Re: [Marbling] carragheanan
- yeah, what she said!
when I can convince my family they don't need to eat for a week, and I can take
over the fridge entirely with my batches of goo, I have great success keeping
my size for 7-10 days. We have some fairly nasty hard well water here, but it
doesn't seem to bother my kitchen chemistries too much.
Nelle Tresselt wrote:
> Dear Carol,
> I am a marbler in Danbury, Connecticut who has been marbling for almost 20
> years. I went through a lot of trial and error with water in all aspects of
> marbling when I first started. I felt the water I used also had an effect
> on my paints (I marble with Windsor Newton opaque guache, which I dilute
> with water). But anyway, caragheanan is a food basically. And obviously
> like any food, it is going to spoil. What affects it more than anything is
> the temperature at which you store it. If you had a giant walk-in
> refridgerator and could keep your size in there when you are not marbling,
> it would keep for much longer. I've never heard of it keeping for weeks,
> however. But anyway, I found I was having a lot of trouble when I used tap
> water, with my paint not behaving as I wanted it to, and little tiny skin
> "islands" appearing all over the place on the surface of my size and I don't
> even remember what else. But I thought I had better use distilled water.
> And for a long time I used to go to the store and BUY gallons and gallons
> and gallons of distilled water. Then I bought a distiller. And there I was
> distilling water drop by drop 24 hours a day and carrying 5 gallon buckets
> around like the sourcerer's apprentice. But it did seem to work better all
> around, with the skin not forming and my paints behaving. I learned that
> cities sometimes change the way they treat the water, adding more or less of
> certain chemicals, I guess depending on the time of year. But while I was
> marbling with the distilled water, I began to be aware of TEMPERATURE. And
> that was the real key for me. I started pouring my size back into the
> gallon containers and keeping it in the refridgerator. That's when I found
> it would keep for up to a week. I also began making a smaller batch of new
> size and mixing it into my old size, like 50/50 and this freshened up
> everyting, and I got more of that nice elasticity and strength I had when
> the original batch was new. I marbled this way until my back was killing
> me. I decided to try tap water again to see if anything had changed. Lo
> and behold I did not have the same problems that I used to! I don't
> remember what time of year it was, but I have a feeling it must have been
> winter or early spring. Because guess what, the tap water comes out really
> cold at that time. And since my studio was also a very cold room (hot in
> summer, cold in winter), the size kept. Oh, about that bleach. I always
> decant my size into five gallon buckets when I'm through marbling, and when
> I throw it out and when I clean my tray, I use bleach to clean everything.
> So I suppose there is a bleach residue in my equipment. I know the bacteria
> do cause skin to grow in your size. I have never added bleach to my size
> directly, but I suppose you could. How much? You'd have to experiment.
> Anyway, I got rid of my distiller, and now I have been marbling with tap
> water exclusively for many years with no problems. I know in the summer
> months, my size is going to go bad very quickly. Even by the end of the
> day, if I'm marbling during a heat wave. I have also learned that I don't
> need to make as much size as I used to. And I seem to be able to marble on
> a much thinner size than I used to make. I add a lot more water. The more
> water and the less caragheanan, the longer the size lasts. And for the most
> part I throw my size away at the end of the day anyway, unless it's a cold
> time of year and I know I will be marbling again the next day. It's just
> not worth it to marble on tired size. In the spring, I sometimes keep the
> buckets outside when I know they won't freeze and the temperature will keep
> it that perfect nice cold temperature. That actually works GREAT. I love
> marbling at the time of year when I can do that; Cold raw weather, but
> above freezing. I don't know if any of this has been helpful, but to
> summarize, keep you size as cold as you can and it will work better and last
> longer. Will I meet you at the gathering next September? Sincerely, Nelle
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carol Scott" <carolscott56560@...>
> To: <Marbling@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2001 11:41 AM
> Subject: [Marbling] (unknown)
> > Dear All,
> > I live in western Minnesota and have a question concerning longevity of
> > carragheanan. Recently I made up a batch of size with regular tap
> > water. It had lost almost all of it viscosity the next day so I had
> > about 1 day to marble on it. The next time I marbled I used distilled
> > water from the grocery store. It lasted 2 more days. One of the first
> > signs that my size its on its last days is that when I go to skim the
> > tank it will leave behind a residue that looks like stretch marks.
> > Normally I would just accept the fact that when it comes to
> > carragheanan, life is short, but then I know of another marbler in St.
> > Paul who is able to marble for days or weeks with the same batch.
> > Heres what the Public Service saids about how are water is treated:
> > "The water treatment used is a lime water-softening process, a hightly
> > efficient filtration system and the use of ozone for primary
> > disinfection and ordor/taste removal. The new water plant has
> > significantly reduced the amount of chlorinated by-products generated".
> > I had the water treatment run a quickie test for me that involved 2
> > shallow pans of water, 2 with tap water and 2 with distilled water in
> > it. On each set they covered one pan and left one pan uncovered. They
> > began the test of Friday and returned on Monday to find that all four
> > pans had formed a skim on the surface. And thats all the further they
> > investigated.
> > Should I be adding bleach? Storing my carragheanan so there is less
> > surface area?
> > Any comments would greatly be appreciated.
> > Carol Scott
> > solinger@...
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