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silverflagon
05-03-2007, 10:10 AM
I am sorry if this request is in the wrong place, but I am getting a little desparate. I've decided that I would like to try making my own pastels but finding gum traganth/tracanth is proving to be almost impossible, so am I looking for the wrong stuff? :o
If I am right about the ingrediant, would some kind person tell me where to find it in the UK. So far I have searched the internet, Jacksons, Great Art, art shops, chemists, and even a Chinese herbalists shop :confused: :lol:

K Taylor-Green
05-03-2007, 10:24 AM
Can't help directly, but have you done a search, here? There have been several threads on this subject and maybe you'll get lucky.
It will at least keep you out of Chinese herbalist's shops while you wait for a more direct answer! :lol:

LostInWonderArt
05-03-2007, 10:54 AM
Steph,
I had always thought it was gum arabic that was used to make pastels. If it is gum arabic (which I'm not positive), then Winsor & Newton makes it, and you should be able to find that easily, since I believe W&N is an English company.

QueenBArt
05-03-2007, 11:07 AM
Steph,

I haven't ventured into actually making my own yet, but I have looked into this. Gum Arabic will work from my understanding and LostInWonderArt is correct that Winsor and Newton makes it. You can also go to ebay, and rest assured everything you need can be found there including the marble dust (calcium carbonate.) Good luck and let us know how it works!

Kathryn Wilson
05-03-2007, 02:13 PM
Try this Article on making pastels (found Article in Pastel Library)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/11/293/

Here is another thread with some material sources:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=279803

KOP
05-03-2007, 02:36 PM
... marble dust (calcium carbonate.)

This is the stuff that really makes pastels sparkle!;)

silverflagon
05-03-2007, 07:50 PM
Thank you everyone, though I am sure that I read somplace that it was the other gum? Katherine I will certainly have a look at those links and marble dust sounds expensive, but it's deffinitely worth reading up more about it.

Does anyone else here get as frustraited as I do by what it available in shops, or even catalogues?

silverflagon
05-03-2007, 07:56 PM
Mmm Phillis spells it as tragacanth, that is probably why I am having such a job finding it :lol:

Snowbound
05-04-2007, 08:26 AM
Gum Arabic is used in making watercolors. You can make pastels w/o gum tragacanth (which I have seen spelled various ways even in catalogs), but it does help hold together some pigments. Too much will make a hard pastel.

Marble dust is not expensive. Its drawback is that it generally has some impurities in it. There are other purer calcium carbonates you can use.

Here are several sources for pastel making pigments and materials (in no particular order):

Daniel Smith:
http://www.danielsmith.com/catalog/reference/pages/104.asp

Kama Pigments:
http://www.kamapigments.com/index_en.html

Sinopia:
http://www.sinopia.com/index.asp

The Earth Pigments Company
http://www.earthpigments.com/index.cfm

I think all of these include recipes and instructions.

Dayle Ann

Bringer
05-04-2007, 04:06 PM
Hi,

I don't know if Talens and Schmincke will have it.
But you can buy it from Cornelissen in London.
They are specialized in old pigments, for insteance.
They have industrial and pharmaceutical gum tragacanth.

http://www.cornelissen.com/index.asp

Kind regards,

Josť

silverflagon
05-14-2007, 12:24 PM
Thank you bringer, snowbound I will try all those links. I have run up against a brick wall so far with google and art shops :(

harvey concepts
05-19-2007, 03:19 PM
Hi Steph,

I was also interested in making pastels. I called Terry Ludwig - he was so kind and more than willing to help me! You can actually purchase the pigment, gum tragacanth or anything else - he will also tell you about solutions to use with what pigments. I tried it and loved making them. Lots of work and really messy.
Best of luck - Sarah

harvey concepts
05-19-2007, 03:20 PM
I should have said you can purchase all the stuff you need through Terry Ludwig.

artist_pw
05-25-2007, 04:51 AM
Hi:

I've also gotten the gum tragacanth from Sinopia Pigments. Karl Kelly who makes the Mount Vision pastels actually mentioned he uses methyl cellulose, so you might give that a shot. I mixed up some gum tragacanth and it moldered, and adding in the yucky preservative napthol made it too stinky. Sinopia also has some basic recipe mixtures for some of the pigments they sell.

If you try this, it really helps to have a wand blender, and a morter and pestle to grind the napthol flakes into powder to add in.

Fairly recently, Sinopia offers both marble dust, French chalk, various pumice grades, and Dakota also offers pumice now.

You can also store up any pastel dust, and possibly add drops of distilled water to reconstitute into neutral value pastels. You can take this a step further, and intentionally grind up some of your existing pastels to mix together to make new colors.

If you are able to develop some nice mixtures, keep good notes and please pass them along.

dobber
05-29-2007, 12:36 PM
If you go to danielsmith.com and click on the learn; then scroll down until you see search by medium; select pastels and there is an article there by Paul de Marrais on making pastels without gum tragacanth. Good Luck!

silverflagon
07-21-2007, 10:59 AM
Thank you Sarah, Paula, Dobber, I will follow up on all of those suggestions. I will post again once I can afford the pigments or when I next use my pastel dust. Just one thing, if you ever use waste pastel dust, don't forget to sieve it well as I did, the pastel is a wonderful pinkish gray but it's not fit for use unless I grind it up into dust again.

I am giving pastels a rest for a short time while I learn watercolours, but I hope to combine the two mediums together once I am happier with watercolours.

Snowbound
07-21-2007, 11:09 AM
Steph, sounds as if you are on somewhat the same road I am. I asked a lot of the same questions and accumulated a lot of links and articles about pastel making last winter-- then veered into watercolor because I want to combine the two. Perhaps this fall I'll get some pigments and make pastels. I do make "found" pastels from the dust falling into my dust catcher. I've found that if I moisten well and let sit, then stir well with a toothpick, the solid bits dissolve and blend in nicely. I let some of the moisture evaporate before shaping.

BTW- a bit of info I came across during my search was the use of a few drops of oil of cloves as a preservative instead of the chemical. I might try that, as that way I wouldn't have to deal with buying and handling the chemical solution.

Dayle Ann

silverflagon
07-22-2007, 09:15 AM
Steph, sounds as if you are on somewhat the same road I am. I asked a lot of the same questions and accumulated a lot of links and articles about pastel making last winter-- then veered into watercolor because I want to combine the two. Perhaps this fall I'll get some pigments and make pastels. I do make "found" pastels from the dust falling into my dust catcher. I've found that if I moisten well and let sit, then stir well with a toothpick, the solid bits dissolve and blend in nicely. I let some of the moisture evaporate before shaping.

BTW- a bit of info I came across during my search was the use of a few drops of oil of cloves as a preservative instead of the chemical. I might try that, as that way I wouldn't have to deal with buying and handling the chemical solution.

Dayle Ann
Yes that is exactly what I'm doing, and also painting some pure watercolours also as I am quite getting into the medium now. I will certainly try oil of cloves, but I bet they will smell a bit, but at least it's a smell that I like. Thank you for the tip Snowbound :thumbsup: