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alternate size

Posted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:17 am
by enidadams
Has anyone had success with watercolor or acrylic marbling on any of these thickeners as an alternative size to carrageenan or methyl cellulose ?

-psyllium seed (main ingredient in Metamucil)
-sodium alginate F (another kind of seaweed, high viscosity low solids type for fine print definition)
-guar gum (an industrial thickener that is very smooth and holds it's viscosity much longer than methyl cellulose, carrageenan & sodium alginate).

I'll appreciate any feedback, as I've used all my carrageenan & methyl cellulose, but have the other 3 thickeners in my supply cabinet. If you have used any with success and happen to remember the recipe to create a viscosity similar to carrageenan, 2 Tb per gallon, please post. If you've used any and found they did not work, that is useful to know as well.

Thanks very much,
Enid Adams

Re: alternate size

Posted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:36 am
by enidadams
Exploring the website of Pro Chemical & Dye, I found the MSDS for their product sold as Marbo Gum is the seaweed sodium alginate, and the recipe is 2 TB per gallon. I will try it and report back.

Re: alternate size

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:12 am
by jemiljan
Hi Enid, Ingrid Weimann told me that Christopher used Guar gum, so she may have a formula...

Re: alternate size guar gum

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:33 am
by enidadams
Thank you Jake, I almost remember that from IMG. I'm not sure how to reach her any more, unless I can get her contact info from you or Marie. Would love the formula. Guar gum is very smooth and durable, so might be great for producing wonderfully detailed, fine patterns. Enid

Re: alternate size

Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:14 am
by jemiljan
Peggy Skycraft gave a presentation on sizing materials at the '92 IMG at Fort Mason in San Francisco. She gave out all sorts of formulas in a handy little list... but I will have to look for it (unless someone else beats me to it). Not sure if it was ever published either...

Peggy Skycraft info

Posted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:28 am
by enidadams
Hi Jake, any luck finding the notes from Peggy Skycraft's presentation? I tried to find a way to contact her through Google but had no luck. Will be talking to Marie Palowoda later today, so maybe she can help with contact info for Ingrid & Peggy. Meanwhile, hope you had a good Thanksgiving, however you celebrated. Best, Enid

Re: alternate size

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:05 am
by jemiljan
Sorry Enid, I am just back and haven't had a chance to look. In the meantime, I found the GPO-PIA Research Bulletin The Process of Marbling Paper online at Hathi Trust: ... =1up;seq=5. There are a few recipes for other types of size in there, including psyllium seed.

Re: alternate size

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:36 am
by Griffin.benko
While I was traveling in South America, I tried a few experiments with alternate thickeners.

Cornstarch was my first effort. I can't say conclusively that it did or did not work because I had virtually nothing else to use - no good paints, no paper, etc (Small beach towns in Peru can be limiting...). But other people on the internet seem to have made it work.

Later, I tried with agar agar and had decent results. Again, I was using random acrylic paints that I wasn't sure would work well or not. In order to thicken agar agar, it needs to be boiled. You can set the water with the agar agar using a 1% ratio of agar agar to water. Heat the water, sprinkle the agar agar as the water nears a boil, and whisk the mixture as it boils for 1 full minute. A stick blender helps to make sure the agar agar is evenly dispersed. Place the mixture into the fridge and it will set like gelatin. Once cooled and fully set, blend the agar agar with more water and adjust the consistency. I didn't measure how much water I ended up adding at the end but bottom line, the size worked.

Ultimately, the colors were pretty blurry and the recycled paper I was using was not a good choice. If you're looking for this size to work the same as carrageenan, I wouldn't count on it. However, it could be fun to experiment with and adapt to!

Re: alternate size

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 4:03 am
by ScottC
Did anyone find the information regarding Guar as a size? I'd like to know what concentration to use.



Re: alternate size

Posted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:42 pm
by artomultiplo
Right now I'm using a Guar Gum Size.
I've tried with 0,5% and 0,6% guar/water (5/6gr per Liter) ratio and i can say that it behaves somewhat ok
I've not tried yet the carrageenan so I can't tell you anything about the difference. But it works.
I found that 0.5% is nicer for my cheap acrylic colors. (I'm using coloré brand amazon paints diluted with water)

I'll be posting some samples next week, the results are not that bad for a first-timer

What can be tricky is to mix the Guar powder with the water because the gelification of the powder is really violent so , instead of adding the powder directly to the water I prepare a suspension of the powder with isopropilic alcohol and then mix that with the water with the help of an immersion blender.

I let the solution to rest for about 3 hours before using it.
At room temperature it can stay for a couple of days but after that period the size become weaker (less dense)