Alcohol Ink Dabbler Class

Project Lead = Judy Paxman

Thursday, March 14th
from 6-7:30PM
in the King's Daughters Room of the Swanton Public Library

Thank you to Swanton Recreation

for sponsoring this awesome class! 

We had so much fun!!  We had 16 people at this event and everyone had the opportunity to create with alcohol ink and take their artwork home with them. The class started with a display of alcohol ink artwork. After a quick round of tips, tricks and what to avoid we all began to "dabble" with the product. The dabbling, creation and testing of the product took the majority of the evening with each participant having several types of materials to test the ink on. At the end of the evening 6 names were drawn and those chosen and the materials were divided among them.

In addition to the funding from Swanton Recreation, several SAC members generously donated their time and their personal art supplies. The Library Makerspace also provided aprons, table coverings and other assorted supplies.

 We all shared the products and worked on ceramic tiles and photo paper donated by SAC members. 

 The class was aimed for ages 15 and above, however, we did have a few
younger artists join in with adult escorts. No one was turned away.  

 Everyone worked at their own pace, sharing the ink and the blending solution.
It was great to see what the product could do and how each person used it differently.
We were all so excited to use the alcohol ink that no one bothered to wear the gloves we had brought!

 Straws and canned air can be used to manipulate the ink.
Hand made stampers made out of recycled corks were used to save money
 and to allow everyone to have their own stampers (and to take them home too.) 
Everyone had the opportunity to work on three sizes of tiles and photo paper. 
(Photo paper can be used instead of Yupo paper. Yupo paper is very expensive!)

 In the above photo you can see some vibrant artwork created on photo paper. Rubbing alcohol, cotton balls and q-tips are used for clean up and to manipulate the product. 

 A few samples of the product, different items you can use alcohol ink on, flow samples and two preferred alcohol ink brands displayed above. Everyone had the opportunity to see over 40 examples of artwork created with alcohol ink. 

Joanne Parah Reiter and Anita Michele Parah have both worked extensively with alcohol ink and gave pointers throughout the evening. Several people took advantage of the plastic aprons in the Makerspace. Alcohol ink is great, but it is messy!

We all had a great time and no one wanted to leave.  Everyone left with samples of their artwork.
We hope to have more Dabbler Classes in the future.  


  • Welcome, introductions, how you heard about the class and sharing of experience with alcohol ink
  • Quick review of artwork made with alcohol ink
  • Users reveal mistakes we've made in the past and what to avoid
  • What the product looks like and what you can use it on
  • Use the product! Experiment and create
  • Thank you's and door prizes where all of the purchased products are given away

Alcohol Ink Poster link

Proposed program information:
Program Title: Dabbling with Alcohol Ink
Program Description: Alcohol ink is a fast drying, transparent dye that is specially formulated to create a colorful, polished effect. They are perfect for use on flossy paper, metal, plastic, glass and other slick, non-porous surfaces.  These inks are gaining a lot of popularity with DIY crafters and artists, but can be expensive to buy everything needed just to try it.

This gathering would be informal and free to the participant.  Each attendee would get a chance to try this medium, learn from others in the group who have used it, with each telling how they use it, do’s & don’ts and why they like it (or not!)  This is not designed to be a formal instruction class, but more a sharing of learned skills and experiences using this medium and a chance to socialize. At the conclusion of the class the left over products will be given to one or more of the attendees as a door prize.

The SAC will happily host the event, arrange for use of a community space, do set up, clean up, order all products needed and provide individuals who have experience with the medium. We are proposing that Swanton Rec provides the funding and the registration. The SAC will also help with promotion materials if needed.

Length of class: 90 minutes
Time of class: 6:00PM on a weekday
Time of year: Fall or early Winter
Target Audience: General public, crafters and artists (co-ed)
Age: 15 and older, primarily adult
Minimum enrollment: 5
Maximum enrollment: 50
Cost for materials: $50 - $75 (depending on enrollment)
Instructor compensation: none – the program leaders will enjoy sharing their knowledge and learn in the process of sharing this medium.
Additional information: Participants should be aware that alcohol ink can stain clothes and dress accordingly.
Instructor/Facilitator information: Judy Paxman with assistance from SAC members Joanne Reiter, Anita Michele Parah and others who have expressed interest in an alcohol ink class.
Instructor Bio: I am the Executive Director of the Swanton Arts Council and an upcycling artist. I create jewelry with recycled items using this medium. Many of my SAC buddies use alcohol ink but do not feel they have the skills to lead a class, however, they are very excited to participate in an informal gathering to share their skills and learn from others.  I have run several workshops, programs and events in the past few years and am comfortable in that role.