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2222Fix your troublesome size

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  • peggy skycraft
    Dec 10, 2003
      Dear Angela:

      I have made thousands of exceptional scarves with very few "seconds."
      Believe me, I have suffered through every problem there is.

      Try adding Calgon when the problem happens, with the broken pattern
      and white spots. (Cherry blossems is my cute name for this.) Dissolve
      a tablespoon in hot water and stir half into your marbling bath (about
      two gallons of size.) Test the size and if there is still a problem,
      add the other part of the dissolved calgon and test again. I think
      your problem will be solved. Once you know this, you can add Calgon
      (metaphosphate) before you begin marbling.

      There are chemical changes when alum gets in the size, but I have
      worked for many days makeing hundreds of papers just adding fresh size
      and also calgon. I refrigerate the size overnight to avoic bacterial
      degradaton, which also causes similar problems. (colors breakup.)

      Get Calgon (sodium hexemetaphosphate) from Pro Chemica, in
      Massechusetts, or from Rupert,Gibbon in Healdsburg. CA.I find it to be
      a true lifesaver. Saves one from throwing away that expensive carrageen.

      I do not use Spectralite, but usually if there is too much dissolved
      acrylic (and the surfaactant that is in it) the problem would be that
      the paints may start to sink and not spread ourt.

      Dry air is not the problem. I can do good marbling no matter what the
      temprature or humidity is.

      Water too can be a problem. It should not be acid or too mineral.
      Calgon solves this too.

      Your tools can be scrubbed with Dutch Cleanser and a nail brush. Rinse
      well. One can also use isopropyl alcohol for a quick fix. I do not
      think dirty tools is part of your problem if the tools and such are
      used just for acrylic. I usually only have to clean everything if I
      want to use the setup for watercolor, which is not compatible with
      acrylic at all.

      Newspaper for skimming is not a problem chemically.

      Use not more than 1 tablespoon of alum per cup of water. Silk can be
      dipped and then put in the washingmachin spin dryer. This allows
      evenly alumed scarves, with less possiblility of alum dissolvingf in
      the size.

      Lay the scarf down, check that all areas have contacted the marbling.
      Remove the scarf immediately and do not allow the gel to drip back
      into the marbling tray. I drape them over a plastic pipe and rinse
      with gently running warm water from a hose. Do not bucket them to
      rinse as there is a good chance of pattern damage.

      Yours, Peggy Skycraft

      --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, DaveorRobin Olson <dave1robin@y...>
      > Dear Angela,
      > I also marble some scarves but I don,t think your
      > problen is limited to fabric marbling. I have had this
      > problem both with paper and fabric. I was told it is
      > contamination with alum. You need to clean your tank
      > better between scarves.Always use the directions on
      > the alum pakage to make your alum solution. This very
      > problem came up in a marbling workshop I took this
      > weekend .(paper)and I have given you the instructors
      > response. Good Luck.
      > Robin Olson, Chicago
      > --- Angela Drake <angiedrake@h...> wrote:
      > > The last few times I've marbled, my size becomes
      > > contaminated about
      > > my fifth scarf into a session. It leaves bumpy,
      > > blank spots in the
      > > pattern and makes it very difficult to comb. I use
      > > carrageenan as my
      > > size and Spectralite paints. I had thought that cold
      > > size was the
      > > problem, but no longer. I was marbling outside while
      > > the weather was
      > > good (I live in Nevada, so it lasted a while) but
      > > just moved my work
      > > indoors and am having the same problem and the
      > > temperature is about
      > > 70F. If my tools are contaminated in some way, how
      > > do I clean them?
      > > I have read that I shouldn't use soap as it may
      > > further contaminate
      > > the size. The air here is very dry and we have
      > > almost no humidity,
      > > even in the house. Would this be a factor? Also, I
      > > skim using
      > > newspaper, but always have before with no problems.
      > > Any suggestions
      > > would be helpful as I am running out of ideas and
      > > although I can
      > > marble the scarves twice to lessen the impact of the
      > > flaw, I would
      > > prefer to get a great scarf the first time around. I
      > > make enough
      > > mistakes of my own without having to deal with size
      > > with a mind of
      > > its own. Thanks!
      > >
      > > Angie
      > >
      > >
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