American Crafts has been a staple in the paper crafting industry for years. I always look forward to their new paper releases in bright colors and versatile patterns. They have the cutest matching embellishments and fantastic booths at CHA. I’ve also been a fan of their broad range of markers and writing tools over the years, so it was my pleasure to review their Memory Markers.
What are Memory Markers? American Crafts describes them as,
“The duo-tip memory markers are the perfect all around rubber stamping and scrapbooking marker. With a fine point at one end and a medium point at the other it is ideal for journaling; outlining and special lettering techniques. The ink is lightfast; fade proof; non-toxic; acid free and 100% archival safe and is permanent once dry.”
I’m not a big fan of brush tip pens and markers, so I was happy to see there was a harder tip on the medium end. Here is a quick sample of the what the fine and medium point tip look like on paper:
One thing that surprised me when taking a closer look at the markers is that they are marked as pigment inks. I was a bit confused at seeing this because they seem like water-based markers upon my first tests. Then I tried out the lemon yellow marker and it seemed like it was an actual pigment ink. The color was thick, brightly hued and had more of an opaque look to it compared to some of the other colors. I wondered how this would happen? On the website, packaging and marker itself it clearly states to store the pens horizontally. I can completely understand this with being a pigmented inks inside the markers as they are thick and would require a constant, even distribution. And when I first got the markers, some of them were dry and didn’t work. But, it was generally only one end of the pen that didn’t work. Once I kept them horizontal at home and gave them a little TLC (i.e., a bit of water and writing on scratch paper) I was able to get most of them to come back to life. I think it may depend on how the markers are stored prior to shipping and where they are ordered from.
Here is a test swatch of the markers on different papers and mediums:
Now to get to the fun stuff! The first little technique I wanted to try with these is scribbling a marker on a craft mat and using a slightly damp paintbrush to watercolor the ink onto different paper. Here I used the pen ink to watercolor the background and then to water color the little vellum circles that make the flowers. I also used the fine tip end of the pen to draw the stitching of the leaves and stems.
I am a big fan of having good markers and pens in my stash because I LOVE to doodle and hand write journaling. I know Jenny has shown some awesome zentangling in the past on craft test dummies, and I have only done black and white zentangling before. I have been dying to do a multi-colored tangle and found the Memory Markers to gave me the perfect opportunity. The fine tip worked perfectly and I found that when using different pressure with the pen you could get lighter and/or heavier lines and detail with the pen.
Overall, I’m happy with the American Crafts Memory Markers. The colors are versatile and trendy and they are great for for doodling and journaling. I wouldn’t recommend them if you do a lot of extensive blending and shading with rubber stamping. I would say they are more geared for basic papercrafting and scrapbooking needs. Looking at other reviews online, I saw that many people gave up with them after getting sent dry ones. I hope that crafters wouldn’t get discouraged and throw them out before trying to store them as the instructions state and give them a little care. You can purchase the pens individually at some online retailers; But they are more widely found in packs of four different color sets numbered one through five. They are approximately $2-$3 individually or $10-$12 a color set. I think it comes down to what you really want to do with them and your crafty purpose! Let me know what you think in the comments, creative friends!
(disclaimer: product provided for review)