alum source and methyl cellulose
- I haven't read the list in a while. I hope these comments will be helpful to someone.
Glenda, did you try the local farmer's coop for alum? I found aluminum sulphate in the fertilizer department for much cheaper than I could have it shipped to me from the dye supplier, and it worked just fine.
re: dissolving methyl cellulose
It doesn't really "dissolve" until the pH is raised but can be dispersed and suspended fairly quickly in room temperature water that is being stirred rapidly while powder is added (no need for a blender). It dissolves/swells after the addition of ammonia (approximately 1 tsp. per gallon). Keep stirring to avoid jellyfish in the bottom of the bucket, and watery size, and you will see the murky solution turn clear. Return to neutral pH with vinegar after 20-30 minutes.
I really like marbling on carragheenan but have used methyl cellulose extensively, too. I can get finely combed patterns and good results on either if the paints are adjusted properly. If you are using paints from Galen Berry or Iris Nevins, use them with the size they are formulated for(caragheenan. For paints from Pro Chem, etc. use methyl cellulose. If you are making your own paints, decide which size you are using them on and keep the colors for that type bath because otherwise there can be a lot of time spent trying to readjust.
The Plains, VA