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  • Ellen Tresselt
    Hello Iris and Everyone -- I m dealing with a burst heating pipe here in my house and things are rather soggy and chaotic right now, but I wanted to reply to
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2005
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      Hello Iris and Everyone -- I'm dealing with a burst heating pipe here
      in my house and things are rather soggy and chaotic right now, but I
      wanted to reply to some of the emails. I have not had success yet
      using my gouache paints on methyl cel, or at least not on the methyl
      cel I'm currently using. In the beginning I had naively thought
      everything would be the same but I quickly learned that it was not. So
      I just decided to focus on mastering the Golden Fluid Acrylics on the
      methyl cel, and I'm still very much learning. I have been able to do a
      really nice sincere-looking Stormont with the new materials, and of
      course combed patterns work well. I know you have the need to be
      absolutely on the mark with antique reproduction patterns and this is
      not really my specialty, so I have not even tried many patterns yet. I
      think a lot depends of the paper you are using, but I won't even go
      there because that's an ongoing topic on which we've had lots of
      emails. I had hesitated to get into this new marbling for a long time
      because it took so many years to learn all the properties of the paints
      I had been working with and I just did not think I had the stamina or
      strength to go through that process all over again. But, somehow I
      just had personal readiness to try and now I'm up to my eyeballs in it.
      Right now I am still just working with all the new acrylic paint
      colors to see how they interact with each other in terms of which
      spread aggressively and which are sinkers and how this shifts depending
      on what combinations of paints I'm using together. And also I have
      made different thicknesses of size to see how the paints do with
      thicker or thinner size. I especially love working with really thin
      size lately. And I've never had methyl cel come out like mud. That's
      sounds like just using too much powder. I've been happy using about
      ten heaping tablespoons for a five gallon bucket. I have always had
      better results working with cold size, no matter which kind. My
      favorite times of year for marbling are when I can make five or ten
      gallons and leave it outside overnight and it's chilled to just a
      perfect cold temperature. My fantasy is to have a studio with a
      walk-in refrigerator. I do not use ox gall with the Golden paints ---
      many of them do not need any spreading agent at all, but when they do,
      I use the Golden Acrylic Flow Release and I also put a few drops of
      rubbing alcohol in the paints as well. I don't know if it's the Golden
      paints or the methyl cel, but I notice that there is a much greater
      difference between how colors look on paper from wet to dry. I don't
      know how many times I feel I have successfully matched a client's color
      swatches when I pull my sheets off the bath only to find I'm way off
      once they are dry. I did not have this problem using the gouache on
      the carageenan. It's probably the more the paint and not the size, but
      who knows for sure. Yes, methyl cel keeps much better, but I agree
      that I like to start fresh with new size for each day. What I do
      though is use some old size mixed into new size -- like one third to
      two thirds. I'm not doing too many huge production orders these days
      so my size consumption is way down from what it used to be and I have
      not looked into wholesale sources for methyl cell... yet. I've been
      buying it from Talas -- five pounds is $55.75. They have three kinds
      in their catalog: Cellofas B-3500-/SCMS, which is sodium carboxymethyl
      in water soluble granules, Cellulose Powder (they don't give chemical
      composition info) and Ethulose Powder -- Ethyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose.
      I had thought with my usual simple-mindedness that methyl cellulose was
      all just one thing and I had no idea that there are all these different
      kinds. Welcome to the world of chemistry. I see on my invoice that
      what they shipped to me has a different item number from those in the
      catalog, and I do not know how it may be different. So all this just
      reinforces why I put off making this switch for so long -- there is
      just a tremendous amount of experimentation here and you have to be
      willing to love the learning process.

      But isn't that what the entirety of life is all about anyway; loving
      the process, for better or worse? If we don't see it that way, what's
      the point of anything?

      Sorry to be so wordy, everyone! Ellenelle
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