Fired Alcohol Ink Art

My peek at Pinterest explores a technique I’ve been wanting to try, ever since I first saw the post by It’s Always Autumn.  This is a great way to make exciting abstract art using alcohol inks and…some fire!  Sounds a little dangerous, right?  Rest assured, you can do this indoors and it won’t set off the smoke alarm.  In fact, the flames won’t raise higher than about a foot and amazingly, this technique doesn’t create smoke.  So let’s play with fire…


You’ll need: Piece of glass, alcohol inks (at least three colors), rubbing alcohol (91% or higher), long-handle lighter, disposable gloves, cookie sheet/jellyroll pan, aluminum foil and an eye dropper.   Line the jellyroll pan with aluminum foil and set your clean piece of glass inside.  I think the original poster used an 8 x 10 piece of glass, but I used an 11 x 14.  I’ll get to the benefits of using the smaller piece of glass in a minute, but lets continue.  Pour some of the rubbing alcohol in a small cup and have your eye dropper ready. You’ll need to work quickly, as the rubbing alcohol and inks dry very fast.  Put on your gloves and randomly apply drops of the ink colors onto the surface of the glass.


Using the eye dropper filled with rubbing alcohol, generously add it over the glass surface.  Pick up the piece of glass or the entire pan and tilt and swirl the ink colors together.


Now quickly take the lighter and set the surface of the glass on fire.  What you’re seeing is the rubbing alcohol burning off, leaving interesting shapes of the alcohol ink colors underneath.  Now I’ll be honest, I had to apply more ink colors and alcohol on top of the first application and light it a second time. This is where size matters!  I concluded that the larger the surface of glass you have to cover, the quicker the inks and alcohol will dry.  You almost have to do it in sections, to get the same one-shot effect on an 8 x 10 piece of glass.  Plus, the sheet that I used barely fit inside that large jellyroll pan.  The smaller size glass would give you more wiggle room to manipulate the inks.


Let the glass completely cool before handling.  Place a piece of white illustration or poster board on top of the inked side of the glass.  Place inside a frame and you have an abstract masterpiece to hang on your wall.  The added bonus to this fired ink art, is the ability to wipe rubbing alcohol over the entire surface to clean it and start over again…if you weren’t thrilled with the first attempt.  Very forgiving, fun and exciting; this is one art adventure worth getting fired up about! 



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