Over the last week I have acquired a bounty of new art supplies! They may not all be exciting as blank sketchbooks and fresh pencils, but here’s some of the interesting stuff I got and why:
Roman 880 Wallpaper Paste
Hazaa! I have a gallon of wallpaper paste. How’s that for art supplies? This may not seem exciting, but I was advised that this makes good screen printing ink. It is essentially methyl cellulose with a preservative (I think propylene glycol). One caveat I’ve heard about it is that it can make for a less flexible print if you plan to roll it and print several layers. However, I also understand that it is archival. The big selling for for me is that it’s cheap. At $15/gallon it’s almost a quarter of what Golden Silkscreen Medium costs me. If it dries in the screen you can simply rewet it. That can be a con as well because if your final print gets wet, it is going to be damaged. At any rate it was worth picking up to experiment with. I got mine from Sherwin Williams, but other stores carry it in a different packaging.
Guerra Paint Aqueous Dispersions
These 16 ounces of fluid set me back just over $50 with shipping. However, they should go a long way. These were purchased to be used with the wallpaper ink, but really could be used in any base/medium or existing ink that I wish to tint. These are highly concentrated pigments, the same stuff that would get used in premium acrylic and oil paints.
These will be just one of many things I intend to experiment with. A note of caution: I’d been advised not to try tinting ink with powder pigments. The thing about powdered pigments is that they have to be mechanically ground in to super fine particles and slowly introduced (dispersed) into a liquid emulsion (not to be confused with screen printing emulsion). I’ve seen videos of this process on the commercial scale and it’s impressive. If you want to grind pigments up in your own home you have to mash them with a spoon on some tempered glass. I considered it for about twenty seconds. Check out Guerra Paint to get some of your own.
Murakami Photocure Pro
Hazaa! This is probably my favorite emulsion so far. However, it has a short shelf life and I rarely am able to finish it before it goes bad. Enter those four black bottles. The emulsion has to be activated with that pouch of diazo sensitizer (it used to ship in a bottle). I intend to separate the sensitizer into four containers and only prepare a quart at a time. I know of one person who had success with this method. Not shown is the tiny plastic funnel I picked up to help pour the power into the containers.
Now, I could (maybe) buy Photocure Pro in quarts, but at $30-something a quart and $50/gallon, it almost makes sense to get a gallon even if half of it goes bad.
Cups and Syringes!
Syringes first: These are for accurately measuring bases, pigments, inks, or whatever I decide to use to mix and print with. I bought ten to start with off of eBay for $11. These are 60mL / 2 oz syringes and hold more fluid than you would think. I do have one smaller one with a needle if I should decide I want to measure smaller quantities of something.
Cups: The first variety I got off of eBay. The cup that appears to be white (it is semi-translucent) on the left was sold under the name Reditainer and you can find them on eBay and Amazon. They are a little more expensive than others because they are made to freeze food in. I selected them to try because they hare a thicker plastic and they are 32 ounces (1 quart) in size. These were $18.58 after tax for 24 with lids (just over 77 cents each, compared to $1.28 for the ones at my local big box hardware store which do not come with lids).
The super clear variety do not have lids and are not as strong. I hadn’t planned to buy them, but they were a steal. I bought 36 at $1/dozen from American Science and Surplus during their once a year tent sale. They have stores in Geneva, Chicago, and Milwaukee. They are strong enough that I can wash and reuse them, but cheap enough that I won’t get upset if I trash one. I almost wish I’d purchased more. They claim to only be 28 ounces, but are just as large as the 32 oz cups. Probably you’re not supposed to fill it them to the brim.
Interesting Note: Both cups are manufactured by Plaxon. Maybe that helps you find a lead on bigger better cups. Also, if the freezer safe cups work out, I may get a larger quantity from Webstaurantstore.com]
All The Rest
The next thing I want to get are some different papers. When Dick Blick has their next 30% off sale I may order a bunch of ink and acrylic paint (for turning into ink). I still need to finish drawing the keyline for the motorcycle, but it’s close. I’ve been putting in ten hour days at work during the week and working weekends so the art is suffering a bit. I’m tempted to start looking around.