So I find some gel pens I have had lying around, and check to see if they work. About half of them do. Then I search the web for a way to restore life to pens you KNOW have ink in them. The collected knowledge says either it's hopeless, soak in hot water, rubbing alcohol, blow in the back, and I can't remember what else.
I decide to apply heat...which does NOT make the pens work, neither do any of the other tips. One person mentioned instead of wasting the perfectly good ink, she sticks a paint brush into the end and paints with it.
Hmmm..... blowing... ink... heat... twisted imagination... I take the pens apart, blow out the ink onto paper, paint with it, do contact prints, mix it, and basically have more fun than a little kid with finger paints for the first time. Of course, I have to take it one step further... Out comes the heat gun, not the wimpy little embossing gun, but the big daddy hardware store heat gun. I NUKED those pens, and all of their little pieces into an interesting looking little ball of twisted ink. With proper ventilation of course.
In the end, I have 2 "pictures" and a creation. The pictures are title are what to do when a gel pen stops gellin' and I don't know what I am going to do with the "Creation" I may mount one of the pictures on wood, and mount the creation to that... leaving the other one in my art journal. Or I could make a necklace or a pendant.
Sorry, my digital camera is hiding right now. I just used it to take a picture of one of the cats, who wasn't happy about that. Perhaps that is whay I can't find it. I will post some pictures later, and let you know the final fate of the "creation".
Overall, I rate this an extrememly entertaining past time. Be careful about plastic fumes, I hear they can cause all sorts of problems, besides just a nasty headache. If you go do something silly with a heat gun or torch, and hurt yourself, don't blame it on me!
Dead gel pens will never be safe around me again. One more thing saved from the landfill, whilst my 18 year old son attempts to throw EVERYTHING in the trash! You would think he would at least understand the economics behind recycling is free, and trash costs money, but he doesn't seem to get it, or care. So I sort all the garbage when he is done. Drives him NUTS.