Thank you, glad you like my work!
Well, USPS has been pretty good about keeping envelopes dry so I don’t usually fix them. The inks I usually use are dye-based so they don’t wash off easily (walnut/iron gall ink), but if I am using something very soluble like sumi ink, then I will fix it with some Microglaze.
Microglaze is a waxy product that you can rub on your finished piece to protect it from water and smudging. I prefer it over fixatives because I don’t like aerosol sprays (smells bad!) and with this, I can control exactly how much to apply.
It comes in a 1oz jar and you can see the consistency.. looks like lipbalm, or Vaseline.. odorless and colorless. I have had this jar for over a year and I barely made a dent! It will last a long time.
Here is what happens when I write with sumi ink on a simple index card, drip water and lightly brush my finger over it. Immediately it smudged and created a horrible mess. If I had disturbed it anymore, it would have been unreadable. You can see how the pigment is washing off so easily.
Here is a fresh piece written with the same sumi ink. This time I took a dab of Microglaze and gently rubbed it over the piece (making sure it is dried first!). You can use a brush or your finger, I prefer the latter because then I can really feel how much is spread on. A little goes a long way, and I try to spread it as thinly as I can.. because if too much is applied, it looks glossy and weird. It goes on really shiny at first, but eventually it’ll turn matt.
After the whole piece is covered in the invisible layer of Microglaze, I sprinkled some water on the surface. It immediately pooled up as if the art is water resistant and looks like it will easily flow off the paper.
Ok, I was determined to get some kind of smudge.. so I rubbed my finger on it, really hard! You can see it still held its own.
And this is what happens if I really go at it.. still holding its own and remains legible. Of course, you can see it smudging a little but hey not bad for a minute’s extra work. I wouldn’t use it for archival purposes on valuable artwork, but it will definitely protect art from the mail if you live in a rainy place.
Microglaze is only about $7 and you can buy it on Amazon.