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Re: Aluming Paper and cleaning it

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  • Sue Cole
    I thought I would start a new discussion. I looked in the archives, but didn t find much, unless it just didn t come up. Also, we have several new people now.
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 15, 2010
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      I thought I would start a new discussion. I looked in the archives, but
      didn't find much, unless it just didn't come up. Also, we have several new
      people now.

      What methods do you use when aluming paper? or do you?

      When I first started, I was using liquid Vano starch and thinned down
      acrylic paints and never used alum and it came out fine. Then I took a
      lesson from someone who showed me how to use carageen gum and watercolor
      tube paint and she alumned (sp?) the paper first. The method she showed me
      is the one I still use for smaller 9 x12" or so papers, but wanted to know
      what people di for larger sizes of paper.

      I mix up the alum in a jar, 1 tsp to each cup of hot water, then pour a
      small amount into a glass pie plate. I lay the paper in a rectangular jelly
      roll (with sides) type cookie sheet and roll the alum on with a 4" white
      foam paint roller with a long bent handle, then hang them to dry. It is
      very quick and easy this way, but the larger papers are not going to fit in
      the cookie sheet. Then, when they are mostly dry, I put them in a 2 gallon
      sized ziploc plastic bag and put a weight on them overnight to straighten
      them before using or sometimes use them right away.

      After I lift the paper out of the tray, I put it on a wet piece of glass
      that is standing slanted in a plastic box and pour water over it. When I
      first started, instead of rinsing it, I would gently pull a shower squeegee
      down it. I have also seen ebru artists, just pull it out against the edge
      of the tray and remove the excess gel that way.

      So, does anyone have any suggestions for ways to do any of this
      differently/more efficiently?

      Also, I have had really good luck with both marbling and doing paste paper
      on this colored paper:


      http://www.enasco.com/product/9710405(J) it comes in two sizes and is very
      economical. It is the same color on both sides. I tried the "Fadeless"
      from the same company and did not like it. It is white on the back and is
      weaker and tears more easily when wet.



      Sue
      Thanks
      Sue


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    • carylhanc@aol.com
      Hi, All. I have a chart on my studio wall that gives recipe (S!) for alum - anywhere from 1/2 TBSP (3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon) of alum per cup to 2 TBSP/cup
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 15, 2010
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        Hi, All.
        I have a chart on my studio wall that gives recipe (S!) for alum -
        anywhere from 1/2 TBSP (3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon) of alum per cup to 2 TBSP/cup
        for paper, and a different chart for aluming fabric. These recipes are
        from well known marblers: Sims, Hughes, Maurer, Skycraft, Schleicher. I know
        Sims marbles with methylcel, as do I. So you are using less alum than any
        of the published recipes I have found.

        Most sources will indicate that too little or too much alum will not work
        well to keep the pattern on the paper, and I have come to the conclusion that
        the absorption capabilities of the paper make a difference; if it is
        really absorbent, you need less alum.

        If I am going to do just a few sheets, I lay them out on the top of my
        washer or a counter top, put the alum solution in a plant mister bottle and
        spritz them, then wipe over the surface with a sponge to be sure the whole
        surface is dampened, and hang to dry. If I am doing a lot of paper, I put the
        solution is a pan that is large enough to accommodate the width of the paper,
        and drag the paper through it, let it drip and hang to dry. Then I keep
        my papers in a press until I need them. With the first method, you need a
        system to identify the alumed side (and I do not touch it with my tongue to
        taste - why ingest a chemical if you don't need to?), with the second system,
        both sides are alumed.

        To rinse, I pick up the paper from the bath, put it on a sheet of Plexiglas
        that is at an angle in my sink, and pour running water over it from a hose
        attached to the sink faucet. That way, if there is paint that is running,
        I can better direct the stream of water, or even increase the pressure of
        the stream if I need to with my thumb over the end of the hose.

        Hope that helps!
        Caryl Hancock, Indianapolis


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      • dguff
        Hi all, I usually alum the paper the night before I marble. I mark an x on a lower corner of the back side and alum the other side. I use a regular kitchen
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 15, 2010
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          Hi all,

          I usually alum the paper the night before I marble. I mark an "x" on a lower corner of the back side and alum the other side. I use a regular kitchen sponge (kept only for this purpose) to moisten the paper, making sure all parts are covered. I then place my paper down alum side up and the next paper goes alum side down on the previous paper. This way, if any spot is missed, the adjoining paper transfers some of the alum solution. I do not make the paper soaking wet, just moist enough to cover the surface. I put about 4 to 6 sheets together (face to face - alum side to alum side) and then a large sheet of thin, very thin, cardboard and continue to stack in this manner. After stacking I put a piece of masonite on top for weight.

          Now before anyone goes ballistic on the "cardboard" spacers...they aren't on long enough to transfer any acidity. I've been doing this for 25 years, and have never had a problem with my alum or marbling. The next morning I restack all of my papers "x" side up and double check that the "x" is visible as I lay down the paper and that way I know that the alum side is going on the pattern and size.

          d.guffey


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        • Sue Cole
          I looked at what I sent and see that I screwed up. I meant to say that I use 1 TABLESPOON of alum per cup of hot water, not 1 teaspoon. Sorry about that.
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 16, 2010
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            I looked at what I sent and see that I screwed up. I meant to say that I
            use 1 TABLESPOON of alum per cup of hot water, not 1 teaspoon. Sorry about
            that. The alum I use comes from Dharma Trading. Their directions say:
            Dissolve 6-9 Tbsp. alum into 1 gallon of water to make a solution.

            I mark a code on the backside to tell me that is not alumned. I use several
            papers and when you use several white ones, it helps to know which one it
            was a couple of months later, when you are deciding whether or not to use it
            again. I flatten them after hanging and putting them in a plastic bag, with
            the marked side up, so they are ready to go as I reach for them.

            The ones I did yesterday on the Dick Blick 60# sketch paper came out well,
            but I would like a "harder" surface so the lines look crisper. Iris Nevins
            had suggested this paper, so I sent for some.

            Do you use "laid" surface or what are some of the papers that work better
            than others. They have apparently changed Canson MiTientes so that the alum
            shows up "frosted" on them. I have good and bad luck with this paper.

            I was going to go to my printer next week and see what he has. I think the
            heaviest paper he has is 65# as I recall.
            Thanks
            Sue


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