[Marbling] Aluminum Toxicity
- Thanks for this! I have made it thus far, at 51, and marbling half my life,
as my main job. My immune system is somehow great, I cannot seem to ever
catch a cold even when all others around me are dripping and sneezing, so
maybe I am just lucky or maybe the amounts of alum we use in marbling just
is not in the danger zone.
There are many of these metals occuring in "natural" foods and water.....I
don't see how we can avoid them all, still don't recommend "slurping"
though.....this is such a funny image I giggle every time I think of it!
Message text written by INTERNET:Marbling@yahoogroups.com
>Aluminum, and especially aluminum sulfate, is present in so many every day
items: fluoridated tap water, many cosmetics, foil, baking powder,
septic pencils for cuts when shaving, just to name a few. Baking a potato
in aluminum foil, or boiling water in an aluminum pot for ten minutes (like
preparing water for pasta) will add an incredible amount of aluminum
to the body. As Iris mentioned, the preferred alum is aluminum sulfate.
However potassium aluminum sulfate and ammonium aluminum sulfate are
sometimes sold as a marbling mordant. Check the packaging or ask when
purchasing. All of them are potentially toxic.
Don Guyot's original recipe for 6T alum. sulfate to one gal. water has not
worked for me for many years. I too, am assuming it's the powerful calcium
carbonate now added to commercially made papers. This is because the paper
industry's biggest customer is the commercial printing industry, purchasing
tons of paper per day. The cc helps inks from the presses adhere to paper
and not smear the print as the papers pass through them with the speed of
light, and they dry quicker. Now there is mass digital printing and the
formulas are being changed again. Soon all commercial papers will have some
coating or other on the surface to add to the woes of marblers.
Strathmore still makes a decent fine art cotton drawing paper in full
sheets and large pads with the weight of Classic Laid, available in some
material stores. They also make a full sheet commercial 20% cotton writing
paper (available through paper reps) that works very well with acrylic
pigments and inks. (It does have Strathmore's repetitive "water marks
which seem to not show once marbled.) One drawback is they curl when
drying. Once under press boards for about twelve hours it goes away.
I've not found these to be a great problem with run off. However, I use
distilled, non sodium water to make my alum solutions as per manufacturer's
directions on the alum. Because I marbled with acrylics on wood for years,
this particular solution is the strongest I've ever used: 12T to 1 gal + 1
cup of distilled water. The strength helps negate the resins which
sometimes cause splotches when marbled. I'm sure other wood marblers have
different formulas, but this one works for me, especially with long lengths
My tap water is highly fluoridated. Sometimes I can smell it as it pours
from the studio faucet! I mention this because an alum solution made with
this type of water already has an aluminum sulfate content and may
drastically change the ratio of a recipe made with it. Just some hints,
hope they help. Also, I've never used gloves or a mask...probably half
by now and have pickled myself for prosperity! My marbling days are few
far between lately.<