I went down to Daniel Smith today and picked up some of thier pure pigment powder ($4.50 to $6.00 for 2oz/$14.00 to $30.00 for 1pound). I am about to go out to my studio and mix it with the speedball base that I have. What I hope to happen is to get great colors for a great price, not as cheap as house paint but colors to rival TW's. My thinking behind this is what makes the high end inks so good? It is the pigment that they use in them. Right? If you ask any oil painter they will tell you that Daniel Smith has a very good paint product. So I put 2 and 2 together and I hope I don't get mud. If anyone else has tried this please any and all comments are welcome. Andymac if you are around I would love to hear your thoughts.
P.S. If you are going to try this BE SURE TO WEAR A MASK AND GLOVES!!!!!!! These pigments contain some heavy metals and so seriously toxic shit.
I have added all sorts of metal and autofinish pigments (flake, interference, irridescent, pearl, etc) to mixing varnish or bronzbinder (solvent based clears designed for adding and printing metallic pigments) and they work fine, as long as the binder has enough body to encapsulate them when dry (you can't mix in too much pigment/powder), otherwise the pigment rubs off when it dries. The pigments for screening must be extrememly fine grind - that's one of the differences in good ink and bad ink, with the coarser grinds clogging the screens. I also used colour concentrates, but these were in paste form, not powder. Almost all pigment, and if too much was added to a mix, the ink wouldn't dry once printed. Not a good thing.
I actually have stayed away from WB clears (TW) if I'm printing metallics, because I have heard from suppliers that they would rust or discolour from reaction. Sounds like an old wives tale, but I never wanted to find out.... of course, being salespeople they could be lying or stupid or both....that doesn't answer your question.
I think the pigments will probably work, to a point. (No better or worse than speedball already)
I think the colours will be very transparent, no opacity. This can be problematic.
I think if the pigment is compatible, you can use them for enhancing colours or getting some richer colours and special shades (when mixed with other opaque colours)
I don't think some of them will be very archival/ fade resistant.
You may experience the pigment coming off or the finish scuffing on a dried print.
Mix any pigment/powders with water/thinner first, then mix in the binder or base - if you dump powder into a clear ink it will clump and you will never get it to mix properly.
Well I just went through with my 1st try. Not too bad. I just tried the black and Andy you are right on 2 points: you must 1st mix the pigment in water 1st and second it takes some experimenting to get it opaque enough to cover the other colors. I think that when I get to the other colors it should be less problematic. By the way these pigments are very very fine. I will write more when I do other colors.