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Re: [Marbling] Very disheartened newbie

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  • Gail Mackenzie
    Hello....are you using distilled water? ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 24, 2006
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      Hello....are you using distilled water?
      On Aug 23, 2006, at 6:33 PM, prettybird108 wrote:

      > I was just introduced to marbling in a class at Convergence in Grand
      > Rapids. I ordered the marbling kit from Pro Chem and I'm just having a
      > terrible time. I also ordered about 20 colors of Jacquard Textile
      > Colors from Dharma and lots of acrylic paints from the artists supply.
      > I made the Methyl Cell to package instructions. I let it sit over 24
      > hours in the same room with the paints and all the other items. I got
      > out a smaller pan to test the colors in and then everything went
      > wrong. The pre-thinned colors from the kit mostly sink, when I added a
      > drop of surficant (to a small amount in another bottle), they float
      > better but the edges breakup. I'm told the paints must be thinned with
      > distilled water. I tested for hours to see how much water but I never
      > get any that will spread nicely. Just a glob in the middle and the
      > rest spreads like wild fire. I am so dissapointed!
      > In the class all the colors floated and spread nicely. I can't seem to
      > get anything to work right! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
      > Thanks,
      > Caroline
      >
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Guffey
      I ll put my 2 cents in as well. I ve been marbling since 1976 and have always used carrageenan (for years the dried form which had to be boiled and strained
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 24, 2006
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        I'll put my 2 cents in as well. I've been marbling since 1976 and have always used carrageenan (for years the dried form which had to be boiled and strained and now the blender type) and both Liquitex and Ultrecht acrylic paints. Out of curiosity, I tried some methyl cel the last time I marbled, and had two tanks set up (one carrageenan, one methyl cel). Using the same paints I couldn't get them to work on the methyl cel, and I had no trouble on the carrageenan. I don't know if I mixed the methyl cel correctly, or even if it was the right type of methyl cel (there are different chemical compositions).

        That being said, there are so many variables that only you can experiment with. Hard water, vs. soft; different colors of paint (some Liquitex colors work just fine, some either sink or chase). Even after you find a color that works, and buy it at a later time, it might not work as the company has changed the formulation.

        I know this must sound exceptionally frustrating for a newbie but once you get it to work it will be worth all the trouble. Perhaps those on this list who do use methyl can offer some advice, I know I'd like to know some hints so I can try it again.

        As a side note, I found there is no need to mix blender carrageenan the night before, or as some instructions say 24 hours in advance. I use an emersion blender (one of those hand-held types for mixing drinks) in a deep bowl with powdered carrageenan and blend for about a minute. CAUTION...be sure the blender is in the bowl and churning before you SLOWLY add the carrageenan, otherwise you'll just have a congealed mess. I think the "rule" of mixing the night before comes from the old boil & strain dried carrageenan times.

        Any other hints our list members might have will be greatly appreciated by all of us.

        Happy Marbling,

        d. guffey

        I know


        hic .

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • irisnevins
        Yes Dolores... I sure remember that dried seaweed! I still keep some in a jar as a souvenir! I once collected what looked like it on the beach in Maine and it
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 24, 2006
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          Yes Dolores... I sure remember that dried seaweed! I still keep some in a jar as a souvenir! I once collected what looked like it on the beach in Maine and it worked, though wasn't very strong.

          Before I knew that you were supposed to let carrageenan sit up to 24 hours, I used to belnd it up with hot water that morning and fill my tray with more hot water...I think the heat really got it going... then I'd skim, and marble. I do find, living in a really hard water area, it is better to let sit at least 12 hours, it really smoothes out. You just do what works for you, all advice is a starting point. I know if I make it where I live now it will not be ready in an hour, my lines won't be smooth.

          I never heard of distilled water until I marbled for years, I don't get all the mystery about it, I do tell people use it just in case, but I do think life is easier when you adapt to what you have. I have always marbled with hard and harder water, and the only adjustment is that I use a little more carrageenan in hard water. When I have marbled in NYC or a soft water town, I use less, it really turns to jello otherwise.

          My main problem is hot weather and too high humidity. I have learned to adapt to everything else. I am no fan of methylcel, I know it keeps longer but I just make what I'll use in a day and dump it, it's so dirty anyway after a day of marbling I wouldn't even want to look at it again. I Will give the methylcel another shot with acrylics and fabric at some point, many swear by it, I still use carrageenan.

          Right about paint companies changing things, it's why I make paint. I keep the formulas consistent, no surprises...though the darned cadmium red is always quirky in summer. I am using it today and had to actually water it down to get it brighter....go figure!

          well back to work...

          iris nevins

          PS...I had some Irish visitors recently who wanted to make a pudding out of the carrageenan, we never got around to it though..I'll have to ask for the recipe!
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Guffey<mailto:dguff@...>
          To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Thursday, August 24, 2006 12:22 PM
          Subject: Re: [Marbling] Very disheartened newbie


          I'll put my 2 cents in as well. I've been marbling since 1976 and have always used carrageenan (for years the dried form which had to be boiled and strained and now the blender type) and both Liquitex and Ultrecht acrylic paints. Out of curiosity, I tried some methyl cel the last time I marbled, and had two tanks set up (one carrageenan, one methyl cel). Using the same paints I couldn't get them to work on the methyl cel, and I had no trouble on the carrageenan. I don't know if I mixed the methyl cel correctly, or even if it was the right type of methyl cel (there are different chemical compositions).

          That being said, there are so many variables that only you can experiment with. Hard water, vs. soft; different colors of paint (some Liquitex colors work just fine, some either sink or chase). Even after you find a color that works, and buy it at a later time, it might not work as the company has changed the formulation.

          I know this must sound exceptionally frustrating for a newbie but once you get it to work it will be worth all the trouble. Perhaps those on this list who do use methyl can offer some advice, I know I'd like to know some hints so I can try it again.

          As a side note, I found there is no need to mix blender carrageenan the night before, or as some instructions say 24 hours in advance. I use an emersion blender (one of those hand-held types for mixing drinks) in a deep bowl with powdered carrageenan and blend for about a minute. CAUTION...be sure the blender is in the bowl and churning before you SLOWLY add the carrageenan, otherwise you'll just have a congealed mess. I think the "rule" of mixing the night before comes from the old boil & strain dried carrageenan times.

          Any other hints our list members might have will be greatly appreciated by all of us.

          Happy Marbling,

          d. guffey

          I know


          hic .

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • prettybird108
          ... Yes, I made size with distilled water and with tap water, doesn t seem to make any difference. I m beginning to wonder if it s the size thickness. If I
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 24, 2006
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            --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, Gail Mackenzie <gailmackenzi@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Hello....are you using distilled water?
            > On Aug 23, 2006, at 6:33 PM, prettybird108 wrote:
            >

            Yes, I made size with distilled water and with tap water, doesn't
            seem to make any difference.
            I'm beginning to wonder if it's the size thickness. If I make it
            thicker more things should float on it right?
            I've just about used up a jar of Jacquard textile paint testing, more
            water, less water, more dispersant, less dispersant. By the way I
            don't know what is in the dispersant, it's from Pro Chem and just
            says "Dispersant". I'll have to find a photo shop for the Photo
            Flo. I used to have a dark room, but threw out all the chemicals
            long ago.


            How does 3 1/2 TBL of Methyl Cel to 1/2 gallon of water plus 1/2 tsp
            ammonia sound? I don't want to make too much, I already have 2 1/2
            gallons of it that doesn't work.
            Caroline
          • Gail Mackenzie
            ah...if it isn t the water...but then, upon rereading I realized that you raised the Ph by adding ammonia, right? But, then did you add anything like white
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 24, 2006
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              ah...if it isn't the water...but then, upon rereading I realized that
              you raised the Ph by adding ammonia, right? But, then did you add
              anything like white vinegar to lower the Ph back down? If the Ph is
              too high then...nothing works. Do you have any Ph tape available?
              Get some and start measuring. Don't throw your 2 1/2 gallons
              away..you can easily adjust the Ph at any time. . Do you know what
              kind of methyl cel you are using? Ask your supplier. There are
              several different kinds and they all have different requirements.
              ProChem is a major pain in the * product in my opinion anyhow.
              Golden flow is just about the best dispersant for any type of
              marbling products.
              On Aug 24, 2006, at 3:41 PM, prettybird108 wrote:

              > --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, Gail Mackenzie <gailmackenzi@...>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Hello....are you using distilled water?
              > > On Aug 23, 2006, at 6:33 PM, prettybird108 wrote:
              > >
              >
              > Yes, I made size with distilled water and with tap water, doesn't
              > seem to make any difference.
              > I'm beginning to wonder if it's the size thickness. If I make it
              > thicker more things should float on it right?
              > I've just about used up a jar of Jacquard textile paint testing, more
              > water, less water, more dispersant, less dispersant. By the way I
              > don't know what is in the dispersant, it's from Pro Chem and just
              > says "Dispersant". I'll have to find a photo shop for the Photo
              > Flo. I used to have a dark room, but threw out all the chemicals
              > long ago.
              >
              > How does 3 1/2 TBL of Methyl Cel to 1/2 gallon of water plus 1/2 tsp
              > ammonia sound? I don't want to make too much, I already have 2 1/2
              > gallons of it that doesn't work.
              > Caroline
              >
              >
              >



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • carylhanc@aol.com
              ... Hi! WAY too thick! The recipe calls for 3-1/2 TBSP per gallon, and 1 tsp ammonia (non-sudsy, clear) per gallon. If the size is too thick, it won t
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 24, 2006
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                In a message dated 8/24/06 6:51:05 PM, cai@... writes:


                > How does 3 1/2 TBL of Methyl Cel to 1/2 gallon of water plus 1/2 tsp
                > ammonia sound?  I don't want to make too much, I already have 2 1/2
                > gallons of it that doesn't work.
                >

                Hi!
                WAY too thick! The recipe calls for 3-1/2 TBSP per gallon, and 1 tsp
                ammonia (non-sudsy, clear) per gallon. If the size is too thick, it won't support
                the paints, either. Some recipes have you add more ammonia. The methylcel
                does not actually dissolve, the fibers swell. It should be about the
                consistency of a rather thin syrup for your pancakes, or gelatin as it starts to
                set. If you have the methylcel already made, try thinning it to the recipe I
                gave you. I am one who likes to let it sit to "mature."

                I have used the Jacquard paints in several classes very successfully. They
                have been thinned only with distilled water. The dispersant from Pro-Chem
                is probably very similar, if not exactly the same as Photo-flo. Liquitex
                makes something called Marble-Ease, Golden makes a "flow release."

                But all this should work with no dispersant.

                We will get this worked out yet!
                HTH! Caryl


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Angela Drake
                Caroline, As much as I hate to say this, a lot of the beginning is spent in trial and error. Why it doesn t work the same for everybody is part of the mystery
                Message 7 of 10 , Aug 25, 2006
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                  Caroline,

                  As much as I hate to say this, a lot of the beginning is spent in trial and error. Why it
                  doesn't work the same for everybody is part of the mystery of marbling.

                  A few years ago I had trouble with some paints and wrote to this group asking for advice.
                  I got some great suggestions but most of them were to not use the paints I was using
                  because no one else had experience with them and they thought they were the largest
                  problem. I loved these paints so I experimented until I found a solution.

                  The point is, you can try changing to what other people do, but in the long run it needs to
                  work for you. If you like the paints, spend some time trying to figure them out. If the
                  paints won't spread no matter what (I don't use distilled water either), you can try a drop
                  of Syntrapol in the solution. Or you can try and thin your methylcel. Or you can make
                  interesting patterns with the paint as it is (you said some spread and had funny edges).

                  If your first couple of attempts are working and then your vat seems to go all funny, I
                  would like to suggest that you are not skimming all of the paint of the surface in between
                  attempts. That can mess up the vat. Also, using items that have been contaminated -
                  combs washed with soap, tools that got splashed with an alum solution, etc. can mess up
                  your vat. I had trouble in that area at first as well.

                  Perseverence and remember, it is fun!

                  Angie
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