Friday, October 19, 2012

Citra Solv - The Cleanser with a Secret Side

In the September/October 2012 issue of Somerset Studio magazine they had an article on creating art with Citra Solv.  Citra Solv is a cleanser and degreaser with a strong orange scent.  Someone discovered that if you pour the formula on old National Geographic magazines, the ink melts.  It's an interesting process because you have absolutely no way of knowing how each photo is going to react.

The process is so popular that the Citra Solv site, along with touting the products cleansing abilities, includes a gallery of Citra Solve artwork and a few tutorials.

I few things to know: 

  • You usually have to go to a natural food store to find it (or buy it online)
  • You will notice that they carry a Citra Solv cleanser in a spray bottle.  You will be tempted to buy it, thinking that the spray will be easier to apply - DON'T DO IT!  I did just that, only to find out that the Citra Solv in the spray bottle is not the same product and will not alter the photos as all.  I saturated an entire magazine for nothing. 
  • You must buy the Citra Solve Cleaner & Degreaser Natural Concentrate Valencia Orange
    It comes in a clear bottle with a screw-on top.
  • New National Geographic magazines do not work.  I tried, of course, just to make sure, then ended up purchasing some old National Geographics from the early 80's on ebay.  It has something to do with the type of ink that they used to use.  I tried other magazines too (even though I was told that they wouldn't work) and they did not change a bit.
  • This is a messy process.  I put a plastic garbage bag over my table, then layered a bunch of paper towels under the magazine, as I brushed the Citra Solv onto the pages.  After you finish "painting" the pages, close the book, and press down.  Black ink will immediately start squishing out of the sides.  It's really messy - but really cool!
  • Mine took about 30 minutes to change drastically.  You can open up the book and check out the pages every once in a while to see what's going on.
And here they are -

Watch the video for all of the step-by-step instructions, then give it a shot!

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