A long while back, I watched a video where someone set their alcohol ink on fire on a ceramic tile. I thought, well hey, that's cool, but what's the point? It seemed a bit like a stunt to me, so I never tried it. But the video popped back up on my Pinterest feed and I was like, what the heck, I guess I'll give it a try and see what the fuss is about.
So, I gathered my supplies: Alcohol Inks (I used Ranger brand for this project), a 6-inch ceramic tile (these cost about 50 cents a piece at your local hardware store), some 90% rubbing alcohol (I bought mine at Target), an eye dropper, a heatproof surface (I used my ceramic stove top and a little old cookie sheet), and a lighter (long handled would work best).
I removed all alcohol based items from the stove so only the sheet pan and my tile were on it, and I turned on the hood fan (see, I was being careful, Mom :)). Having a pot lid to set on top of it if it got out of hand and a fire extinguisher nearby would also be good ideas. I picked a few colors of my alcohol ink, and I squirted them onto the tile randomly (and then set the inks down away from the stove top).
After I had a good bit of ink on the tile, I used the eyedropper to drip the rubbing alcohol onto the tile (and set aside out of the way). The rubbing alcohol thins the ink out a bit and provides more fuel for the flame.
Then I used the lighter to start the whole thing on fire. The flames weren't as big as I expected them to be (see the right side of the tile) and only parts of the tile caught on fire. I had to go back and light the other side and kind of drag the flame over the tile to make sure it all lit on fire.
I was impressed with the effect the fire gave the ink. It blended colors together without them turning brown and made the ink an even darker more vivid shade. Since my first stab at the colors seemed to need some contrast and to fill the tile in a bit more, I added more ink and alcohol and repeated the process.
Getting closer, but not quite, so I added some more blue and more rubbing alcohol spritzed on and fired it one more time.
I think it turned out really neat. The colors are so vibrant. Alcohol inks are vibrant to start with and they come out even more saturated with color after firing. You do need a fair bit of ink and alcohol on the tile to get it to start on fire, and I was surprised that the ink still seemed tacky afterword even after starting it on fire. The flame didn't get too big and the tile never got really hot, so it didn't feel like a crazy stunt while I was doing it (that said--still take smart fire precautions if you try it).
In the end, I think this method has a lot of potential for decorating tiles. These tiles would make great trivets, but I'm not sure what kind of sealer would work best against hot pans--anyone have any ideas? If not, I'll spray seal it and use it decoratively.