Trying out Oozeq

In my last post, I introduced you to Oozeq, a vegan plasticine, and Oozeq’s inventor sent me some to try out.

You can buy it on Etsy (box with three packs, each 10 g) or Ebay (single packs, 10g).

Reading up on this never dry putty, you’ll find out it is kind of the swiss army knife of doughs.  So in case any A-Team, MacGyvers or Megan Gyvers out there need plasticine, that can be used as  fondant, molds, battery,  polymer clay armatures and more, besides the two obvious ways you can use it, slime or play dough, this could be for you.

I started more traditional and kneaded it around for a minute or so (consider its long journey) to make it all smooth. Although I automatically formed a lollipop swirl and a rose in the beginning, the first documented creation with Oozeq was this ear.

I did notice though, that longer fingernails are definitely not very helpful in moulding out smaller details. At times I felt a bit edward-scissor-handsy, and my creations bear the marks. Trying to smooth out a scratch, I would leave behind another. My poor witch can sing a song of all the scars I gave her. I also used a bit of water to smooth things out (on the witch), which helped but also made the surface a bit sticky.

After the Oozeq ear, I added sand in a 1:2 ratio (10g Oozeq, 20g sand).

Goodbye ear, hello sandy dough. And it really swallows all the sand,  glitter, or whatever you’ll mix with it and binds it. No sand or glitter on the loose. Next you can see the thaler I imprinted with a sealing stamp. All the fine details are visible and nothing stuck to the stamp.

After stamping, I wanted to see, how the sandy Oozeq molded, so I produced this little seal, which I don’t dare to destroy. It went through quite an evolution, if you think about it: From a droplet of putty to a swirl, a rose, an ear, a thaler and finally a seal puppers with beady eyes.

I did also find out that the sand muddied up the dye of the dough. However, this could be because I used the beige-grey playground sand I’ve got to mix in the soil for succulents.

Although I had my eyes set on vegan food dye ( Biovegan) to use on the plasticine, I couldn’t get it and made do with what I had at home. It might though be not what the inventor had in mind with his product. Oozeq is a non-toxic, even edible, plasticine, but I went ahead and dyed it with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist brush pens (see rose above), Daler-Rowney FW acrylic ink and Deltamarker. The colours came out vibrant and the chisel nib of the alcohol markers worked best. Only the black acrylic ink left some light black hued residue behind after rubbing it with gusto on the back of my hand (easily washed off). It suprised me that my hands were not dyed at all, the dough absorbed the colours – no stains, clean hands. I tried shimmery green acrylic ink and the putty kept the shimmer.

Before making my big showstopper (Bake-Off reference here, hehe), I tried Oozeq’s nail varnish hack as seen on Instagram .

Using it to mask what you don’t want to cover in nail varnish does work. It mustn’t protrude too much, so you still can reach in all the corners with your utensils. I went for an ombre look with a cut up cellulose sponge. It would have looked better, if I used a smoother sponge, but it still worked. Afterwards you  can just fold the putty piece, you used, up again and knead it. The plasticine absorbs the nail lacquer and you can keep on using it over and over again.

I also tried Oozeq as kneadable, removable glue dots (wasn’t advertised as such, just felt adventurous). You shouldn’t use it on walls or wallpapers (it contains oil) but I did stick the ear, the thaler, the piece of origami paper Oozeq is wrapped in, and on top of the paper the blue snake, to a lacquered door and door frame. They all stayed put. I did remove the ear and the thaler after a couple of minutes, but for a glorious short amount of time “the walls had ears”, well one ear; and it was a door.  The paper stayed on the door for over a day. Then I peeled of the putty. On the paper and the door were ,what you can describe as grease stains (that’s why you shouldn’t use it on wallpaper or painted walls). They came off the door with a sheet of kitchen roll wetted with a water-washing-up liquid combo (in no time).

Finally I come to my “pièce the résistance. Since it being already September and Halloween lurking round the corner (and the worst witch reruns  on  telly), I really wanted to make a little witch.

I was able to roll out the finest lines and make the smallest dots (see above) for the highlights and the whites of the eyes. Another mistake I made was mudding up the lashes. Initially I only applied a cat-eye liner in brown. I wasn’t too happy with it (should have chosen black). So I decided to add lashes, also in brown. With the same coloured hair it lacked of contrast. And the poor lashes (2D) got blurred in all the kerfuffle, as did the irides ( well, someone looked up the plural of iris) and the highlights. The pupils ,unfortunately, overtook the space of the irides, there is only a faint blue reminder on the very edge.

I used  eight Oozeq drops (80g, each 10g) for the witch. From leftover morsels I formed the wee pumpkin, a little black tortoiseshell kitten and the flowery hat band.

The witch dons some lovely striped stockings, boots/clogs, a striped top with cat head application and petal shaped sleeves and a crooked hat with a little flower garland. As for hair I chose the Mildred Hubble hairstyle : plaited pigtails.

The conclusion:

  • Oozeq doesn’t really smell like anything, only if you really sniff it hard, you can smell a typical hint of play dough as you know it.
  • It does leave an ever so slight film on your hands, when you knead it (which washes away with soap and water).
  • The putty is a bit prone to scratches  (my dye mixtures might have aggravated the situation) molding more ornate, intricate things.
  • Thinner naturally white coloured layers can become see-through
  • The plasticine has a bit of a shine to it like a built-in highlighter (make-up reference)
  • If you accidentally drop a whole witch’s leg on the carpet, you’ll retrieve a hairy one (not that the witch would complain)
  • Oozeq is a swiss army knife putty
  • For the ear and the seal I used one pack of Oozeq plus 20g of sand ( ear and seal are one and the same)
  • The cost of a pack of Oozeq  at the moment is a bit steep,  if you are looking for making things like my witch (she, kitten and pumpkin swallowed eight packs),  for figures or claymation; basically if you need loads of dough. Of course it has all the other application possibilities and the price might well be rightfully so, but for how I used it, needing a quantity of product, it is not very economical.
  • Is it usable for claymation? I can’t tell you. You’ll probably have to make smaller figurines. The body of my witch (upper body-legs ratio) does not allow her to stand up. Maybe a wire skeleton would help the weight distribution. To be fair, I have to say, I don’t know anything about claymation making.

Finally, I want to thank Oozeq’s inventor Bill Zicker , for reaching out and sending me the plasticine. I am glad there is finally a vegan-friendly plasticine product out there, that I could list. I am also glad, I was given the opportunity to try it out.

 

In case you are very understandably wondering how the little witch is doing:

After 1 1/2 days I discovered the poor thing had lost her head and one pigtail plait. This might be partly due to the lack of not having a (wire) spine and because I wouldn’t smush her precious head harder on her neck.

The final part is not for the faint-hearted, because …

… I had to spike her head on a toothpick to bond it to her body. Since I haven’t shortened the toothpick, the witch still remains in the same state as seen above. But think about it, if you coloured the toothpick green and propped the witch in front of a green screen, she would have a levitating head. The whole situation would be a mishap caused by a spell gone wrong. Other than having a toothpick in her head, she really is doing fine –  kitten and pumpkin weren’t harmed at all.

 

 

Source: Mail contact; Oozeq’s website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuretake ongoing

Unfortunately the mail I sent last thursday did not reach the person at Kuretake JP – the address couldn’t be located in their system (maybe the person doesn’t work there any more).

So I just filled out the online form on their Kuretake JP site, and I got a confirmation mail that they received it. I wonder whether I will be contacted by Kuretake UK (now Pirika UK) again, because in the form it was required to enter your country. If that is going to be the case, there will very probably be no further information about the cruelty-free part.

I am not very optimistic, but we’ll see.

Source: mail contact

new Kuretake inquiry sent out

Over the last year till February of this year, I had correspondence with Kuretake UK. The UK team are pretty terrific, always wrote back and passed my inquiries and information sheet along to the Japan Headquarters.( I just looked them up again, and they are no longer Kuretake UK, but Pirika UK).

I initially was assured that Kuretake was a cruelty-free company, but then they weren’t certain about it any longer. This was cited to probably  be because of a language barrier. And the Japan Headquarters never replied since my last mail in February.

I consequently had to take the company of my list again, without this vital part of information.

I now contacted Kuretake JP directly and hope I will receive a clear reply for us all.

Attention: fake Canson Mails

Yesterday I received a Canson mail, which seemed very odd, titled “IMPORTANT DOC” in all caps, and told me about a change of agreements and I should head to their cloud and download the document. They really tried to make it like a real Canson Mail, with website links to click on etc., but the email address was so long, repeating “Canson” and a Name over and over again (like a sentence long). I clicked on the adress to see more information. Suddenly it was a very short email adress, without “Canson” in the adress at all. I copied the short adress and pasted it into google. It was an address connected to a factory in Bangladesh.

So I wrote real Canson via their real website, that I think they got hacked and the content of the fake mail. Today they replied that this is correct, there has been a hacking incident,  YOU MUSTN’T CLICK ON THE LINK   and DELETE THE MESSAGE. So if you receive a weird Canson mail, or a Canson Mail out of the blue, just delete it!

Graphite Pencils

About graphite pencils:

Listed in my compendium are two companies with vegan-friendly graphite products:

  • Faber Castell: all graphite pencils, including mechanical pencil leads and watersoluble graphite pencils
  • Derwent: all Graphitint and Graphitone pencils, Graphite Blocks and XL Blocks ; and following Graphite Pencils B, HB, F, H, 2H, 3H, 4H, 5H, 6H, 7H, 8H,  -> B is the softest vegan-friendly here; softer leads are not vegan-friendly

I know some of you are probably wondering about other brands. Staedtler cannot guarantee that raw materials aren’t contaminated with animal sources  and although they do not do and do not commission animal testing, raw material suppliers could, if they (the suppliers) have to by law; also some Staedtler products contain beeswax.

  • Viarco (Art Graf): I had a correspondence with Viarco last year for a couple of months and sent them my vegan-friendly information sheet this year. Although in last year’s reply I got the information that all the graphite products and watersoluble products are free of the ingredients I asked about, which were following:
  • tallow
  • shellac,
  • Bone Black Pigment PBk 9 from burnt animal bones
  • gelatin,
  • casein,
  • ox gall/bile,
  • beeswax,

(coloured pencils do contain beeswax);  they can’t however guarantee that their raw material suppliers don’t test on animals. The suppliers are big companies and they don’t think they are in the position to ask this information of them.

If you are wondering about Lyra; last year Lyra replied to me for Canson (both belong the the FILA group; so Fila might be a distributor of Canson in my country).  This was a bit confusing. I did not get a reply for their own brand (I did write to them as well) but for Canson, they stated following: – all “their” papers are free of animal ingredients, except Ingres Vidalon and Mi Teintes; -they do not know about components supplied to them such as glue and packaging ; – certain dyes/colourants are tested on rabbits; they “can’t certify their products as vegan”.

I can’t give you any information on Lyra itself, because I did never receive a reply concerning their own brand.

 

Source: Mail contact

 

I have taken some companies off my list

So I have taken some companies off the list.

Royal Talens- why: I wrote to them last year about Ecoline brush pens and inks; I got the information about the products not being tested on animals and no animal ingredients in the products. But why not say “we don’t test on animals” and not just” these products weren’t tested on animals”. So I would have to contact them again for a clearer response; in the meantime I took them off the list. I hope I get a reply though, when I’ll write to them again, because I got no response for my Sakura inquiries this year and in the past. (Royal Talens is the European distributor of Sakura and belongs to Sakura since 1991). Overall I got the vibe that they aren’t interested in offering vegan-friendly art supplies.

Kuretake, why: First I was assured that Kuretake is cruelty-free but then later, I was informed there is a problem due to a language barrier in understanding what cruelty-free/animal testing is and they had to look into this matter. A considerable amount of time has passed and I am none the wiser. So I had to take them off the list; it does not mean they do but, again no clear answer here.

Schmincke: They wrote that they have no information about animal testing through suppliers/ sub-suppliers&raw material suppliers. Although most ingredients used in art supplies have already been tested decades ago, and might not be tested again, this is not certain. Therefore, I decided to take them down.

I always struggle with how far I should go with my definition or whether I should adapt more. In our daily life we come into contact with non-vegan-friendly things and things that might  be tested on animals all the time and we don’t even know. I am not talking about medical treatment but things we haven’t thought about, like keyboards, remote controls, cutlery, clothing (the dye used; the pesticides used for cotton)…, basically everything. We just strive to the best of our knowledge, but nobody can be 100% (maybe a hermits, making their own clothes, gathering food, making their own clothes, …)

I don’t always know how to evaluate the information I get. Is it too much to ask for raw-materials not to be tested on animals by suppliers? Some companies (not listed)  have no idea on the stance of their suppliers concerning this issue and some even wrote they would contact their suppliers now for the information; others have the knowledge of theirs that they don’t.  My inquiry form hasn’t changed, I only structured it better with my information sheet a couple of months ago, but it contains the same definition including animal testing through suppliers.

If materials have already been tested decades ago on animals, why should it be done again today, if the information is already available? I think “no animal testing through suppliers”  has to stay part of my inquiry and information sheet.

I just don’t have an explanation why some companies have this knowledge about their suppliers and others, even if they are small businesses, don’t. Do they ask no questions about where the raw materials come from and if they use the safety data sheets from their suppliers, don’t they wonder how the data is collected? Is it the easy way out to say they don’t know, instead of asking questions? Or do they know and don’t want costumers to know? Is it really about not having enough resources to check?

But we have to ask companies those questions, so they start to ask themselves those questions and they have to turn to their suppliers to address this matter.

 

Source: Mail contact

 

 

 

Inquiries sent out to:

Here is an update on inquiries  sent out:

 

Here is my compendium :   https://www.veganartstuff.info/compendium/

 

Source: Mail contact

Derivan – vegan-friendly products

Australia based  Derivan  is a cruelty-free company with an array of different products.

Except the one colour Ivory Black in the Matisse range, all Derivan and Matisse branded paints are vegan-friendly!

Here: http://www.derivan.com.au you can find all of their products, e.g. cadmium-free acrylics, different types of acrylics, acrylic based inks, mediums, screen ink, block ink, watercolour, fabric paint, face and body paint, glitter glue, liquid pencil, …

Matisse is Derivan’s professional acrylics range: http://matisse.com.au/products/.

Source: Mail contact