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6666Re: [Marbling] More polishing tips

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  • irisnevins
    May 13, 2012
      I did the egg white/alum with you at i think the Baltimore conference years ago with you Jake. It is a nice finish but lots of work. I take the easy or simplest route, which to me is using paraffin, rather than renaissance wax, which does stay tacky a bit, but mainly give the paper a filmy look. The paraffin, only enough to allow a burnisher to glide. Not excess or it woo will look filmy, though is a harder finish that Re. Wax. Lacking a burnisher I have buffed it in with a simple Bounty paper towel which tends not to lint up. Rub hard. This will coat to protect, but an agate burnisher with an edge thay is about 1/8" thick and 1 1/2" - 2" long for me does the trick, not the rounded bookbinder's burnishers. I bought a load of these that fit in your palm years ago at a rock and mineral show from a "rock hound" I have not been able to find them since, but a rock shop can cut one that fits in the palm of your hand. I have ones with an indent for your thumb which helps. There are a few left at $18 each. Then it's all over unless you get them made. I may actually commission a bunch when I run out. The heat from the friction, it distributes the small amount of paraffin, and quite evenly. It gives a thin hard coating, the colors are vibrant, not filmy.
      Iris Nevins

      On 05/13/12, jemiljan<jemiljan@...> wrote:

      I've often coated the paper with a 3-5% solution of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose or food-grade gelatin, followed by an application of Dorland's Wax Medium. It is a blend of paraffin, purified beeswax, and microcrystalline waxes, with a small amount of Damar resin. It is designed for oil paintings, but I find it works quite well for some marbled and papers, though if applied unevenly, it may appear to stain. l I find it leaves a much harder finish than other purely microcrystalline paste waxes like Renaissance Wax, which can remain soft and somewhat tacky, and even whitening. It is commonly available in many art stores in the US, and is quite a bit cheaper). Some conservators may have concerns about it, so I would offer to use the pure mycrocrystalline to make them happy, though I tell them that they should honestly be far more concerned about the quality of the adhesives and leather that they use than a small amount of mordant and wax coating.

      Application is key; a little paste wax goes a very long way. Like Iris said, I recommend only applying it to the paper that you need for the job. I make a kind of a large tampon from an old, but finely knitted lint-free cotton or cotton-poly sock, stuff it with another one, and then tie the end off, mush it about so it is flat but firm, and trim off the excess. It looks a bit like what traditional woodblock printers use for inking.

      It is best to test out a sample, or practice on a piece of paper you're not too concerned about to get the hang of the technique. Be sure to apply even using gentle strokes. If you're applying this to a laid paper, try and apply it in the direction of the horizontal laid lines, so the wax doesn't skip over the crevices. When done, I keep the tampon in the container.

      Allow some time for the wax to fully set. The length of time depends on your environment, but I would say anywhere from a few hours to overnight. You can then burnish with an agate burnisher, though with this stuff, you can also just rub it with a cloth for a soft sheen. Some papers may need a small reapplication.

      Jake Benson


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