Mica or bronzing powder

A client has requested metallic black. I have printed using metallic inks without great success particularly on uncoated stock. However I have seen on Briar posts suggestions to add crushed mica or bronzing powder. I have no idea where to purchase such items. Also has anyone attempted to make black look pearlized. I see alibaba.com sells stuff like this but that is out of China.

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Hello try mixing black ink into silver ink. I have printed. (Litho) on black colorcast mixing process blue into silverink with great success. Start with a small amount of black into the silver. Good luck.
Ted Lavin
Artificer Press

Mc’Clain’s, a printmaker supply co, sells mica powder. you can google them

I would go with what Ted said above.

The trouble with trying any “powder” that you buy, in thoery at least since I haven’t tried it, is that the particle size of the powder particles is much bigger than the particle size of ink pigment, and for this reason they won’t print well.

I’ve been in lectures by ink company people, where they brought jars of dry ink pigment to look at, and they said to the audience something like “you can open the jar if you want, but if you are going to, let me know first so I can get out of the room.” This is because the pigment particles are so fine that they will be carried by the air currents like dust, and the room and everything in it will end up being tinted.

The traditional method of using bronzing powders isn’t to mix them into the ink. It’s to brush or pounce them on after the printing is done, but while the ink is still wet, and then to burnish them.

Michael Hurley
Titivilus Press
Memphis, TN

Get a PMS book and you will find a few mixes of black with silver. I use “Black 7” for one customer, very nice. I’ve also mixed black with gold to get a warmer effect.

Thanks for the feedback- I was planning on using the mica to brush on and pounce off. But will try the silver and black- sounds easier.


Burnishing! That’s the step I’ve always missed when experimenting with bronzing powder!

Somehow, I’ve assumed the speckly effect was unavoidable with this process. Can’t wait to get home and try burnishing a sample into smooth gilded goodness!