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Alcohol in paints &c.

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  • Jake Benson
    Alcohol reduces the surface tension of the solution, allowing not only better pigment dipersion, but also I think it works with the gall (in watercolor
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 8, 2000
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      Alcohol reduces the surface tension of the solution, allowing not only
      better pigment dipersion, but also I think it works with the gall (in
      watercolor marbling) to make the surfactant attach to the pigment particles,
      and get better spreading results.

      We tend to use Ox Gall in alcohol. Contemporary Turkish "Ebru"doesn't
      prepare their gall that way, as I think I've posted earlier, as well as
      color with no binder. I think that is one reason why you see a grainer
      color in contemporary ebru. I say contemporary, becaue I feel that there
      are an enormous number of presumptions made in Istanbul today stemming from
      certain 19th century particularities, that I don't think truly reflect
      earlier historical practice. The Tertib Risale-i Ebri mentions many, many
      materials that are no longer used by today's Ebruculer.

      In watercolor marbling, I find there is a difference when using isopropanol
      "rubbing alcohol" and denatured ethanol. I prefer ethanol. It is less
      toxic, and smells WAY better. CVS sells 70% ethanol in 1 pint bottles.
      that's what I use. A higher percentage will can cause a reaction between
      the water and ethanol at first. Water is phobic of pure ethanol, and you
      have to wait for the 2 to settle down, and comingle . If you use the 70%,
      that's less of a problem. I wish CVS sold it in the large bottles as they
      do the isopropanol.

      Acrylics- different ball game. I think adding alcohol works in a similar
      way, to break surface tension, but feel it acts more on the acrylic polymer
      binder, which can do all sorts of funny stuff if it's sat for a while. I
      think you should use a good acrylic, such as Golden, or ProChem marbling
      colors. If anyone else sells a line, I don't know about it (Hey Iris! do
      you sell any?) as I don't use acrylics really anymore, been 8 years or
      so...

      Heat setting is used to bond the soft paint layer to the fabric, effectively
      aging and crosslinking the paint layer to the fabric support. It'll do it
      by itself in time, but you can't go thowing the fabric right into the wash
      without doing it first. I recall throwing them in the dryer for while to
      set them, before washing.

      Thoretically, there should be no difference between a Fabric marbling paint
      and an acrylic paint, though there may be additives to color for use on silk
      thatmay halp to overcome the layer of sericin coating present on the selk
      fibers. That's why it's recommended to wash in caustic soda, rinse well,
      dry, and press prior to mordanting.

      Enough for now... back to work!

      Jake
    • irisnevins
      Yes Jake, I do sell fabric/paper marbling acrylics. Check the web at: www.marblingpaper.50megs.com for the complete listings My acrylics seem very pricey, but
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 9, 2000
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        Yes Jake, I do sell fabric/paper marbling acrylics. Check the web at:

        www.marblingpaper.50megs.com for the complete listings

        My acrylics seem very pricey, but they go a long way, in fact for use on
        paper I need to dilute them with at least an equal amount of water or they
        are too intense. As an extra surprise I have found when I work on paper
        with them (though I generally don't because the more traditional look is my
        thing) in this way, and do not use "excess" paint, I do not need to alum or
        rinse on almost every type of paper I have tried. I do not guarantee this,
        as a marbler can squirt on too much and it can run.

        The reason my acrylics seem so pricey is because store bought acrylics are
        essentially a colored acrylic base. Mine are very high in very high grade,
        therefore expensive, pigments, and I use as little acrylic base as
        possible. This was keeping fabric marbling in mind because too much acrylic
        base can stiffen fabrics. Also, being proportionally way higher in pigment,
        small drops are all that is necessary. I only use Phot-flo to adjust them,
        if necessary. Usually I only need to figure out whorder to lay them down
        in.

        I started making both types of paints over 15 years ago because I do a lot
        of productio work where I have to match hundereds of the same papers and
        could not tolerate the inconsistensies of the gouache manufacturers.
        Otherwise I would not even be able to copy my own work.....embarrassing for
        a marbler! I continue to always fine tune the paints, and believe this will
        be a lifelong experiment, and it has also been a very costly one, but worth
        it to me. I have literally "poured" tens of thousands of dollars into my
        marbling trough trying to figure all this out thus far. To make it all more
        difficult...there is no one "formula".....each pigment has its own chemical
        and physical properties which alter the need for certain ingredients.

        Even having a consistent paint (and the acrylics are always more volitile
        and unpredictable than the watercolors) is only part of the battle......so
        many variables such as humidity, temperature....and I believe it was Diane
        Maurer who once had me in hysterics because she even said the marblers good
        or bad mood on that day could completely ruin things! So true.

        IrisN.
      • John Ang
        Dear Iris, Is it be possible to let us know how one goes about preparing marbling paints. For example the proportion of pigment to other components of the
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 9, 2000
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          Dear Iris,

          Is it be possible to let us know how one goes about preparing
          marbling paints. For example the proportion of pigment to other
          components of the marbling color, etc.

          Many thanks

          Regards

          > I started making both types of paints over 15 years ago because I
          do a lot
          > of productio work where I have to match hundereds of the same
          papers and
          > could not tolerate the inconsistensies of the gouache manufacturers.
          > Otherwise I would not even be able to copy my own
          work.....embarrassing for
          > a marbler! I continue to always fine tune the paints, and believe
          this will
          > be a lifelong experiment, and it has also been a very costly one,
          but worth
          > it to me. I have literally "poured" tens of thousands of dollars
          into my
          > marbling trough trying to figure all this out thus far. To make it
          all more
          > difficult...there is no one "formula".....each pigment has its own
          chemical
          > and physical properties which alter the need for certain
          ingredients.
          >
        • irisnevins
          This always leaves me in a dilemma, since the marbling supply business is part of the way I make my living. I have literally spent a fortune and a lot of time
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 10, 2000
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            This always leaves me in a dilemma, since the marbling supply business is
            part of the way I make my living. I have literally spent a fortune and a
            lot of time trying to figure this out, but were it not the way I make my
            living I would publish it all immediately. Perhaps someday I will. I don't
            mean to be secretive or insincere on this matter, but I hope people will
            understand that I cannot afford to give away what I have struggled with and
            developed for so many years. I will as always, advise as well as I can on
            the marbling techniques and problems.

            The formulas (and I stress "formulaS" because it it different for each
            pigment) are not a finished product yet either, I keep trying to improve
            them. There are many good artist's handbooks....what I will say, for those
            who want to experiment, is that it is basically a gouache or acrylic type
            formula. They have recipes in these books that ought to work for marbling.
            You may actually like them better than my paints for your own work. Mine
            (the water colors) were developed to retain the more subdued subtleties of
            papers for bookbinding prior to the 1860's. This is not a look that many
            artist marblers want. I consider myself a bookworker more than an artist,
            and therefore developed these paints so marblers who are doing work for
            restorers could have a fairly accurate looking historical paper.

            Iris Nevins
          • Susan Lightcap
            Dear Marvelous Marblers, I have followed Iris , Laura Sims , Patti and Mimi s, Jim Leech s, Galen s, Don Guyot s and others work for many years, admire the
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 10, 2000
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              Dear Marvelous Marblers,

              I have followed Iris', Laura Sims', Patti and Mimi's, Jim Leech's,
              Galen's, Don Guyot's and others' work for many years, admire the dedication
              and self-discipline that is so evident and inspiring to all, feel blessed
              beyond measure at the generous sharing and concern that have come my way
              from these folks as I have toddled down my own path as an artist.

              I remember when Laura and I were in an artists' co-op here in Asheville; she
              would come to my studio and invite me to play with her paints and such when
              she was finished marbling for the day and was always delighted to answer
              questions, smooth away frustrations, buoy up my not-so-strong
              self-confidence, as I splashed about in the gel and goo. Additionally,
              Laura loaned me her show booth when I did my first craft fair, has been
              gladly, lovingly available over the years to offer whatever she could to
              further my work.

              When I did my first show for the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, Patti and
              Mimi came by to visit and said, "You're showing only books? Aren't you
              brave!" I'd never thought of myself as being anywhere near brave, and yet,
              having heard it said , I knew that the words were coming from caring hearts,
              and so became brave.

              Jim Leech talked with me for hours about his work when we were in a show
              together last year in Washington. He could not share enough of his wisdom,
              his philosophy about the world of marbling and his place in it. Suzanne
              Martin, a papermaker and marbler, was nearby, and the three of us talked
              ourselves into hilarious exhaustion about the work we love.

              Art isn't easy, as Sondheim says, and we sacrifice and hustle in whatever
              ways we can to make it possible to do this amazing work. I say, look to the
              masters for inspiration, respect their many years of experience and hard
              work, support their work by buying their books and taking their classes. One
              of the most rewarding activities about making art of whatever sort is doing
              the research and experimentation that results in our developing a personal
              "path" that works for us as artists. With the plethora of books, not to
              mention online instructions, available, it is truly easy to learn much more
              than the basics about marbling. I suggest that rather than depend on one
              person's point of view or methods, sample widely and develop your own way.

              Best to all,
              Susan Lightcap
            • Fred Chang
              Dear Iris: Thank you for sharing so much of your experience in marbling and paints. I am constantly amazed at how much you are willing to share, I personally
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 10, 2000
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                Dear Iris:

                Thank you for sharing so much of your experience in
                marbling and paints. I am constantly amazed at how
                much you are willing to share, I personally think you
                should start up a 900 # line for marbling tips!

                Regards,

                Fred Chang

                P.S. For other novice marblers like myself, Iris has
                written an excellent booklet on 105 Marbling Tips and
                Hints, various observations she's made through her
                marbling trials. I highly recommend it.

                Conversely, I would steer novice marblers away from
                Gabrielle Gruenebaum's book on marbling (Dover Pubs).
                It may be very affordable, but until you've actually
                seen the process Ms. Gruenebaum's book will be of
                absolutely no help whatsoever. It leaves the reader
                even more confused about the process of marbling,
                which used to be quite a jealously guarded secret in
                centuries past.

                --- irisnevins <irisnevins@...> wrote:
                > This always leaves me in a dilemma, since the
                > marbling supply business is
                > part of the way I make my living.

                =====
                -------------------------------------------------------------
                FerryCommuter@...
                Fred Chang
                Port Orchard <--> Bremerton <---------> Seattle

                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Get Yahoo! Mail - Free email you can access from anywhere!
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              • John Ang Cheng Siew
                Thanks Iris for your sharing your experience in marbling. ... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ . .-P John Ang Cheng Siew My Paper Marbling Website:
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 10, 2000
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                  Thanks Iris for your sharing your experience in marbling.


                  At 07:53 AM 10-10-2000 -0400, you wrote:
                  >This always leaves me in a dilemma, since the marbling supply business is
                  >part of the way I make my living. I have literally spent a fortune and a
                  >lot of time trying to figure this out, but were it not the way I make my
                  >living I would publish it all immediately. Perhaps someday I will. I don't
                  >mean to be secretive or insincere on this matter, but I hope people will
                  >understand that I cannot afford to give away what I have struggled with and
                  >developed for so many years. I will as always, advise as well as I can on
                  >the marbling techniques and problems.

                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  .
                  .-P

                  John Ang Cheng Siew
                  My Paper Marbling Website: <home3.pacific.net.sg/~johnacs>
                • Laura
                  Dear Fred, hey, thanks a lot for the advice, especially since I just read Gruenebaum s book AGAIN last night, and decided there was no way I was going to
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 10, 2000
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                    Dear Fred,

                    hey, thanks a lot for the advice, especially since I just read Gruenebaum's
                    book AGAIN last night, and decided there was no way I was going to figure
                    out the techniques for preparing the materials to even get ready for
                    marbling, after finishing that book again!! I really look forward to
                    studying the subject as much as possible and it helps to have some advice on
                    sources of material!! I hope to order Iris's book soon!!

                    thanks again,

                    Laura


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Fred Chang <ferrycommuter@...>
                    To: <Marbling@egroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, October 10, 2000 10:12 AM
                    Subject: Re: [Marbling] Re: Alcohol in paints &c.


                    > Dear Iris:
                    >
                    > Thank you for sharing so much of your experience in
                    > marbling and paints. I am constantly amazed at how
                    > much you are willing to share, I personally think you
                    > should start up a 900 # line for marbling tips!
                    >
                    > Regards,
                    >
                    > Fred Chang
                    >
                    > P.S. For other novice marblers like myself, Iris has
                    > written an excellent booklet on 105 Marbling Tips and
                    > Hints, various observations she's made through her
                    > marbling trials. I highly recommend it.
                    >
                    > Conversely, I would steer novice marblers away from
                    > Gabrielle Gruenebaum's book on marbling (Dover Pubs).
                    > It may be very affordable, but until you've actually
                    > seen the process Ms. Gruenebaum's book will be of
                    > absolutely no help whatsoever. It leaves the reader
                    > even more confused about the process of marbling,
                    > which used to be quite a jealously guarded secret in
                    > centuries past.
                    >
                    > --- irisnevins <irisnevins@...> wrote:
                    > > This always leaves me in a dilemma, since the
                    > > marbling supply business is
                    > > part of the way I make my living.
                    >
                    > =====
                    > -------------------------------------------------------------
                    > FerryCommuter@...
                    > Fred Chang
                    > Port Orchard <--> Bremerton <---------> Seattle
                    >
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                  • irisnevins
                    I heard the problem with Gabrielle s book was in the translation from German. Supposedly the German version it was distilled from made sense, though I don t
                    Message 9 of 9 , Oct 10, 2000
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                      I heard the problem with Gabrielle's book was in the translation from
                      German. Supposedly the German version it was distilled from made sense,
                      though I don't read German. Gabrielle is certainly a competent marbler who
                      knows what she is doing.

                      Iris
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