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  • irisnevins
    Sep 16, 2003
      thanks Vi.....

      Guess next week's experiment will be to see if increasing alum helps....now
      Don made a case I believe for alum being a preservative, not a destroyer of
      papers as I recall.....before anyone gets worried about the evils of alum.
      Do you remember exactly what he had found? As memory serves me (likely not
      well due to eating alum!) at the Baltimore gathering he said the papers
      that had been alumed outlived the ones that had not...but I forget why.
      Some say it rots fabric.

      more unknowns, eh? fun....NOT!

      Message text written by INTERNET:Marbling@yahoogroups.com
      >Hi Iris

      Don't throw out your stock of Classic laid and linen. This problem of
      buffering is one I have been dealing with for ages, and have come up with a

      few strategies. Leave the paper open to the air for a while. I have a
      theory that when opened, the paper absorbs some of the impurities in the
      atmosphere which seem not to be detrimental to the marbling process.

      When I opened a pack of linen (not classic) the colours simply would not
      hold on the surface. When I tried it again a couple of months later, it
      was definitely better, though not perfect. The dark ridge of colour along
      the bottom of the paper is something I get quite often. This pack of linen

      also left a white deposit on the surface. Iris, I know its a pain, but
      when I have paper that reacts this way, I wipe over the surface of the
      paper with a dry cloth before I lay it down. This step removes the loose
      substance (which I believe absorbs the colour thus preventing it from
      adhering to the paper surface underneath) from the surface of the
      paper. And because this is a dust, perhaps a mask is necessary.

      A few years ago, Don Guyot was in despair over a pack of Crane's distaff
      linen he had bought and had colours running off. I brought some back to
      Australia with me, and had no trouble marbling it. When I was there on a
      later visit I did a test for him. Alummed the paper, left it for half an
      hour, then marbled it. Great! We alummed another couple of sheets, went
      out for lunch, and when we came back marbled those sheets. Colour washed
      off in patches. He kept the pack and marbled the sheets sooner after

      Different coloured papers also react differently. I had some papers tested

      recently for their pH. Grey Oxford was much more acid than Ivory
      Oxford. I have a pH pen and check the acidity of papers, which gives me a
      guide as to how I should deal with them - ie like marbling them sooner
      after alumming. I don't always sponge papers. However, on papers that
      throw a white substance, I think sponging them can contribute to the uneven

      distribution of colour on the sheet. Alumming by laying down (as you would

      paper on the size) on the alum solution, gives a more even result with the
      alumming, but also a more even result when the colour washes off!! It is
      for this reason that I wipe them over with a cloth.

      Another suggestion is to slightly increase the strength of the alum. I
      agree with your comments about acidity. A slightly acid paper works
      infinitely better than one which is heavily buffered. It is a bit like
      everything else these days. You have to wonder sometimes if the baby is
      being thrown out with the bathwater.

      Calcium carbonate and alum are definitely not compatible. Another
      buffering material is AKD alkylketenedimer (sp.?) composition of which is
      unknown, but almost certainly contains calcium carbonate.

      I realize with the production marbling you do, it is an inconvenience to
      have to make adjustments to a routine you have developed. I wish I could
      give you a magic solution. Guess I am prepared to make the adjustments
      since I do not do production marbling.

      Incidentally, the Classic linen you kindly gave me after the Gathering,
      marbles beautifully. It has been tucked in my paper shelf for a year!

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