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Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

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  • Robyn Drew
    Hi Silvia, I m interested to hear about this jelly forming on the paper, because I have had a similar experience, however I was using carrageenan size rather
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 29, 2011
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      Hi Silvia,

      I'm interested to hear about this jelly forming on the paper, because I have had a similar experience, however I was using carrageenan size rather than alginate. In my case, the gel only formed when I used a certain type of paper (Antique parchment, a writing paper available in Australia). It looked spectacular when it was wet, but when it dried, the paint (Windsor and Newton designer gouache) flaked off the paper. Very disappointing! The paint hadn't adhered to the paper at all. I knew it wasn't the paper that was the problem, because I had used it successfully with a wallpaper size (cellulose-based) and the same paints. And although the other papers didn't appear to form a gel, when I ironed them to remove creases, the paint would also flake off the paper. After a lot of experimenting and reading, I deduced that my size was not pure lambda-carrageenan and it contained some kappa-carrageenan (probably a substantial amount). Kappa-carrageenan forms a
      strong gel when it interacts with potassium ions, and sadly, I was using potassium alum as my mordant. I believe that the observations that people have made previously (on very old posts) with regard to Tiger eyes and a gel forming on the paper where the eyes form, is due to the fact that there will be a kappa-carrageenan residue in the size, and this is forming a gel with the potassium carbonate (or whatever potassium salt is added).


      In your case, you have correctly identified that alginates form a gel with calcium ions and by using distilled water, this shouldn't be the problem. Are you using potassium alum? I do not know whether this forms a gel with alginates, but suggest that if you are using potassium alum, try using aluminium sulfate instead.

      I haven't used the paints you mentioned previously, but I initially had problems with my bath and size not being exactly at the same temperature, which caused problems with my paints. Once I started to measure the air temperature near to the bath (not on the wall on the other side of the room...) and the bath temperature and ensured they were exactly the same, a lot of my paint problems disappeared. Perhaps this will solve your paint problems??

      I hope some of this helps!

      Kind regards,
      Robyn



      ________________________________
      From: Pod227 <pod227@...>
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, 30 November 2011 3:43 AM
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice


       
      Hi Iris

      I've added a photo of the paper in my "Silvia" folder.
      In the photo you can see two of the paper stipes I've marbled on alginate size. The stip on the bottom has nice colours, darker than the other. that stip is the one with "jelly" on all the surface.
      The strip on top has jelly only on some spots. when I've risen it from the size I've seen the jelly peeling off and folding on one size. Where there isn't the jelly colours are pale. My idea is that the more the paper stay on the alginate, the more thick the alginate jelly become, and a more thick jelly is less willing to broke and fold.
      Before starting my alginate experiment I read that it reacts with Ca in water and so on so I'm using only distilled water. I didn't expect that reaction.
      I want to try it again, I'll try to leave the paper on the size for a little more time and lift it gently.
      Oh and I didn't noticed any jelly left in the size.

      You asked for details, my size is 13gr sodium alginate (pure edible grade bought from the chemist) in 2Lt of distilled water. The paper was a common white "HP office paper" A4 sheet, directly from the printer to the tray :)

      Hope this is useful

      Silvia

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: irisnevins
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:32 PM
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      What size specifically did you use...and what was the paper?
      Iris Nevins
      marblingpaper.com
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Pod227<mailto:pod227@...>
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 8:05 AM
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      Hi Iris, thanks again :)
      Your period about marbling as cookery and exact formula made me smile just because I've to admit that I've spent one evening moaning to my husband "why can't I have an exact protocol?" :p I'm a control freak and I've the mind of a biologist, I need control, numbers and reproducibility :p I'll take marbling as a sort of therapy XD

      Last evening I've tried to marble paper, without alum, just to see the effect. I was using an alginate size and this is how I've realized that paper has calcium on it. When I lifted the paper I discovered that the alginate jellified on the paper surface. But the result has been gorgeus, the jelly dried leaving a shining finish and brighter and deeper colours. An happy accident :)

      Thanks again for your time ^_^

      have a nice day

      Silvia

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: irisnevins
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, November 28, 2011 1:10 AM
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      Well, yes, whatever works. Sometimes less is more. I use 1 TBS alum to one cup hot water for paper. But in winter I can usually do half of that. For fabric I use about 1 TBS per 3-4 cups of water. That is with Habotai silk. I use cheap acrylic from Walmart or A.C. Moore. I like it. I make my own watercolor marbling paints (though many call them ink and I don't argue anymore, they ARE paint though, being pigment based), as I mostly marble paper.

      If you use a good/high quality inkjet paper, you often do not need alum at all, but you do need to figure out which is the coated side and mark the uncoated side so you don't marble it. One try will tell you which side is right. The best kinds are coated on both sides. I wish they'd make a 70-80 pound text weight in 19 X 25. At a reasonable price, I'd give up alum altogether if possible.

      Hard water seems to need more carrageenan as powder or seaweed than soft, just a little, and I do not find one to be better water than the other, once the size feels right. FEEL is an important word in marbling. It's got the subtleties of cookery. The recipe says do this or that, yet the baked goods or stews or dishes always come out a little different. If you expect an exact formula in marbling that is foolproof and the results exactly the same no matter where you do it, you will quickly get frustrated and say marbling is too hard.

      Marbling... expect the unexpected, and it is mischievous and loves to throw problems at you. It's very frustrating when I can at times copy a paper from the 1600s for a restoration binding with uncanny accuracy on the first try, yet an hour later have a terrible time copying one of my own former papers, that a customer has sent a cutting of, wanting a few more sheets to match. I've been at this nearly 34 years, and still don't have it down to a 100% science, and still have to experiment and change things all the time. It's just how it is.

      The best thing you can do is really read through all the archives here. Many of us who have marbled a very long time have written about how we have solved many marbling problems. It's up here for the taking. If you are marbling and have a problem, take a break and see if it is in the archives by doing a search. We all have different approaches and many work to solve the same problems.

      Iris Nevins
      marblingpaper.com
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: carylhanc@...<mailto:carylhanc@...<mailto:carylhanc@...%3Cmailto:carylhanc@...>>
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>>
      Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2011 12:01 PM
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      Hi, Silvia,

      You are having fun! I have alginate here - I use it for thickening dyes, and without doing the math, my first hunch is that to make 5+ gallons of size with it (which is what I need for my scarf tray) would get pretty expensive, pretty quickly. But it is certainly worth a try.

      And as for what is "right" for the amount of alum, I would say that what is right is what works for you. Several years ago, I went through all my marbling books, the ones written from about 1960 on, and noted the amounts of alum in the recipes. They varied from a low of about 4 TBSP/gallon all the way to 12 TBSP/gallon! The highest amount (Skycraft) was 16 TBSP/Gallon! My scales weighed a TBSP of alum at 13.1 GM or .47 Oz. These recipes were for use on fabric.

      I found a similar variance in recipes for alum for paper, mostly in the 1/2 to 2 TBSP alum/cup (8 ounces of water) range.

      To further confuse the issue, in my experience with fabrics, I see some silks pick up the pattern almost instantly (habotai), and others, a much heavier silk or a blended fabric, could sit on the size for a week (slight exaggeration - VBG, but dupioni or a linen or a canvas) and not pick up the pattern; I am sure this is a function of their absorbency, and the surface treatments on the fabric. If water beads up on the surface or the fabric, it probably will not pick up a pattern from marbling size without at least pre-washing it.

      Like Iris, I play with about any kind of acrylic paint that I find, but have my favorites for certain projects - I like the Goldens for silk scarves, and Pro-Chem marbling paints or Dyna-flo for socks. About 95% of my marbling is on fabrics. and some of the craft paints seem to need an additive for fabrics; Golden makes such an additive, as do a couple of other manufacturers, but a paint developed specifically for fabrics (Jacquard, for example) have that already included.

      I did find that when I tried a higher concentration of alum (12 TBSP/gallon of water), that the size seemed to pick up more of the alum, and the magenta and blue colors of the paints really acted up, and would not hold a combing, with the lines getting really "bumpy" for want of a better term. Extra skimming seemed to help with that problem.

      So, probably more than you wanted to know! I marble with M/C (3-1/2 to 4 TBSP/gallon, and find that there is also a variation in how the M/C from different vendors acts!), but have used carageenan with both water colors and acrylics. I hope that helps!
      Caryl Hancock, Indianapolis

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Pod227 <pod227@...<mailto:pod227@...<mailto:pod227@...%3Cmailto:pod227@...>>>
      To: Marbling <Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>>>
      Sent: Sat, Nov 26, 2011 11:42 pm
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      Hi Iris and Caryl, thank you for your reply!

      Iris: When I first marbled I choose MC because it seemed to me that fabric marblers preferred that, I've never tried carrageenan but now I'm thinking to give it a try. I've made my size the evening before use, as I did previous times, so I've let it rest for at least 10 hours. You're right suggesting the medium was too thick, at least this is part of solution, when I thinned the medium things went a little better but still not well. :(
      About Golden acrylics I've never seen them, I'll try to look for them.

      Caryl: The only thing I'm sure I've made right this time... is alum :p I've used 4Tbsp in 1 gallon (60gr/4Lt) and I feel it right, I mean acrylics adhere immediately to the fabric and don't wash away, so it should be the right diluition to work as mordant without contamination of the size.
      I've read your comment to my photos, I'll try your hint about strain the paint, I've never tought to this, and probably you're right! Thanks!

      Finally yesterday I've put aside the MC size and, in an experimental mood, I've tried to make a Sodium Alginate gel. I had alginate, I've read online that is used in marbling, I had nothing to lose, so I've tried :)
      Well, this morning I've tried it without much convintion and with my great surprise it works really well! With the same colours of yesterday I've had much better results. Still some gaps and speckles but not as much as yesterday. Only greens are still misbehaving.

      Have you ever tried alginate?

      Thank you very much for your advice!

      Silvia

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: irisnevins
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>>
      Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 2:07 PM
      Subject: Re: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      While I don't like to use methyl cel, if this were carrageenan, and did it with all paints, I would say the size was not let to settle enough or was too thick or both. Acrylics will sometimes separate if left on the size too long, to try to be quicker. I can't advice on pebeo. Try Golden since many like it, if it still does it, look to how you are making the size.
      Iris Nevins
      marblingpaper.com
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: pod227<mailto:pod227@...<mailto:pod227@...<mailto:pod227@...%3Cmailto:pod227@...>>>
      To: Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com<mailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com%3Cmailto:Marbling@yahoogroups.com>>>
      Sent: Saturday, November 26, 2011 6:57 AM
      Subject: [Marbling] colour problem, need advice

      Hi, I'm Silvia, I joined the group more than one year ago but, not being an avid marbler, I'm more a lurker ^_^
      But now I need an advice.

      I've got a problem I'm not able to solve.
      In few words when I put my colours in the tray most of them:
      1) directly broke in speckles
      2) expand nicely and then reassemble in speckles after few seconds

      In my previous marbling experiment I've had this problem but with only one colour so I thought it was a colour/brand problem.
      Now almost all my colours do this. And it seems that they are making fun of me, after 3 awful pieces I've had an acceptable one, and then again awful pieces. With same colours, size etc.
      I've tried higher diluition, ox gall, using a thinner size but with no result.
      I'm very depressed. :(

      details about my process:
      Colour: acrylic (Pebeo high viscosity) thinned with deionized water
      Size: Methylcellulose (before 2% now 1.7%)
      Fabric: 100% white cotton soaked in alum

      I've posted two photos in the "silvia" folder in photo section.
      I'd love to hear from you what do you think about this and if you've got some hint for me :)

      Thank you very much

      Silvia

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