Sunday, 26 November 2017

New in Stock

New in Stock

Happy Sunday Everyone!

A little on the late side - was
going to leave you all in peace
today but when this wonderful
article by our very own
Craftyfield popped into my
in box I just had to share it
with you.  I would suggest
you make yourselves a nice
cuppa and perhaps help
yourselves to some cake 
or a biscuit or two and
settle down with your feet
up to read on.....

Craftyfield has taken the new
Versafine Clair Inks and put
them through their paces.

Here is what she found:

"Tsukineko VersaFine Clair ink is a fast drying,
 oil based pigment ink. Like the old Versafine, 
the raised inkpad, allows direct to paper
 inking, as well as inking stamps. 

The cases have been redesigned and are now 
air tight and therefore should last even 
longer than the already long lasting Versafine. 

This new line of VersaFine inks is available in
 great vintage and bright colours, 24 colours in total,
 so you should find the exact shades you need!

The first thing I noticed when inking stamps
 is how thick the layer of ink is on 
top of the stamp, allowing for a deep colour. 

I had forgotten how juicy the old Versafine pads 
were as, one of mine is nearly completely dry 
and the other half way there. 
Still, I have had the first one for over 10 years…

Compared to the old Versafine inkpads, 
the new ones have lost their hinged lid, 
have a shorter depth, 1cm less for the same width. 

The inkpad is raised a little more than
 the old ones too, so it is easier to do direct to
 paper inking. 

The cases stack very well, with more of
 a snug fit than the old ones.

 First I tested the ink on different surfaces, 
comparing the Versafine Clair
with appropriate inks for the substrate.

On card, the Versafine Clair dries quickly and
the image is more solid than with Memento.

On glossy cardstock the Versafine Clair image 
is much brighter, and the ink appears to stay on
 top unlike the Memento, which sinks in. 
It does however dry very slowly and it is 
possible to smear a little, even after
 drying for 24 hours. 

I tried heat setting too, to no avail so if you
 must stamp on glossy with Versafine Clair
you will need to emboss.

On fabric, whilst the Versafine Clair stamps well,
 the details are blurred a little as the ink sinks in 
the material and the Archival gives the best results.

On acetate, no surprise there, Tsukineko do 
not recommended Versafine Clair for stamping 
on non absorbent surfaces and acetate is 
not absorbent at all. 

Overlooking the bad stamping (user error!), 
even Archival has trouble with such a slick 
surface but at least does dry, albeit slowly, 
and can be heat set. 

For acetate, there is only one ink that does the 
job reliably in my view and that is Staz on. 

On watercolour, the Versafine Clair impression 
is that little bit more solid, compared to 
the dye ink. Most of the texture you
 see in the photo is from the paper’s cold
 pressed grain. 

[I re stamped a small portion in the blue inks 
I used for the card and glossy samples
 to check whether the difference in colour
 was due in part to the shade chosen, and it is].

Versafine Clair is recommended for use with 
watercolours and I applied a wash of yellow 
ochre without any problems.

On acrylic paints, like acetate, the surface 
is non absorbent and the ink will not dry and 
needs to be embossed. 

This is also true for Gesso, as you
 can see in the photo on the right,  the ink 
has spread and the image has lost a lot of detail.

Use Versafine Clair on all absorbent surfaces 
(non coated cardstock, wood, fabric etc..) 
and avoid on slick/non absorbent surfaces 
such as glass, plastics and coated papers, 
unless you are embossing the ink.

Versafine Clair ink embosses well on both 
Glossy and standard card. 

The colour is deeper on card, because 
of its absorbency, and you must work quickly
 to get a good result.

 In the perfect stamping equation, 
in addition to the ink and the surface, 
there is one other variable, 
the stamp itself. 

Rubber isn't problematic but
 clear stamps can be...

First up I tested a polymer stamp, and 
clearly Versafine Clair comes on top, 
with a smooth and deep colour compared
 to the patchy impression of the dye inks 
(Distress and Memento) 
and weak colours of the pigment ink 

On acrylic stamps, the ink tends to 
bead up on them and produce even more 
patchy results than with polymer stamps. 

Compare the look of the Memento ink above 
to the thick layer of Versafine Clair shown earlier, 
the difference is striking!

With Versafine Clair the print is solid and 
perfectly detailed.

Unless you are prepared to take your 
sanding block to the acrylic stamp, 
Versafine Clair should be your first choice 
of ink, unless you are stamping on 
non absorbent surfaces!

 Now for the litmus test! 

I have pulled out my most detailed photographic
 stamp, which is very difficult to ink as it 
hasn't got any deeply etched lines (the 
image is formed of half tone-like minute dots). 

It is easy to see already from the inked 
stamp that the Versafine Clair is performing 
much better than the Memento and the
difference in the stamped image is convincing. 

The new inks passed the test with flying
 colours and I, for one is a happy bunny! 

Like the old Versafine, the Versafine Clair is 
made for detailed stamps and superior 
to all other inks I've ever tried.

On to colours. 

Colour is a personal choice, if you stamp
 lots of florals you will get some pinks, blues
 and green, whilst if you are into Vintage 
images you will choose from the darker
 colours and browns. 

To help you choose I photographed 
the 6 colours I had to test next to 
their respective lids and can confirm
 the lid images are true to the ink colours.

Personally, I'd like to get 3 shades (light,
 medium, dark) in the greens, blues and
 pink/reds, to use on layered flower stamps 
(multi-step stamps) and a brown, black, grey... 

Well, space allowing I'd have them all 
but if not, you can (preferably with a stamping
 platform) overstamp one colour with another
 to get a 3rd shade. 

I tested how the ink layers on itself by 
stamping the pink on top of the yellow 
to get the orange you see in the upper 
left corner.

Finally, as to colouring mediums you can use 
on top of Versafine Clair, both alcohol and 
water based media, can be used like the
 old Versafine. 

If using coloured pencils, refrain from using
 a solvent to blend the colours as this will 
interact with the oil in the ink.

In conclusion, although there isn’t a holy grail

 of ink able to handle all surfaces, stamps and 
colouring mediums - trust me I've been on
 that quest and gave up a long time ago - 
Versafine Clair is a pretty good all rounder,
 a beautiful ink for detail and strength of colour.

It's an emphatic YES from me!"


Thank you for such a super in-depth
look at the product Craftyfield.

I had wondered if I really need yet
another set of inks and now that
I've read the results of your
researches I clearly do need yet
another set of inks.......................!

Are you there Santa?  Are you

'Till tomorrow

Mickie xx


  1. A great review from Christine. I have had some of these for a couple of months and agree that the are the best for fine details and very juicy. The lids are airtight so they may last for even longer than 10 years! Happy stamping! xx

  2. Thank you for your fantastic review of the Versafine Clair inks! I think I neeeeeed some! When I have some money that is! xxx

  3. A very comprehensive set of tests and comparisons, well done and a big thank you. Like Mickie ---- do I really need any more ink pads??? Seems like I do, just need some more room on the shelf! X

  4. Interesting review, will need to have a look at these. Happy creative week, Angela xXx

  5. Thank you for this fantastic review Christine, you did a great job!!
    I also LOVE my Versafine Clair (I have just three, but will buy certainly many other colours in the future). So how interesting to read you in complement. xxx


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