissie said...

I think that clear stamps certainly have been waiting for something... at least in my craft room they have! I have often despaired trying to get a decently printed image from a clear stamp, I shall try these pads with alacrity!
Thanks Julia!

Linby said...

wow - I need one of these.

JoZart Designs said...

Great review... looks like there's something else I didn't know yesterday that I can't live without today! Will look out for them.
JoZarty x

Glenda said...

Glad to see this post. I'm always looking for an ink pad that does this. But oh my goodness, another new product!

Scrapcat 1 said...

I like your science experiment Julia, I will be on the lookout for these.

Cardarian said...

Love this post, can you tell me where I can buy the ink pads??? Will they be sent to Slovenia???
Just asking as I like the results of your scientific research! :-)

Ann B said...

Thanks for the review Julia - look interesting and a solution to solid clear stamps.
Do you know if they work on glossy/coated card or only on matt?

voodoo vixen said...

Aha... now you didn't cover the tiny detail of what do we do when you have now sold us on a clearly superior ink pad??? Where can I get them? I love the images on my clear stamps but have never been that impressed by the results.... which may say a lot about my stamping and not the inks!! ;)

Elizabeth said...

An excellent review with a couple of useful hints thrown in for good measure - didn't know about the trick with sellotape and this might just serve me well until I source these clearly better ink pads :) Elizabeth x

Morti said...

Great review as usual - am back on the scene kinda but who knows when my WOYWW urge will resurrect itself, eh?

Sarah said...

Julia you are really quite a wise, product savvy madam who knows heaps more than you dare to admit. I think you should stamp out a little more ground and dare to stand on it! Thanks for the tips.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Since I am not much of a stamper, I was not inclined to react to this post. But as I read, I saw a few tips that might actually help me. For one, I might just need this stamp pad, since I have one set of clear stamps and have never gotten a good image with my trusty Staz-on. Now I know to use tape to remove the goop (is that a word?) on top. Now if I only knew a good way for them to stay on the acrylic block!

Great unsolicited review, dear friend.

Tara Cardwell said...

I will definately give these a go - I often stamp with versamark "under" whatever ink I want on large clear stamps in order to get a good print. Does depend on the quality of the stamps as well though - on my waltzingmouse stamps I can use absolutely any ink and never have an issue.

Deb said...

thanks for the review, very revealing! Think I might need one of these!
Have a great weekend,
Happy Crafting,

misteejay said...

Fab coverage of that stamp with the new ink pad.

Toni xx

Claire said...

Excellent experimentage there Professor Dunnit :D
That ink pad looks really very good, I may be investing.

donnalouiserodgers said...

Blimmin' 'eck, I hope you wore scientific goggles and lab coat and gloves?

there's more to you than meets the bespectacled eye...that second image is Far Superior.

Glycerine eh? that's explosive isn;t it?


Carmen said...

I am glad of posts like this because I am STILL befuddled by all the different ink pads and what they do and the why for's and how to's.

Could you still use it on wooden stamps then? At the mo I've given up and just use archival for everything (because all my others dried up!)

fairy thoughts said...

love the 'science' I've always been fairly happy with my images (most of the time)from clear stamps, except maybe with black. I will look out for these at ally pally on sunday, you never know.

Becky said...

Ahh, science! An experiment truly worthy of a science fair entry. :) Thanks Julia, I had been wondering if these were worth purchasing.

Sande said...

Fantastic experiment.

Never tried using tape on new stamps. I usually run a clean pencil eraser across the new stamp and wipe with a dry cloth.

I'm in the US so not sure if this brand is available in the UK but I've used Stampology by Autumn Leaves for years which is made for Clear Stamps (only) with great success. It never beads or bleeds.

Tertia said...

OK I tried to leave a comment at the WOYWW post, for 3 days (I am lying, it was only about 30 mins), but blogger is having none of that.
Wanted to say - do you now understand why I keep my scrapbox on the floor, under the table and have a really big tablecloth? What happens under that table stays under that table!
I have just finished the rounds and visited every single person that was linked. I think me. Blogger is having issues with some of them, he would not let me comment at some places.
Happy very belated WOYWW

Angie said...

Great review ...looks good ....hope we see them over here soon.

Twiglet said...

Great review.
- just to say thanks for all your good wishes for Annie & co. It has lifted their spirits no end knowing so many lovely folk are thinking of them. Here's hoping next week looks much much better than last! x Jo

Maarit at Violets Corner said...

Ooh, this sounds great, some of the clear stamps are really hard to get solid images with, I only use them for the imperfect look, but now there's a light in the tunnel!


Liz said...

What a fantastic post i will be keeping my eye out for these ink pads

Pam said...


Charlie said...

Thanks for commenting on our xmas cards. And please go ahead and borrow as much as you like. It felt like an idea we had - but I am sure I might have seen it somewhere - afterall - how many different ways are there of sticking stuff together. =0) Charlie DK

Ohhh Snap said...

I believe I've been passing by these every time I go to Hobby Lobby, because DD loves all things fleur-de-lis, and I have about 50 ink pads (well maybe a few more because some of them are small cubes and cat's eyes). So now I guess I'll have to slow down to see if they are the Clear sort, if they are my two logical selves will have to battle it out (what?you've been perfectly happy with what you have and you have no room vs. what??? look at those images, and I can't help what I didn't know before... and I'll stack them on my desk lol).

Sue from Oregon said...

I will keep my eyes open for this stamp pad. I love a Versafine black ink really very much like this one! Does it work with copics?

StampDancer said...

I really like this post - which I just found from peeking around your blog. I only started using the acrylics as they're fun and flexible to use with journaling - these inks are fab! And I've never heard of them and I'm in the US! How fun to have learned about them from you and I'll have to scout the internet now to see if I can try out a few.
Deb M

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