Optimist Colorless Shellac Medium

Federal Color SKU: Colorless Shellac Medium
Optimist Colorless Shellac Medium

Optimist Colorless Shellac Medium

Federal Color SKU: Colorless Shellac Medium
Regular price $19.95 Sale price $16.96 Save 15%
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We are excited to be one of the first exclusive partners with our good friends at Federal Color in St Louis, MO! 

The heart of Optimist Mixable Color is shellac medium. This magical amber liquid is the perfect binder for all kinds of pigments because it's strong, flexible, UV-resistant, and waterproof. Unlike acrylic mediums, our Colorless Shellac makes gorgeous transparent glazes when used in high proportions with color.

Add Colorless Shellac Medium to Optimist inks to make them lighter, more transparent and glossier. Using shellac-thinned Optimist colors, you can make complex, multi-layered paintings. Paper and pigment textures are more noticeable, and the ink moves more freely. With high proportions of medium, you'll create thin, shiny layers that look almost like stained glass. With smaller proportions, you can achieve bright, high-chroma colors.


What is Shellac?

Shellac is made by insects, much like beeswax or silk. It is a reddish, resinous substance that is deposited on tree branches by kerria lacca, informally known as a lac bug. These tiny insects are native to South Asia, which is why shellac-based inks are often called "India ink," even when they are made nowhere near India.

Shellac is a natural thermoplastic, predating all synthetic plastics and offering a much better environmental profile—since there are no fossil fuels involved in shellac's synthesis. The cultivation process is much lower-carbon than other forms of agriculture, because lac farmers use existing trees to host their colonies. Lac is an economic reason to protect the forests, rather than cut them down to cultivate other crops.

Once the farmers scrape the raw "sticklac" from the tree bark, they heat it over a fire to liquefy it, allowing them to filter out the bark and other impurities. Some shellac (like the premium material that we use) also undergoes dewaxing, in which the 10% wax content of raw shellac is removed. This leaves a nearly pure resin that can be turned into a food additive, a protective coating, an adhesive... or, a bottle of ink.

If you’re looking to return or exchange your order, we can help! We offer free returns or exchanges within 30 days of receiving your order. You can return your product for store credit, a different product, or a refund to the original payment method.

Please note the following exceptions to our return and exchange policy:

  • No individual markers, pens or pencils can be returned
  • Discounted items are final and cannot be returned or exchanged
  • Returned items must be unopened and in original packaging
  • Returned items must have no visible signs of wear or use

To initiate a return or exchange, please email us at hello@mcartsupplies.com. Be sure to include the following in your email:

  • Customer name
  • Order number
  • List of item(s) you wish to return
  • Reason for return

Additional Information:

  • Refunds will not be processed until item(s) is/are returned
  • Customer will be responsible for paying return shipping
  • Proof of purchase or receipt is required to process returns and refunds
  • Customer is responsible for the safe return of products and is encouraged to obtain a tracking number and insurance if deemed necessary
  • If you have any additional questions, please email us at hello@mcartsupplies.com

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