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Old 21-05-04, 05:18 AM
Lafleur Lafleur is offline
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Default Gamblin R.S. Glue Sizing Question

I recently purchased Gamblin's Rabbit Skin Glue. It said on the cover of the box "Conservation scientists caution painters that rabbit skin glue absorbs atmospheric moisture on damp days and swells; gives off moisture on dry days and shrinks. Aged oil paintings can be cracked by this movement of the glue. They recommend painters use neutral pH PVA size on linen and canvas. Gamblin makes a PVA size."
I have been using Rabbit Skin glue for sizing on canvas glued to board. I also use the Rabbit Skin glue with french whiting to make my gesso (sometimes marble dust).
Any responses to the Gamblin comments will be welcomed. Thanks.
LaFleur
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Old 21-05-04, 02:25 PM
realgesso realgesso is offline
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I have antique furniture that was put together with hide glue that is still stuck together quit firmly, as well, I have modern furniture glued together with PVA that is ready for the burn pile. I prefer sizing with the RSG, and you sure can't make traditional gesso with PVA.
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Old 21-05-04, 02:50 PM
iconwriter77373 iconwriter77373 is offline
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Default Re: Gamblin R.S. Glue Sizing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleur
I recently purchased Gamblin's Rabbit Skin Glue. It said on the cover of the box "Conservation scientists caution painters that rabbit skin glue absorbs atmospheric moisture on damp days and swells; gives off moisture on dry days and shrinks. Aged oil paintings can be cracked by this movement of the glue. They recommend painters use neutral pH PVA size on linen and canvas. Gamblin makes a PVA size."
I have been using Rabbit Skin glue for sizing on canvas glued to board. I also use the Rabbit Skin glue with french whiting to make my gesso (sometimes marble dust).
Any responses to the Gamblin comments will be welcomed. Thanks.
LaFleur
I think Gamblin wants to sell you some PVA size. :lol:

Hide glue, of which RSG is one sort, is the traditional glue used to seal icon boards, glue the linen under the gesso, used in the gesso itself, used as part of the gilidng size and the bole for haloes on icons, and has been used, AFAIK, for many centuries, with no noticeable issues. That is not to say, of course, that badly applied glue can't really muck up a painting, just like badly applied ANYTHING can muck up a painting. But I think this is a sales pitch.

My $.02

Janet
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Old 22-05-04, 02:45 AM
turlogh turlogh is offline
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Default Re: Gamblin R.S. Glue Sizing Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafleur
I recently purchased Gamblin's Rabbit Skin Glue. It said on the cover of the box "Conservation scientists caution painters that rabbit skin glue absorbs atmospheric moisture on damp days and swells; gives off moisture on dry days and shrinks. Aged oil paintings can be cracked by this movement of the glue. They recommend painters use neutral pH PVA size on linen and canvas. Gamblin makes a PVA size."
I have been using Rabbit Skin glue for sizing on canvas glued to board. I also use the Rabbit Skin glue with french whiting to make my gesso (sometimes marble dust).
I've seen the same package. Feh.

Gamblin, as a company, is very much into modern ingredients and they are completely sold on what is in fashion with conservators (the guys who have ruined many paintings and change their recommendations every 20 years or so). Lately many conservators seem to have decided that RSG is the root of all evil. As Rob Howard on the Cennini Form has said, listening to conservators tell you how to paint is like listening to embalmers give expert advice on nutrition.

If gesso is so problematic, why do ET panel paintings generally not crack while oil panel paintings, from the same period, on the same kind of gesso ground, crack like crazy? There are many 600 year old ET paintings that are in great shape. They are all on hide glue-gesso grounds. That's good enough for me. I have no reason to believe that RSG-based gesso is anything other than the most useful ground available for ET.
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Old 22-05-04, 09:16 PM
realgesso realgesso is offline
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Not to mention, quality RSG is produced in much smaller (and more expensive) quantities than the rail-car volume that PVA is put out. It's all about commodities.
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Old 30-05-04, 02:48 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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I will second Turlogh!!! I accept Rob Howard's philosophy on art materials. Gamblin really has no time honored experience with which to back up claims of archival superiority with regards to art materials. I'd stick with the Rabbit Skin Glue. HOWEVER! I would certainly give experience and testing a go for future generations. Play with both! Tradition begins somewhere! (I like to play with the Golden Absorbent ground, for instance). Good Luck and Have fun!!!
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Old 16-08-04, 08:25 PM
Michael Brown
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I think Robert Gamblin's cautions for rabbit skin glue are strictly for it's use as a size for canvas on traditional stretchers and not those intended to be glued to a panal support. The caution certainly does not refer to R.S. glue's use for gesso, and he would not suggest using the P.V.C. size as a replacement for R.S.glue. Gamblin R.S. glue is the best that I have come accross for use in traditional gesso because it is ground so fine that it easily 'disolves' in boiled water in minutes (none of this soaking overnight garbage required for sheet glue or coarse grind glue).
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Old 22-08-04, 11:19 PM
turlogh turlogh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Brown
Gamblin R.S. glue is the best that I have come accross for use in traditional gesso because it is ground so fine that it easily 'disolves' in boiled water in minutes (none of this soaking overnight garbage required for sheet glue or coarse grind glue).
I'm not clear from your post about dissolving glue in boiled water, but I hope you are not overheating your glue. Many sources indicate that boiled glue is much weaker than glue that is just kept warm (less than about 135 degrees Farenheit / 57 Celsius). I use a double boiler in which the outer pan is filled with hot tap water.

(If I have misread your post I apologize.)
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Old 23-08-04, 05:24 AM
Michael Brown
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Default boiled water for R.S.G.

Hi David,
I have always just brought water to a boil in a kettle, poured the water into a large measuring cup, added the dry glue powder using a measuring spoon and stirred until completely disolved. I've never had a problem with the resulting gesso (I use precipitated chalk that I get in sacks from a General Paint manufacturing plant near my studio). The gesso does not redisolve when rewetted (once completely dried) with cool water as one might expect if the adhesive characteristics of the glue had been compromised. I think because the water quickly drops in temperature, and that the glue is not subjected to prolonged periods at or near 100 C, that no denaturing of the protein(s) occur.
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Old 23-08-04, 09:47 PM
realgesso realgesso is offline
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Quote:
I have always just brought water to a boil in a kettle, poured the water into a large measuring cup, added the dry glue powder using a measuring spoon and stirred until completely disolved. I've never had a problem with the resulting gesso (I use precipitated chalk that I get in sacks from a General Paint manufacturing plant near my studio). The gesso does not redisolve when rewetted (once completely dried) with cool water as one might expect if the adhesive characteristics of the glue had been compromised. I think because the water quickly drops in temperature, and that the glue is not subjected to prolonged periods at or near 100 C, that no denaturing of the protein(s) occur.
Michael, I recommend just using hot tap water to disolve the glue. I say this out of experience, I make hundreds of gallons of gesso per month and the number one cause of failure when making this stuff is over-heating the glue, besides it's easier than boiling water. I'll parrot David, teperatures exceeding 135F will dramatically weaken the glue's ability to adhere, no kidding.l
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