Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Fluid Art is amazing.
Not only you can create gorgeous colors and shapes in an easy way, mix various techniques and supplies to create something truly unique, but also due to its abstract nature every viewer of your art can see something different. What's not to love?
Well... the toxicity of some of the products is definitely not something to love.
By fluid art most people consider pour paintings, resin art and alcohol inks. This blog post is only about safety when working with resin (both epoxy and uv) and alcohol inks since acrylic paints and silicone oils used to create pour paintings are not toxic (unless label on the product states otherwise). Even if your art supplies don't have much odor to them, invisible fumes are still present, especially when you heat inks or resin up (and you do that most of the time).
So what can you do to stay safe while using your favorite mediums?
1. Before using any product always refer to its safety data sheet (SDS). It will tell you if products you're using are toxic and how to deal with them in case of a fire / swallowing etc. I hope I do not need to remind you NOT to drink any art supplies, but still, accidents can happen right? If your resin / inks doesn't have SDS attached, check on the brand's website or email the brand directly. Even if it says it's not toxic, it doesn't hurt to stay protected as if it was. It's easy to develop an allergy and if you have health problems like asthma - please don't risk it :)
2. Always, always, always work in a well ventilated area.
That's an easy one, open a window or work on a balcony / in the garden. Not as easy to do in the winter but definitely a good option for warm summer / autumn days.
3. Wear gloves and separate set of clothes!
Both resin and alcohol inks can cause skin irritation. Why risk it? :) Not to mention both resin and inks are difficult to remove from skin ;) Get yourself an apron or separate set of clothes to only wear while working with alcohol inks / resin. Both will stain your clothes forever :O
4. Get a VOC respiratory mask, best the full face one.
This should really be the first point :) There are many types of masks out there in various price ranges, just make sure you're getting the VOC one to be fully protected (VOC stands for volatile organic compound). Fumes from resin or inks can irritate your eyes too hence the full-face mask is better. Alternatively, get a half-face one and a safety googles. That's what I'm doing :) Make sure to change filters on your mask regularly.
Mask is also a must when you sand your resin pieces since small resin particles can be inhaled.
Small tip here: store your mask in a plastic bag so air doesn't flow through filters even when it's not used, that way filters will last you longer.
5. Do not ever eat or drink from a surface that was covered in alcohol inks or resin unless those products were marked as safe to use with food. And by use with food I mean cups covered in inks / resin, platters, trays, cutting boards etc. If your resin / ink is not marked as food safe, and you want your art to be used with food, get a food safe finishers in a form of lacquers or varnishes that has food safety attests.
6. When leaving your pieces to dry make sure no one has access to them. No pet / child / other human being you live with ;) should touch your uncured / not dried art. I use plastic containers to cover my pieces while they are drying. Not only it protects them from dust particles but also protects them from me or someone else checking if they are dry already ;)
I believe those are the 6 main points you should always remember about. Create, experiment, have fun with fluid art but always treat your health as priority <3
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post.
Want to learn more about alcohol inks? Get my e-book HERE