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Re: Alum

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  • IrisNevins
    The similar substances...ranging from other kinds of alum (only aluminum sulphate or aluminum potassium sulphate are recommended for marbling) to vinegar, will
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 1, 2000
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      The similar substances...ranging from other kinds of alum (only aluminum
      sulphate or aluminum potassium sulphate are recommended for marbling) to
      vinegar, will work a little, but why drive yourself crazy with only so-so
      results, a lot of waste of paints, paper and time?

      A lot of us have tried these things, tore our hair out, went back to the
      right alum....

      The alum chemically binds pigment to the paper.

      I.Nevins
    • David Sandow
      MORDANT PONDERINGS Mordant comes from a latin word which means to bite . The ideal mordant is attracted to both the fiber molecules and those of the
      Message 2 of 18 , Feb 1, 2000
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        MORDANT PONDERINGS
        Mordant comes from a latin word which means 'to bite'. The ideal
        mordant is attracted to both the fiber molecules and those of the
        pigment, however, the degree of attraction is dependant on the specific
        mordant, its' strength, the characteristics of the individual piece of
        cloth or paper and the properties of the compound which makes up the
        pigment. Acrylics often give more consistent results than materials
        with an organic base.
        The purposes of the mordant are to influence the characteristics of
        the color (depth, tint, grayness), the colorfastness, i.e. its ability
        to be washed away by water, and to a lesser extent, lightfastness, e.g.
        indigo, an organic dye used to produce denim, will always fade in
        sunlight regardless of mordant.
        The mordant functions at the chemical
        level, the molecules of mordant attach themselves to the molecules of
        fiber and then when you dye or marble, these fiber/mordant molecules
        combine with the pigment molcules precipitating a new compound which is
        insoluble in water.
        Many different chemicals functions as mordants and all of them are
        toxic.. Alum is probably the most popular because it is the least
        toxic. Alum is toxic enough to warrant the wearing of gloves while you
        are applying the mordant. The alum or aluminum is aborbed through the
        skin and its effect is cumulative. Dialysis patients used to be given
        alumunum compounds as part of their therapy and it resulted in a
        syndrome known as 'dialysis dementia'. The autopsied brains of
        Alzheimer's patients contain an abnormall structure called 'neural fiber
        tangles or bundles' at the center of which are molecules of aluminum;
        they don't belong there. If all this isn't enough to get you to wear
        gloves, bear in mind that the ancient Celts derived their alum from
        stale urine. So Jill, urine is probably the least toxic of all.
        I have no direct knowledge of this so let me know, if you dare to try
        it.
        In a lighter vein, the dyemasters of India practised a technique
        called 'Kalimkari'. A pen or brush was used to apply a mordant
        discreetly to fabric or paper to which dye was applied. Sort of a
        reverse resist technique. After the material dried the process could be
        repeated building up layers of color and pattern. Wonder how this would
        work as a marbling technique. Any thoughts?
        divinghorse

        http://community.webtv.net/divinghorse/THEDIVINGHORSESTUDIO
      • IrisNevins
        Oh...that s one I haven t tried...urine....think I ll skip it. And some of us who have been marbling for decades wonder if dialysis dementia is something like
        Message 3 of 18 , Feb 1, 2000
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          Oh...that's one I haven't tried...urine....think I'll skip it.

          And some of us who have been marbling for decades wonder if dialysis
          dementia is something like what some of us have referred to as "marbler's
          dementia".....many of us started long ago, without gloves! I have been
          wearing them for at least 10 years now.....I started mainly because the
          alum made my skin crawl after a while.

          Really.....I think it's marbler's "burnout" from doing too many small press
          orders! But seriously, I recommend wearing gloves for the whole process,
          aluming AND marbling. Cadmiums are lead based and you wouldn't want them
          absorbed into your skin either. However, the most danger from pigments
          comes in if you gring your own pigments and breathe the dust. If you make
          paint, masks are recommended. The dusts of some collect in your lungs and
          stay there.
        • fontpro@usa.net
          ... In Alternative Photography Alum used to harden gelatin. I m guessing it hardens the Gum Arabic in the watercolor sealing it on the paper. Mac
          Message 4 of 18 , Feb 1, 2000
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            >Alum fixes the watercolors on the paper. Does anyone on the list know,
            >how alum will do this? Is it a chemical process - Alum reacts with the
            >color or with the paper or with both? Or is there a mechanical process
            >like the alum enlarges the surface of the paper and gives more area for
            >the color to adhesive at the paper?
            >
            >Peter
            >--
            >Peter Baumgartner
            >Atelier f�r Papierdesign
            >Freiburg/Germany
            >http://www.papierdesign.de


            In Alternative Photography Alum used to harden gelatin. I'm guessing it
            hardens the Gum Arabic in the watercolor sealing it on the paper.

            Mac
          • Susanne Krause
            Hello all, it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely dependant on
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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              Hello all,

              it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and
              such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely
              dependant on the temperature of the water, meaning: boiling water
              solves and holds more alum than luke warm water than water at room's
              temperature than cold water. One degree more or less can make a huge
              difference. In any case, the superfluous alum will sink down as soon
              as the water cools down again.

              Alum solves comparatively easy but, as it is heavier than water, the
              cristals sink down to the bottom of the bottle when the solution is
              over saturated. If you wait an hour or so, i.e. until the solution on
              top of the crystals is totally clear, you can pour it off and what you
              have then is the saturated solution. So you can start easily at 100%
              and thin it down for tests, and sooner or later you will know how
              strong a solution will be needed for which result.

              Susanne Krause
            • irisnevins
              Along those lines, I used to save alum for other days, sometimes for weeks, before I worked as a marbler. One morning I woke up and found about a 1/2
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                Along those lines, I used to save alum for other days, sometimes for weeks, before I 'worked" as a marbler. One morning I woke up and found about a 1/2" crystal at the bottom of the glass bottle. I still have it SOMEWHERE!! If I find it, I will take a picture of it and post it.
                Iris Nevins
                www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: Susanne Krause<mailto:studio@...>
                To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 7:29 AM
                Subject: [Marbling] Alum


                Hello all,

                it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and
                such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely
                dependant on the temperature of the water, meaning: boiling water
                solves and holds more alum than luke warm water than water at room's
                temperature than cold water. One degree more or less can make a huge
                difference. In any case, the superfluous alum will sink down as soon
                as the water cools down again.

                Alum solves comparatively easy but, as it is heavier than water, the
                cristals sink down to the bottom of the bottle when the solution is
                over saturated. If you wait an hour or so, i.e. until the solution on
                top of the crystals is totally clear, you can pour it off and what you
                have then is the saturated solution. So you can start easily at 100%
                and thin it down for tests, and sooner or later you will know how
                strong a solution will be needed for which result.

                Susanne Krause


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              • onemarbler
                I had the same experience, Iris. One day suddenly there was a magnificent pyramid shaped crystal in my alum container. It was beautiful! Now I ll have to look
                Message 7 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                  I had the same experience, Iris. One day suddenly there was a
                  magnificent pyramid shaped crystal in my alum container. It was
                  beautiful! Now I'll have to look around for it. I know I didn't discard
                  it.

                  Lavinia

                  --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com, "irisnevins" <irisnevins@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > ... One morning I woke up and found about a 1/2" crystal at the
                  bottom of the glass bottle.
                • irisnevins
                  It s amazing, they look like a big diamond! If only! I could have retired on that crystal if it were one! So clear too, and I have tried to make it happen
                  Message 8 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                    It's amazing, they look like a big diamond! If only! I could have retired on that crystal if it were one! So clear too, and I have tried to make it happen again and it never did. a gift from "the Marbling Gods" I figured! I know I put it in a safe place so not to lose it... and can't remember where!!! Silly!
                    Iris Nevins
                    www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: onemarbler<mailto:laviniaa@...>
                    To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 10:15 AM
                    Subject: [Marbling] Re: Alum [crystal]


                    I had the same experience, Iris. One day suddenly there was a
                    magnificent pyramid shaped crystal in my alum container. It was
                    beautiful! Now I'll have to look around for it. I know I didn't discard
                    it.

                    Lavinia

                    --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>, "irisnevins" <irisnevins@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > ... One morning I woke up and found about a 1/2" crystal at the
                    bottom of the glass bottle.


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                  • D or Jer Guffey
                    Hello, Years ago I took a marbling class from Don Guyot and I recall him saying that heat can destroy alum so he advised against using hot water in which to
                    Message 9 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                      Hello,

                      Years ago I took a marbling class from Don Guyot and I recall him saying that heat can destroy alum so he advised against using hot water in which to desolve it. I've always used regular cold tap water and have had no problems. The water can only absorb so much alum, adding more results in the crytals settling on the bottom. If you use distilled water (which I recall he recommended) then it will keep for a long period of time. Has anyone else heard of not using hot (or boiling) water?

                      d. guffey


                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: Susanne Krause
                      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:29 AM
                      Subject: [Marbling] Alum


                      Hello all,

                      it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and
                      such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely
                      dependant on the temperature of the water, meaning: boiling water
                      solves and holds more alum than luke warm water than water at room's
                      temperature than cold water. One degree more or less can make a huge
                      difference. In any case, the superfluous alum will sink down as soon
                      as the water cools down again.

                      Alum solves comparatively easy but, as it is heavier than water, the
                      cristals sink down to the bottom of the bottle when the solution is
                      over saturated. If you wait an hour or so, i.e. until the solution on
                      top of the crystals is totally clear, you can pour it off and what you
                      have then is the saturated solution. So you can start easily at 100%
                      and thin it down for tests, and sooner or later you will know how
                      strong a solution will be needed for which result.

                      Susanne Krause






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                    • gretchen vansant
                      Yep I was alittle surprised..I use warm water to desolve and then cold . I heard about/ experience the heat issue. I never iron alumed fabric that also
                      Message 10 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                        Yep I was alittle surprised..I use warm water to desolve and then cold . I heard about/ experience the heat issue. I never iron alumed fabric that also comprimises the fabric, I try not to leave it out in the real hot sun after its dried. It is a salt compound/mordum correct,isn't it logical that once dried it crystalizes?

                        --- On Sun, 8/31/08, D or Jer Guffey <dguff@...> wrote:

                        From: D or Jer Guffey <dguff@...>
                        Subject: Re: [Marbling] Alum
                        To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
                        Date: Sunday, August 31, 2008, 9:41 AM






                        Hello,

                        Years ago I took a marbling class from Don Guyot and I recall him saying that heat can destroy alum so he advised against using hot water in which to desolve it. I've always used regular cold tap water and have had no problems. The water can only absorb so much alum, adding more results in the crytals settling on the bottom. If you use distilled water (which I recall he recommended) then it will keep for a long period of time. Has anyone else heard of not using hot (or boiling) water?

                        d. guffey

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: Susanne Krause
                        To: Marbling@yahoogroup s.com
                        Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:29 AM
                        Subject: [Marbling] Alum

                        Hello all,

                        it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and
                        such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely
                        dependant on the temperature of the water, meaning: boiling water
                        solves and holds more alum than luke warm water than water at room's
                        temperature than cold water. One degree more or less can make a huge
                        difference. In any case, the superfluous alum will sink down as soon
                        as the water cools down again.

                        Alum solves comparatively easy but, as it is heavier than water, the
                        cristals sink down to the bottom of the bottle when the solution is
                        over saturated. If you wait an hour or so, i.e. until the solution on
                        top of the crystals is totally clear, you can pour it off and what you
                        have then is the saturated solution. So you can start easily at 100%
                        and thin it down for tests, and sooner or later you will know how
                        strong a solution will be needed for which result.

                        Susanne Krause

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                      • David Graham
                        At any given temperature (above freezing and at or below boiling) there is but a given concentration that alum can achieve before the soution is saturated.
                        Message 11 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                          At any given temperature (above freezing and at or below boiling)
                          there is but a given concentration that alum can achieve before the
                          soution is saturated. Addition of more alum will result no more
                          entering the solution. As the temperature falls, more alum will
                          precipate out of the solution. Raise the temperature and more alum
                          can enter solution. At sea level water boils at 212 degrees
                          fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). Any solution of any heat stable
                          chemical (including alum) will achieve its maximal solublized
                          concentration under
                          those conditions. The solution is, at 100 Celsius, "saturated" but
                          must be considered "supersaturated" if the intent is to keep the
                          solution at "room temperature" at which temperature the concentration
                          of alum capable of remaining in solution will decrease, resulting in
                          precipitaion of the excess. Thus the "saturated solution" at room
                          temperature contains a lower concentration of alum than does a
                          saturated solution thereof at a higher temperature.

                          At high altitudes water boils at a temperature lower than 100 Celsius.
                          Thus a saturated solution at the point of boiling in Denver,CO is
                          lower than that at the boiling point in Atlantic City, NJ.

                          Again; this ain't rocket science. If you want to compare the efficacy
                          of different concentrations of alum in your
                          own studio, use distilled water to make it and always add enough alum
                          to your stock solution so that some remains undissolved at the bottom.
                          At a given temperature the clear fluid above the undissolved alum
                          will be of constant concentation which you can then dilute to various
                          degrees for testing purposes.

                          Dave in the Couteau of East River, SD

                          On Sun, Aug 31, 2008 at 11:41 AM, D or Jer Guffey <dguff@...> wrote:
                          > Hello,
                          >
                          > Years ago I took a marbling class from Don Guyot and I recall him saying
                          > that heat can destroy alum so he advised against using hot water in which to
                          > desolve it. I've always used regular cold tap water and have had no
                          > problems. The water can only absorb so much alum, adding more results in the
                          > crytals settling on the bottom. If you use distilled water (which I recall
                          > he recommended) then it will keep for a long period of time. Has anyone else
                          > heard of not using hot (or boiling) water?
                          >
                          > d. guffey
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: Susanne Krause
                          > To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
                          > Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:29 AM
                          > Subject: [Marbling] Alum
                          >
                          > Hello all,
                          >
                          > it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and
                          > such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely
                          > dependant on the temperature of the water, meaning: boiling water
                          > solves and holds more alum than luke warm water than water at room's
                          > temperature than cold water. One degree more or less can make a huge
                          > difference. In any case, the superfluous alum will sink down as soon
                          > as the water cools down again.
                          >
                          > Alum solves comparatively easy but, as it is heavier than water, the
                          > cristals sink down to the bottom of the bottle when the solution is
                          > over saturated. If you wait an hour or so, i.e. until the solution on
                          > top of the crystals is totally clear, you can pour it off and what you
                          > have then is the saturated solution. So you can start easily at 100%
                          > and thin it down for tests, and sooner or later you will know how
                          > strong a solution will be needed for which result.
                          >
                          > Susanne Krause
                        • irisnevins
                          The longer I hand around marbling and marblers, there are so many different right and wrong ways for everything, and even those constantly change. It is really
                          Message 12 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                            The longer I hand around marbling and marblers, there are so many different right and wrong ways for everything, and even those constantly change. It is really the big challenge in marbling, changes. If things always stayed the same many more people would marble, and personally I would have even MORE hair than I do now...luckily I was given tons of hair at birth because otherwise I'd be bald now for tearing it out over trying to figure marbling out for so many years!

                            My crystal, too, it came in winter. I may try to grow one again.
                            Iris Nevins
                            www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: D or Jer Guffey<mailto:dguff@...>
                            To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 12:41 PM
                            Subject: Re: [Marbling] Alum


                            Hello,

                            Years ago I took a marbling class from Don Guyot and I recall him saying that heat can destroy alum so he advised against using hot water in which to desolve it. I've always used regular cold tap water and have had no problems. The water can only absorb so much alum, adding more results in the crytals settling on the bottom. If you use distilled water (which I recall he recommended) then it will keep for a long period of time. Has anyone else heard of not using hot (or boiling) water?

                            d. guffey


                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Susanne Krause
                            To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 4:29 AM
                            Subject: [Marbling] Alum


                            Hello all,

                            it is very difficult to say: alum solution is saturated at such and
                            such a ratio. The ability of the water to solve alum is extremely
                            dependant on the temperature of the water, meaning: boiling water
                            solves and holds more alum than luke warm water than water at room's
                            temperature than cold water. One degree more or less can make a huge
                            difference. In any case, the superfluous alum will sink down as soon
                            as the water cools down again.

                            Alum solves comparatively easy but, as it is heavier than water, the
                            cristals sink down to the bottom of the bottle when the solution is
                            over saturated. If you wait an hour or so, i.e. until the solution on
                            top of the crystals is totally clear, you can pour it off and what you
                            have then is the saturated solution. So you can start easily at 100%
                            and thin it down for tests, and sooner or later you will know how
                            strong a solution will be needed for which result.

                            Susanne Krause






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                            Checked by AVG.
                            Version: 7.5.524 / Virus Database: 270.6.14/1643 - Release Date: 8/30/2008 5:18 PM


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                          • Marmolados.com.ar
                            Hi! jaj It´s happens to me a couple of times too, but one crystal was awesome... And I read once that you can make it on purpose taking one little cristal of
                            Message 13 of 18 , Aug 31, 2008
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                              Hi! jaj It´s happens to me a couple of times too, but one crystal was awesome... And I read once that you can make it on purpose taking one little cristal of alum, and hanging up with a thread of cotton or similar into an oversaturated solution of alum (that is called seeding) and this little cristal will grow wired... I never do it this but I gonna make it some day =)

                              David Maisterra
                              http://www.marmolados.com.ar/


                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: irisnevins
                              To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 11:24 AM
                              Subject: Re: [Marbling] Re: Alum [crystal]


                              It's amazing, they look like a big diamond! If only! I could have retired on that crystal if it were one! So clear too, and I have tried to make it happen again and it never did. a gift from "the Marbling Gods" I figured! I know I put it in a safe place so not to lose it... and can't remember where!!! Silly!
                              Iris Nevins
                              www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: onemarbler<mailto:laviniaa@...>
                              To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 10:15 AM
                              Subject: [Marbling] Re: Alum [crystal]

                              I had the same experience, Iris. One day suddenly there was a
                              magnificent pyramid shaped crystal in my alum container. It was
                              beautiful! Now I'll have to look around for it. I know I didn't discard
                              it.

                              Lavinia

                              --- In Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>, "irisnevins" <irisnevins@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > ... One morning I woke up and found about a 1/2" crystal at the
                              bottom of the glass bottle.

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                            • teaweave
                              Hi I am new to the group and new to marbling. In fact I haven t done any yet at all. I just mixed some Alum according to the directions which came with it -
                              Message 14 of 18 , Sep 11, 2011
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                                Hi I am new to the group and new to marbling. In fact I haven't done any yet at all. I just mixed some Alum according to the directions which came with it - which was 1 1/4 tsp to 1 cup of water. Then I decided to search on this list and I find amounts up to 2 or 3 TBL. being recommended. What should I start with? I have a variety of papers I planned to experiment with. I am using acrylics.
                                Forest
                              • irisnevins
                                Sometimes that amount of alum works. I find you can get away with less sometimes in cold weather. I use a TBS. per cup as do most people. Iris Nevins
                                Message 15 of 18 , Sep 11, 2011
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                                  Sometimes that amount of alum works. I find you can get away with less sometimes in cold weather. I use a TBS. per cup as do most people.
                                  Iris Nevins
                                  www.marblingpaper.com<http://www.marblingpaper.com/>
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: teaweave<mailto:weaver@...>
                                  To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2011 7:32 PM
                                  Subject: [Marbling] Alum


                                  Hi I am new to the group and new to marbling. In fact I haven't done any yet at all. I just mixed some Alum according to the directions which came with it - which was 1 1/4 tsp to 1 cup of water. Then I decided to search on this list and I find amounts up to 2 or 3 TBL. being recommended. What should I start with? I have a variety of papers I planned to experiment with. I am using acrylics.
                                  Forest



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