Ink Tips

I was just curious if anyone can share some tips on handling ink. I am using the Van Son Rubber Base Plus and was wondering the following:

* A new can of ink comes with a piece of plastic film on top of the ink and a cardboard disk to hold it in place. Is it necessary to store ink with these items or do you discard them and simply store with the screw on metal lid? Any other tips on ink storage?

* Is it necessary to stir the ink before each use? or is the ink thick enough that the pigments do not settle and stays evenly distributed in the ink?

* What are some ways that you take ink out of can or measure? I was thinking of cutting a plastic straw into little 2 inch segments and using the straw as a means to measure the ink and also transfer the ink to the glass for mixing. Any better ideas?


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1) I would at least leave the plastic on top. I suspect the cardboard is more useful in the shipping of the can. If you put a thin layer of Vaseline around the outside edge of the top and try to keep it out of the ink the lids will come off much easier. I’d also encourage you (if you use the Vaseline) to not wipe ink off an ink knife on the ege to make sure you don’t get the Vaseline mixed in.

2) Not as big a deal with rubber-based ink because it doesn’t dry by evaporation, but DON’T MIX THE INK. With oil-based ink you definitely don’t want the air getting to the ink because it does dry by evaporation.

3) Typically, we measure the ink out (using the PMS formulas) by using a narrow ink knife (can get them at an art supply store) and just trying to put the same size blob side by side until you build up the right combination. 5 parts Pantone yellow, 3 parts black, 2 parts Rubine read would be 5 blobs, 3 blobs, and 2 blobs respectively. I don’t think the straw idea will work as it would be too hard to get the ink out of it.