WHAT ARE EMBOSSING MEDIUMS?
They are a type of 'glue' that is stamped instead of ink. They are not an ink because they usually have no colour, although you can get tinted versions. Their job is to attract and hold the embossing powder (very fine particles that melt when heated). Some inks can be used for embossing - such as the Distress Inks, but you have about a 20 second window between stamping and getting your powder on so you'd need to be quick! Embossing mediums are generally slow drying so that it gives you plenty of time to sprinkle on the embossing powder and start heating it.
WHAT EMBOSSING MEDIUMS ARE AVAILABLE?
There are many embossing mediums available sold under different brands. Of the non-Kaszazz mediums Versamark would probably be the most well known brand. Kaszazz offers 3 different embossing mediums - Perfect Medium, Top Boss and Watermark. Because I noticed the 3 different ones in the catalogue I decided I'd better find out what each do (or don't do).
I decided to use a fairly detailed stamp to show how well it adhered the powder, and it just happens to be one of my favourite stamps - the Cherry Blossom stamp. I used black card with white embossing powder, stamped on coloured card with no embossing powder to give a watermark effect, and on white card with black embossing powder. The embossing powders used are the Top Boss embossing powders.
Below is the photo of the results:
WHAT I FOUND
When I first stamped the black card with the mediums I did them in a production line style - as in, I stamped them all with each pad then added the powder all in one go. When I did this, by the time I added the powder the Watermark image was dry and the powder didn't stick so I had to re-stamp it. This indicated to me it is a fairly quick drying medium.
For an all-round performer I think the Perfect Medium performed best. It gave nice crisp images and held the embossing powders well, as well as creating a clear watermark effect on the coloured card. Perfect Medium is $8.95 for a 3 inch square pad. A re-inker bottle is also available.
The Watermark also performed well, but as I mentioned it dried quickly (within 2 minutes) so would not be useful if doing multi-stepped processes, but in clarity it performed well in both the embossings and watermark and gave the clearest and boldest watermarked image. Watermark is available in 3 sizes - cat's eye $4.95, mini $7.95 (as pictured) and full sized $12.95 pads. A re-inker bottle is also available.
Versamark performed equally as well as the Watermark in terms of image clarity however I find this medium a bit too sticky. I often have to pry paper from under the stamp, which can lead to a blurred stamped image. Versamark is available from most craft stores and retails around $14 for the pad.
Top Boss Clear (not the tinted version that is also available) performed well for embossing and attracted a large amount of embossing powders, giving a lovely raised image. It is obviously not a watermarking medium, because as it dried it disappeared on the coloured paper. I guess you would need the tinted version to leave a watermark. Top Boss is available in either clear (as used) or tinted, and comes in a mini $6.95 (as pictured) or full sized $13.95 pad. Re-inker bottles are available for both.
Contact me if you would like an embossing demonstration or would like to purchase one of the embossing pads above.