Just recently I got some new ChameleonTM Pens. I had seen Syndee Holt using them on polymer clay and so I was really exited and looking forward to use them myself and I would like to tell you a little bit about my first tests with theses pens!
The ChameleonTM Pens are permanent alcohol ink pens with an inbuilt blending system. They have two tips, a brush tip and a bullet tip and they come in 20 colors, plus a detail pen and a blender pen. Each of the colored pens has a mixing chamber, that is used to infuse either nib with a colorless toning medium. This medium is used to make the colors lighter.
I first tried the pens out on paper. I really like the solid colours and what I noticed right away is that there are a lot of beige and brown tones. I guess that is aimed towards people drawing mangas or comics. I know my daughter always needs these colors for her drawings.
Another thing I noticed was that the time to blend your color highly depends on which color you are using! The light colors (like yellow or bubble gum) just need very little time to be completely colorless! I started counting how long I but the mixing chamber on each color to have some control over this effect!
I liked the brush tip a little better than the bullet tip. You are able to get a nice painterly effect with this brush tip!
Of course I was especially interested to try the ChameleonTM pens out on polymer clay. So I made a couple of sample pieces that I could use as a try out. I used Premo white, Premo translucent, Soufflé white and, since I just had this on my table anyway, Sculpey Ultralight. Of each of these clay types I rolled out a flat piece, one bigger piece I stamped with archival ink and a Celtic knot stamp and a smaller piece that I stamped with a small mandala stamp. For the UltraLight I did not use any stamp ink, just the impression made with the stamp to get some texture.
The pens worked on all four kinds of my samples. But they were quite different in their qualities!
All colors and shades worked well. The ink from the pens dried quite quickly and stayed really well. Even the black detail pen. They are very easy to blend, if they are still wet. The surface stays kind of glossy and shiny, even when completely dry.
Since alcohol ink is translucent, I was hoping to find a perfect pair with the ChameleonTM pens and Premo translucent. Unfortunately, I must say, the pens did not come up to my expectations. The translucent clay is a tiny bit on the beige side when baked and the pens to have a lot of brown and green tones. Those do not show very well on the translucent (you can see that best on the round color sample, without any stamping). Of course there are still other colors that do work very well, but I felt kind of limited by the color choices I could make. Apart from that draw back the results were similar to the ones on Premo white: the ink dries quickly and stays really well. The surface stays kind of glossy and shiny, even when completely dry. Very easy to blend, if still wet. The black detail pen however did rub off after a bit of use.
The surface of the Soufflé is quite different to Premo and this makes a big difference on working with the ChameleonTM pens! The surface is not as slick and it does have much more “grip” to it! The colors are a little more on the pastel side, especially the blends, but they are matt! I like that a lot! The inks can be blended very well and you get an effect that almost looks like it would be painted on paper.
My last test was the one that surprised me the most! The pens worked very well on UltraLight and the colors came out just great! Nice matt surface and even the light blended colors come out brilliant. The effects are the closest to what you get with Soufflé but even a bit more matt and paper like! This was definitely a positive surprise!
All in all I can say that ChameleonTM pens work very well on polymer clay! I personally find Soufflé and UltraLight the most interesting, but depending on what effect you are after Premo both translucent and white definitely also have qualities that are interesting!
If you like working with alcohol inks and pens you should think about trying these pens out!
For more information look at the ChameleonTM website: http://www.chameleonpens.com/