Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Groove: A Review

Art-C provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I was recently contacted by a representative of Momenta and asked if I might review the new GROOVE tool by ArtC. Always interested in new artful goodies, I quickly agreed. My Groove tool arrived along with an assortment of mixed media embellishments to use in future projects: tags, twine, stencils, etc. The box states that this tool is "for mixed-media exploration," so what better place for exploration, I thought, than my art journal.

I covered a journal page with vintage papers and gave them a coat of gel medium as I usually do before adding acrylic paint.

The GROOVE tool comes with four inter-changeable heads: brush, pad, fine gauge sandpaper and coarse grade. They are very easy to change; a simple push on/pull off. The GROOVE tool runs on 2 AA batteries (not included) and is operated with a simple slide switch: low, high, off.

I began with the brush tool and light blue acrylic paint. Wanting to cover the entire background with the paint, I found the brush needed to be re-loaded often and therefore the 9" x 12" area was more efficiently covered simply by using a foam brush.

After drying, I snapped on the pad tip to use with ink and the stencils provided by ArtC. I used a water-soluble ink, knowing that with only one pad tip I would need to be washing it out for frequent use with different color inks.

I used the GROOVE tool on the high setting and turned it on to load the ink. It gave good coverage through the stencils when I applied some pressure. At times it felt as if it were slightly "fighting" me as I moved it over the stencil, but nothing that interfered with the end result. I did find that as I was unable to see the back-side of the spinning pad, there were times when I went off the stencil and had ink where I didn't want it to be.

I found the ink tip handy for applying ink to the edge of a tag. Easy to do when held to the tag at a 45 degree angle.

Back to the brush tip, I used the GROOVE tool on low with acrylic paint and found that it worked quite nicely with stencils.

It worked best for me without a heavy application of paint. The heavier the paint application and the more intricate the stencil, the more likelihood of brush-unders.

When I backed off on the amount of paint, I had less of an issue with brush-unders. Again, using on the low setting worked best in this case. I think that with this spinning tool, adhesive backed stencils are really a must.

I tried both sanding tips and started with the fine grit against a card stock tag. It didn't seem to remove that much from the edge so I switched to the coarse tip , and on the high setting, it did rough up the card stock. I can see the convenience of having a sanding tool at the ready; I often sand the edges of Scrabble tiles to distress, and the GROOVE tool will be quite handy.

Once the card stock was distressed with the sanding tip, it received the ink with the pad tip that much more readily.

The brush and pad tips cleaned up easily with soap and water. The brush tip actually sat for quite a while, with dried paint, and still cleaned up with no trouble at all. I used the pad tip for more than one color before cleaning; it performed well and cleaned up with minimal staining.

My finished journal page represents what can be accomplished with paint, ink and this helpful tool. The GROOVE tool is easy to use, making it something that could easily be used by children and might especially appeal to young boys who love gadgets!

Overall, the GROOVE is a handy tool that's fun and easy to use. The brush and pad tips clean up easily, provided you use water-soluble ink and paint. The sanding tips give you easy access to sanding material without the nuisance of heading to the basement or garage for a piece of sandpaper; this feature also saves on the elbow grease usually necessary for sanding.

Although the GROOVE tool may not be a necessity in your creative arsenal, it does make the process fun and in some cases easier.

© Nancy Lefko

1 comment:

Laurel Lee Pollard said...

Thanks for posting, Nancy - looks like you were able to switch between different mediums and projects pretty quickly!