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Author Topic: Making Clear Gesso At Home  (Read 6171 times)

FranOnTheEdge

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Making Clear Gesso At Home
« on: September 04, 2015, 09:11:54 AM »
Hi folks,
I've been meaning to make some home made gesso for a long time now, and my fine powdered marble dust finally arrived on wednesday, so I made some yesterday, some CLEAR Gesso in fact, according to a recipe from Pink Poodle Crafts on YouTube.
Nice simple recipe, although as she demos the results first it takes her about 12 minutes to get to the recipe.
However she's using the white PH Neutral form of the powdered marble dust, I could only find the non PH balanced one initially, (although I think I might have found another one now).

The thing is...
when I made it yesterday, it looked like yeast. 
Like when you add yeast to milk and sugar and it starts billing and frothing away, just before you add all that to the flour...
Look:


Is it supposed to look like that?

It was quite a surprise to me!
FranOnTheEdge

MilleD

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Re: Making Clear Gesso At Home
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 07:13:33 PM »
Is this the stuff you larrop on canvasses to prep them?

Is it supposed to be, um, brown?

 :o ;D

Carrie

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Re: Making Clear Gesso At Home
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2015, 12:10:45 AM »
Well, that's weird  :o

I thought gesso was a mixture of animal glue - rabbit skins! - whiting which l used in my glaze recipes, and is basically chalk, l believe, and titanium for brilliant white colour and opacity.

I can't imagine why yours has bubbled but it looks like a reaction of chalk (or your powdered marble) with acid, like vinegar or something? 

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Making Clear Gesso At Home
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 12:27:55 PM »
Oh Millie, Most of the yellow cast in the photo will be because I took the photo under my desk lamp, a yellowish lamp, not natural light - under natrual light it's more greyish.  But I have been told that if you add too much powder you can get a yellowinsh cast showing on your project.

AT THE MOMENT this doesn't bother me so much as I want to splosh this over things that are yellowish in colour anyway, like linen, raw canvas, hessian, cotton twill, raffia, grasses and seeds etc.

But later I will want it to NOT be yellowish, so for that I need the White form... which I can't find for a reasonable price - yet.

Carrie,
This recipe is 1 cup water, 1/4 cup white glue, 4 slightly heaped tablespoons Calcium Carbonate. Otherwise called marble dust, or powdered marble.  That's what's used to make gesso and chalk paints... rabbit size, yes, I think originally that's what was used to make gesso.  Whether professionally made stuff has changed to using PVA, or still uses rabbit glue, I don't know.

There's no acid in here, but I've now found out that Calcium Carbonate can bubble if mixed with acrylic... It doesn't hurt anything, but I can imagine it might be a problem if you want to paint this home-made gesso onto a surface - you wouldn't want bubbles on your surface, would you?

Is PVA an acrylic then?  'Cos there's no acrylic around otherwise.

I'm going to test this batch today.  If I can find the time.

Carrie, what's your 'Whiting' made of?
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 12:37:04 PM by FranOnTheEdge »
FranOnTheEdge

Carrie

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Re: Making Clear Gesso At Home
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2015, 05:56:21 PM »
Calcium carbonate, Fran.  Chalk.

MilleD

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Re: Making Clear Gesso At Home
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 06:48:52 PM »
If you crush up some antacid tablets, do you get the same effect?

 :D

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Making Clear Gesso At Home
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 09:59:42 PM »
Carrie, yeah.  Same stuff. Marble dust.


Millie, well in PinkPoodleCrafts' video demo she did say it was the same as crushed TUMS, I assumed that was like crushed Rennies.
FranOnTheEdge