Sunday, October 26, 2008

Inky mess in bees wax

Todays experiment was to see if India ink would uniformly color the bees wax black. It was an unmitigated disaster. The two are absolutely NOT homogenous.

After a discussion with Frater RO about the properties of India Ink, something along the lines of "Man I don't know it that will mix..." I decided to run a scientific experiment today. In an affirmation of my packrat ways, I pulled a creme brulle cup that I had purchased as part of a u-bake package 2 years ago at Trader Joe's out of the cupboard. The dear Frater POS will not be pleased that my bad habits are being rewarded :) It was, however, a damned good thing that the little cup was the sacrificial bit.

I took some of the raw bees wax and placed it in the little round ceramic dish. I melted it at 200 degrees for about 25 minutes. Then I took it out and placed it on the cutting board. I started to add the dye by the coffee stirrer full (hey one womans coffee stirrer is another womans free disposable pippet...) but it was just WAAAAAY to slow. I knew this was a bad sign since the cup was about 1/10 the volume of the tablet. I poured some in and KNEW I was in trouble. Immediately the whole of the ink went right to the bottom. DAMN. I stirred it as best I could and could only keep it gently in solution. I knew I was doomed. I set it down and went to cool off for a bit.

After about an hour I came back and it had cooled enough to handle. The disk was pulled from the sides and hence would be easy to remove. That was the problem. The bottom was still liquid ink and never had a chance to dry. So when it came out the ink was still wet. YUMMY.

The cup looks like a modern art piece with ink stains and the disk is about the size of a coaster. The bottom 1/4 of it is completely black and the rest is completely bees wax natural color. It did not even mix a little.

Once I dried off the ink a bit I set it to "dry" for about 6 hours. After that I discovered that it was still bleeding off the ink. I wiped it with a paper towel and that got most of it.

It was as I said an unmitigated disaster. Luckily it was just a test. Live and learn :)

Now to find the right dyes....


Lavanah said...

Hmm, have you thought of a solid, rather than a liquid dye? That way, you wouldn't need to worry about the different viscosities. (sp?) For black, you could try lamp black. I've never needed more than a little bit, so I've actually used soot from an oil lamp, but I am pretty sure that I've seen it for sale, for the creating pen inks. Let me look around...

Lavanah said...

found it. Try
they have any number of different pigments.

My Gal said...

Thank you for the links. Actually I just bought some dye blocks and now I will be in business :) Thank you so much for the suggestions. If this doesn't work I will be trying that!