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View Poll Results: Do you like to store your pigments wet or dry?
Varies - please comment in message 5 20.00%
Usually dry - left in powder, stored in bags or jars 11 44.00%
Usually wet - ground into paste, stored in jars 9 36.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-12-05, 03:24 AM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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Default Wet or Dry poll

A few people said they would like to know how you all kept your pigments stored: ground into a paste and kept in a jar, or left in powdered form?
Perhaps, comment on whether you do different things with different pigments.
Thanks,
Dennis
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Old 09-12-05, 05:31 AM
Rosemary Rosemary is offline
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Dry- I have a large number of pigments and I vary my palette depending on what I am painting. I wet a spatula full of the dry pigment with a few drops from a dropper bottle of ethyl alcohol, then add a few drops of water before adding diluted egg yolk.
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Old 09-12-05, 01:43 PM
JeanM JeanM is offline
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I like wet best, because I think it's safer, as well as faster.
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Jean
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Old 09-12-05, 04:45 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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I'm with JeanM. Wetting pigments keeps down all that dangerous dust. I wear a serious OSHA mask for the brief time when my pigments are still dry, then I go with water forever.

If you drop and shatter a jar of wet pigment, it's a nuisance, not a biohazard.
Wet pigments don't easily get into the air and your lungs and your house.
Wet pigments are ready to paint with -- just add egg.
Wet pigments show more accurately what the final paint color will be.

Dry pigments pose a serious health risk. I would be curious to hear the arguments for keeping them dry.
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Old 09-12-05, 05:06 PM
Rosemary Rosemary is offline
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Default Laziness! javascript:emoticon(':oops:')

Your are quite right about the hazards. My only reason is sheer laziness as I have yet to find the perfect little jar that will prevent drying. I don't like the cardboard lined lids either. I saw the note about the little jam jars and they sound perfect so I will have to order two boxes of them and spend a day setting up the bottleworks. I have tried keeping some wet pigments in film canisters and they are just a hassle as the shape is wrong and when the lid pops off, pigment flies everywhere.

I admire your care with this materials and thank you for setting a good example. :oops:
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Old 09-12-05, 07:22 PM
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Bert Congdon Bert Congdon is offline
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Default wet or dry poll

Always wet. I can mix for the color I want, then add the egg. Mixing dry I don't have a clew, or I have a bunch of colors with egg that can't be put back.
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Old 09-12-05, 07:31 PM
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I keep my pigments wet. It's almost impossible to mix up powdered pigments without stirring up dust.

Exceptions are titanium white and ultramarine blue. They get hard when stored under water so I keep them dry.

I've stopped using cadmium red simply because it's a pain in the butt to mix with water. You stir and stir and watch little toxic pink clouds swirl up...

Phil
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Old 11-12-05, 08:45 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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In my experience the perfect jars for pigments are baby food jars. They are a good size, squat and unlikely to tip over, and the lids have some sort of silicon sealer built right in -- no cardboard to get soggy. The lids screw on perfectly tight without much effort. Cleaned and boiled (lids too) they will last for years -- I have had some pigments for over 15 years now in baby food jars, and they have not dried out nor gotten moldy.

If you don't know someone producing a supply of empty baby food jars, you can eat the stuff yourself -- it's healthy, salt-free, if a little mushy. Anyway, once you have the jars, they will last forever.

I have an enormous variety of pigments, dozens and dozens. It was a lot of work to grind them all in water, but I consider it an investment of time and effort well worth it.
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  #9  
Old 14-12-05, 02:22 PM
dakini_painter
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Hi,

I keep my pigments dry in small plastic containers used for storing coins (for coin collections). I use the size for US quarters which holds a decent amount of pigment for painting purposes (for me).

I use small white ceramic plates as my mixing area. The quantities of pigment I use range from about the size of a pea to a bean. Most of the traditional pigments such as the earths will happily absorb a drop or two of water to form a paste. Modern organic pigments often require a drop of two of (rubbing) alcohol (drugstore kind, 91%) for proper dispersal before adding the water. Then I add my egg medium.

I add these liquids with an eyedropper with the tip as close to the pigment as possible.

In theory, yes it probably creates 'dust'. I'm dealing with such small quantites that my exposure is minimal. My most hazardous pigments are the cobalts and cadmiums. And they are so dense that they like to sit right where they are. The light and fluffy pigments which want to go everywhere tend to be less hazardous than these.

Enough dust of even the most benign kind will damage your body in sufficient quantities over sufficient time. I, for one, am not dealing with those kind of situations.

Now if you want to talk about dust, work in pastels. There you have DUST. When I work in pastel I work flat, not vertical for this reason. And I do avoid cadmium pigments where possible. But the cobalts are too beautiful to ignore.
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  #10  
Old 14-12-05, 05:01 PM
Sarah
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As a relatively new ET painter I've been going with the advice on this forum, most of which seems to have indicated that wet is easier, faster and safer.

Not having an endless supply of jars, however, and being a great believer in the freedom of the limited pallette, I keep about 8 or 9 pigments in the wet form, mix ultramarine blue and titanium white on a daily basis, and occasionally do the same with tiny amounts one of my rarely used pigments when it seems that it will be "just the thing".

Query -- As some of the pigments do need alcohol to prevent flocculating -- that irritating habit of refusing to wet, my husband (a professor of chemistry) suggested an alcohol alternative -- a drop or two of something nice smelling like scotch. Some might consider it a waste, but rubbing alcohol does smell so awful. Thoughts?

Thanks always to everyone for the generous sharing of information

Sarah
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