I recently purchased a Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat and decided to review it as a real-world paper crafter to see if it is something everyone needs in their craft room. I tested it in several ways including comparing the blending of Distress Inks and Distress Oxides on it versus my regular Inkssentials Mat. I colored on the glass mat with alcohol markers, both Copics and Spectrum Noirs. I cut on it with a craft knife. I heat embossed on it. I let various inks dry on it to see if it would stain. I let a bunch of other mediums dry on it and then cleaned it to see how easy that would be. All in all, I tried to use every kind of product with it that I normally would as a cardmaker. For all of the details of the tests, please click the video link. My review summary is below.
NOTE: The opinions expressed are my own and based on my individual experience with the Glass Media Mat. While I hope my views are helpful, you will need to determine your own opinion of this product based on your own needs. Thanks!
My Review Summary
My bottom line opinion is… if you do multiple types of crafts and/or need to switch out the mats you are working on often – like needing a self-healing mat for cutting and then a regular mat for paint and then an Inkssentials mat for alcohol inks, etc. this is a great tool that can replace all of those surfaces and is well worth the money. However, if switching out mats you work on isn’t that big a problem for you and you would have to choose between spending $40 on this or spending $40 on some new inks or stamps or paints, then my advice would be to spend the money on the new inks or stamps before you purchase this glass mat.
The Glass Media Mat provides a very nice work surface and offers some improvement with distress ink blending, but I don’t think it is so revolutionary that you need to purchase this without question asap. It is a high quality product but at the same time, it’s not so life changing that in my opinion it is worth buying ahead of something else like the new colors of Distress Oxides, for example. If having to chose between this mat and other products is not something you need worry about then depending on your needs, the mat is worth trying and a very reasonable price for what you get.
If you make YouTube/video tutorials with your camera and lighting pointing directly down on to your work surface, there is an issue with reflection in the black glass surface that you should be aware of (not unexpected, it is glass after all) and may limit your ability to use the mat on camera. If you want to try the mat and are concerned about this, Tonic Studios makes a similar mat that has a white background that causes less of a reflection issue (particularly with screened lights and there is still some reflection) and may be a better option. I will continue to work with the black mat and adjust lighting to see if this problem can be solved. If so, I will update this review.
This is my opinion and is based on my experience with the Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat so far. I hope this has been helpful but you need to make your own decision based on your own individual needs.
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