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Old 26-06-06, 01:27 PM
sabine sabine is offline
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Default wooden block dipped in water

hi again :grin:

I just tried the "wooden block dipped in water technique for my gesso panels, but it made my pannels turn brown... :-?
Any idea of what I did wrong this time?

I let the wooden block into water so I hope that it will loose its pigmentation and that I will be able to use it later but I'm not sure that will be enough...

Sabine
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Old 27-06-06, 12:18 AM
David McKay David McKay is offline
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Hi Sabine:

I hope, and suspect, that the brown colour is from the wooden block. I don't know what kind of wood that Phil uses but I am sure that the colour from some woods would leach out. More seriously, if you have eaten away too much gesso you may be seeing the wood or masonite panel through the resulting too thin layer of gesso!

I recently have used a metal scraper for smoothing down the gesso surface. It works pretty good. David
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Old 27-06-06, 07:50 AM
sabine sabine is offline
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a metal scrapper? What IS that?

I let the wood in the water all night long and the water is quite brown too now... I think I will try it again...

Do you think it's OK if I just put on an other layer of gesso to make the colour fade?
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Old 28-06-06, 04:56 AM
David McKay David McKay is offline
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Hi Sabine:

First, the easy answer...... a scraper is a piece of metal that cabinet makers sometimes use to smooth wood. It is better than sandpaper because it does not tear the wood fibers as sandpaper does. It gives a result similar to a wood plane. They are of different sizes but usually about three inches by six inches. You can find them in a hardware store. You also need a hard steel that you rub (with quite a bit of pressure) along the edge to make a burr or slight hook on the scraper.

The answer to your question about another layer of gesso is not so straight forward. When I gesso, I apply at least five coats (usually seven or eight) without the previous coats completely drying. In other words all the layers of gesso dry together as one thick layer. I would imagine however, that if you sanded your panel with a course sandpaper and then applied another coat of gesso you would have no problems with the latter coat adhering. But you may have the brown stuff bleeding through and it may bleed through the painting as well. Why not give it a sanding and see if the brown color comes off. It might be just on the surface. If not you may have to take most of, or all of, the gesso off and start again to be safe and sure. Good luck, David
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Old 28-06-06, 07:57 AM
sabine sabine is offline
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Thanks for your answer Davidn even though it's not the one I was hoping for... Take all may gesso off, wooomph! :oops: I hope sand it a little will be enough... I'll try and let you know.

For the metal scrapper I didn't understand all the words, but with a little help from my friends the specialised dictionnaries on the internet I'm sure I'll be all right :lol:

thanks again

Sabine
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Old 28-06-06, 05:30 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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A "metal scraper" is also called a "slice".

I use a baker's slice, made for bread dough. It is not as sharp as a carpenter's scraper, but it does the job for my needs. It is like a very large, flat palette knife or cleaver blade.

When I gesso, I sometimes let the layer dry completely before putting on the next layer. It's so I can sand smooth between coats -- you cannot sand damp gesso. I have not had problems with that technique, no cracks or anything.
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Old 29-06-06, 04:25 AM
Bill Rietveldt Bill Rietveldt is offline
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Default scrapers

In the video about egg tempera, "Breaking Eggs Making Paint", Hilton Brown uses a glass slide from a microsope as a scraper to smooth gesso.

I've successfully used glass pieces both flat edged and shaped to smooth wood work. A sculptor from Spain convinced me that it works better than a metal scraper - plus you don't have to worry about putting a burr on the edge!

I find that a piece of glass with a straight edge works great for smoothing panels. If you round the corners of the glass you're less likely to gouge the panels - and use gloves so you don't get cut.
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Old 29-06-06, 05:01 PM
Alessandra Kelley Alessandra Kelley is offline
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My husband has reminded me that a "pastry scraper" can also work as a "metal scraper".

Pastry scrapers are used to scrape soft dough off a pastry board, and I am reasonably sure they can be found in Belgium.
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Old 29-06-06, 06:43 PM
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Dennis H Dennis H is offline
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Here's a picture of a scraper I use. I got it from a gold leaf supplier in New York, but it's German-made. (The 35mm slide is included just for scale.)
Dennis
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Old 29-06-06, 07:04 PM
sabine sabine is offline
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Thanks for all those answers!! I can see ther is quite a diversity of practices :grin:

and thanks so much for the picture, so much easier to understand than words! But I'm not sure I would be able to use that tool without damaging my gesso... Anyway I can give it a try, I've got a metal scrapper already, in fact!

the glass method appeals to me more, but I gave an other try to the wooden block, and after 2 days and 2 nights spent into water it seems to have lost all its colour and be harmless... now!

Anyway, it's wonderfull being able to have advices and comments on thoses matters... (when I say tempera, people usually go :shock: and I'm doiing it all by myself with a few books and advices found on the internet... but sometimes it just isn't enough!!)

good night (or wathever... )

Sabine
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