Metallic Polymers

June 3, 2010

Hello all! I have missed you as I have been doing many experiments. I am particularly interested in paints or getting color onto surfaces.  I have always been fascinated by the chemistry of paints of al kinds especially when I made my own gouache and watercolor paints. In 1990, I did a series of paintings on unstretched canvas using latex paints.  Now, twenty years later, I see why house paint only have a ten year warranty as it begins to crack and peal.  I am not sure if  Jackson Pollock ‘s paintings cracked but  of course his are kept in climate controlled environments but also,  perhaps the ingredients of his paint were different from today’s latex paints.  I was surprised,today, as I researched the binder of acrylic paints which are a direct result/invention from Pollock’s experiments with happenstance latex. I never thought about it but there were no acrylic paints until the pop revolution of the 1960’s. I found that retro tidbit of information interesting.

I discovered  a regret, when I had the opportunity to study chemistry, I immaturely thought that I would never need or use that sort of information , thus, I quickly flung the coursework aside. However, one will make many crooked lines if they are always looking backwards, so I plow forward.

I used a simple cylinder vessel and before it dried, I soaked it in a metallic glazing solution, which  I mixed using acrylic copper paint.


The results were interesting,  the copper liquid was absorbed by the wool, coloring the white vessel to a lovely shade of muted tones then as the liquid evaporated it deposited a nice residue of the metallic particles around the lip, furthermore the polymers in the glaze take on characteristics similar to a stiffener. This excited me, as the only stiffeners I have found were all water-soluble hence, in humid climates, you can guess accurately the results. I am pressing onward to  new horizons  with textiles.  I did not document a before pic  but this vessel was 100% white wool before soaking.  The images were applied while wet with a foam brush. To those into soft wearable art, this technique could be repulsive it’s stiffens wool fibers not merely on the surface but throughout the vessel. I like the idea of creating a 3D wool canvas.

Detail Copper Lip


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