The real trick is to think of these “markers” as color delivery systems for substrates that have, historically, been difficult to color.
What I understand is that the people at Sharpie have decided to sell more Sharpies by telling us how to color our world. Cars. China. Tie-dye. Sally Grimes, the Global VP of something, was named to the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company magazine this year (admittedly, position 100, but that still beats out a lot of others). Eggs that look like Ukrainian psanky on a quick glance. Fake stained glass. Custom sneakers.
I’m using the markers as a tailored delivery system for waterproof, isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) soluble fabric dye. With the markers, I can bleed a lot of color into a very controlled space, and then move the color around a little randomly with the rubbing alcohol. Therefore, I’m not too concerned about how the tip “feels” in my hand–it works a whole lot better than the nozzle of a squeeze bottle!
My markers dried “permanent enough” within a reasonable amount of time. (Re the one-star whose markers did not.) No idea what the difference is. Tested on a mirror, on glossy paper, on fabric, and they behaved as expected.
I have read that the way to “set” sharpie on glossy surfaces like china and glass is to bake at 150 degrees for some amount of time. (Not sure and haven’t tested this myself, but plan to.) Similarly, heat-set fabric after “sharpie” dying and the ink will no longer move. (Again, haven’t tested the details yet and plan to.)
On the downside, and not directly product-related, is the fact that you really have to dig on the Sharpie website to learn the details of how to work with Sharpies in “alternative” uses. (And they insist you follow them on FB rather than providing really useful content on Pinterest, but that’s a personal prejudice that won’t affect my star rating.)
Look out, sneakers. Black-and-white fabric. Boring glass vases. (Aha…. those darn people at Dansko, who refuse to make fun shoes in my size and force me to buy their boring colors in mens sizes… I can get white clogs and totally customize, like brides have been doing for their bridesmaids’ shoes forever.) And there’s another use: custom-decorated shoes for the wedding party (would be a great shower idea…) I love color, and I have new Sharpies.