1942RE: [Marbling] alum
- Sep 17, 2003What Don said is that the aluminum in the alum (aluminum sulphate,
magnesium aluminum sulphate or potassium aluminum suplphate, never
ammonium sulphate which has no aluminum - but I am sure you know all
that) combines with the glychocolic acid in the oxgall to form aluminum
glycolate which is benign and that any free alum has been washed off in
washing the paper. It is the free alum which deteriorates the paper.
I do sponge the alum (as taught by Don) because I want the minimum
possible to be absorbed by the paper. If you dip or soak paper in the
alum solution they absorb much more than with sponging.
With the alum rosin sizing which was so destructive of paper, the rosin
was the major destructive element.
Are you adding the alum to boiling water, in which case there is almost
no time while it is in the form of crystals? I dilute after it is
dissolved in the boiling water (again as taught by Don).
From: irisnevins [mailto:IrisNevins@...]
Sent: September 16, 2003 8:04 AM
Subject: [Marbling] alum
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 IrisDon'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
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
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
the bottom of the paper is something I get quite often. This pack of
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
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
later visit I did a test for him. Alummed the paper, left it for half
hour, then marbled it. Great! We alummed another couple of sheets,
out for lunch, and when we came back marbled those sheets. Colour
off in patches. He kept the pack and marbled the sheets sooner after
Different coloured papers also react differently. I had some papers
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
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
distribution of colour on the sheet. Alumming by laying down (as you
paper on the size) on the alum solution, gives a more even result with
alumming, but also a more even result when the colour washes off!! It
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
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
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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