Articus Studio

Stamp Pads 101

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With the myriad of stamp pads available today it can just make your head swim as to which one to use.  Many are formulated to do a specific job and work best for that purpose.  I have gathered a brief description of the stamp pads that are available on the market today and hope this will help you decide which one is best for your project.
I will list the name of the pad and then in parenthesis the company who makes it.  You can probably then check out their website if you have any additional questions on their product. 
Sorry, they are not in alphabetical order.
Definition of Pigment Ink~ vibrant in intensity and appear the same color they stamp out.  They are slower drying than dye-based inks and is the kind of pad you want to use if you want to emboss something.    If you use a pigment ink on a glossy paper without embossing it- it will NOT dry.    They are often more light fast than dye based inks and may  resist fading even in direct sunlight.  Because of their formulation, when you have a multi-ink pad- the colors will not bleed into each color. 
Brilliance Pads (Tsukineko)~ Pigment, archival- formulated to perform on most GLOSSY surfaces including vellum, photos, tissue, coated or ordinary papers.  Acid free, fade resistant and non toxic. 
Opalite (Tsukineko)~Refelctive interference pads, archival pigment ink ideal for adding sparkling dimension to any stamping project.  Dazzling results on shrink plastic, dark or glossy papers.
Pearl Ex Pigment Pads (Jacquard)~Archival quality, permanent on every surface.  Easy clean up with water.  Outstanding results on shrink plastic, dark or glossy paper.
StazOn (Tsukineko)~Solvent ink pad designed for NON-POROUS surfaces including glass, metal, shrink plastic, cellophane, aluminum foil, leather & acrylic.  Does not require re-inking the stamp pad between uses.  Low oder, archival and acid free.  This is one of the stamp pads that Articus Studio carries.
Versafine (Tsukineko)~Pigment ink designed for intricate stamp work.
Clearsnap Crafter's Pigment (Clearsnap)~water based pigment ink modified to ideally suit craft applications on fabric, wood, wall stenciling and shrink plastic.
Versa Craft (Tsukineko)~ An all surface multicolor ink pad.  Works on paper, fabric, wood and shrink plastic.  Heat Setting recommended on all surfaces. Child safe.
Colorbox Pigment (Clearsnap)~Waterbased thick pigment ink.  Fantastic results on absorbent paper.  Glossy or coated papers will require embossing.  PH balanced for archival purposes and child safe.
Clearsnap MetalExtra (Clearsnap)~Metallic pigment ink formulated to quick dry on most surfaces including vellum, photos, tissue, coated or ordinary papers.  Acid free, fade resistant and non toxic.
Versacolor Ultimate Pigment Pad (Tsukineko)~ Most versatile ink in the industry (their claim).  Faster drying, embossing optional with high definition and rich color for crisp detail.  Acid free, fade resistant, waterbased and non-toxic.
Ultimate Metallic Pigment Pad (Tsukineko)~ Metallic, acid-free pigment ink that adds shimmering pearlescence to any stamping project.  Quick drying, fade resistant, cleans up with water, archival.
Versamagic (Tsukineko)~Archival chalk pigment pad.  Opaque pigment ink designed for an elegant chalk finish.  Water-based, acid free.  Allows for multi-surface decorating like wood, fabric and leather.
Fresco Chalk (Gary Burlin)~A dye ink pad that recreates the subtle chalking colors and mottled matte finish of the Renaissance classics.  Acid free, fade resistant, archival.  Heat set for permanent, waterproof, non-smearing finish. 
Clearsnap Fluid Chalk Ink Pd (Clearsnap)~Premium dye ink pad with new skin-foam technology on the pad.  Use on glossy or coated papers.
Ancient Page Dye Ink Pads (Clearsnap)~Dye ink, archival, acid free, waterproof, smear resistant and quick dry.
Memories Dye Ink Pads (Stewart Superior)~Fade resistant dye ink for archival use.  Will not smear.  Acid free.  Also available in metallic-create irridescent metallic effects on many surfaces.  Pigment based is heat set or emboss on glossy, coated or non-porous surfaces. 
Archival Dye Inks (Ranger)~Manufactured with special fade resistant dyes.  Archival ink will not detiorate paper and photos or bleed when painted over with water based markers, blenders, watercolors, pigments or colored pencils.  Non toxic.
Marvy Matchables (Marvy)~Dye ink with unique non-bleed formula.
Big & Juicy, StampIt & Sea Shells & Sea Brights (Ranger)~ These are all dye inks.  The Sea shells are pastel and the Sea Brights are bright colors.  Quick drying on all types of paper.  Non Toxic & Child Safe.
Vivid Dye Ink Pads (Clearsnap)~premium dy ink pad with new skin foam technology on the pad.  Use on glossy or coated papers for dazzling results.
Vintage Scented Dye Ink Pads (Ranger)~They combine vintage 1929 colors and nostalgic scents.  Qucik dry, fade resistant and embossable.  Also acid free and non toxic.
Adirondack Dye Ink Pad (Ranger)~Quick drying dye ink on all types of paper.  Non toxic.  (These are some of my favorite ink pads and colors.)
Nick Bantock Dye Ink Pads (Ranger)~ This is an intense dye ink.  (These also have been a favorite pad of mine).
Kaleidacolor Dye Ink Pads (Tsukineko)~Water based dye ink pads.  Acid free.  (This is a wonderful pad for use with your brayer to create stunning and simple backgrounds).
Palette Hybrid Ink Pads (Stewart Superior)~ Fine art colors that look like pigment ink but dry like dye.  Works on all surfaces.  Fast drying, waterproof, with bright colors and excellent print quality. 
Mica Magic (Clearsnap)~ A fast drying pigment ink- air dries to delightful luster or shine on most smooth or glossy surfaces.  Light fast and ideal for all papers, shrink plastic, polymer clay, style stones, glass or ceramics.  Acid free.  Can also be heat set for improved permanence.
Versafine (Tsukineko)~Quick drying pigment ink.  Opaque pigment based ink pads designed for intricate stamp work.
Castaway (Jacquard)~This ink alters the color of paper instead of adding color to the surface.  The result is a marbled or dappled antique look that is similar to batik fabric or bleaching.  Use a dry iron on the hottest cotton setting to activate the color altering process.  (I recently used this pad in a class and liked the result quite well.  Better on darker paper.)
Heritage Dye Ink Pad (Marvy Uchida)~create a weathered effect with these antique styled dye ink pads.  Perfect for direct to paper inking.
Distress Ink Pads (Tim Holtz & Ranger)~ Water based dye ink pad.  They're perfect for adding a vintage, stained, aged effect to your papers and phptos.  Acid free, non toxic, fade resistant.
I hope this will help you in deternining what kind of ink to use.  I took the information from a suppliers catalog.  There may be other pads out there but this was a full list at the time (Nov. 2007).

ATTN:  MAC Users & Ipod Phone Users~
For some reason Mac/Ipods & Paypal do not work well together.  For some Mac & Ipod users, the Paypal cart will dump after several things are added to the cart.  I might suggest you write the item numbers down that come up when you "add to cart".  If it does dump, you can call -740-477-1238 or email your order  Sorry for the inconvenience.  I have notified Paypal of this problem, but so far it has not been fixed.
PLEASE make sure your Paypal ADDRESS is CORRECT before placing your order.  Thanks!  It also helps to have a correct email address if I need to contact you re your order.  Thanks.
~International Customers~
When checking out with Paypal, please add your phone number.  The United States Postal Service is requiring that for all international shipments now.
ANY large dollar order~~
The shipping on every order goes up with the total of the sale.  Many of the things are small so the larger shipping is not warranted, so then I refund the difference.
If you have a question on shipping please contact me at

This does not apply to the standard shipping charge-just the larger orders when the shipping charge is at higher cost.
Articus Studio, 8341 Old Tarlton Pike, Stoutsville, Oh 43154, 740-477-1238