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Taminka
01-28-2003, 06:58 AM
Today I met a woman who belongs to a Pastel Society about an hours drive south of me. Of course I was interested to hear about the group and what they do.

I asked her what brands she likes and she said : “Oh I make my own –in fact many of us do ‘coz it’s much cheaper."
I was intrigued as it’s a fairly small town we are talking about, with very little in the way of art supplies readily available.

She told me it’s really easy – just go the hardware store and buy whitening (whatever that is!) and then go to the paint department and buy the house paint tints, and all you have to add is a bit of wallpaper paste!!!!!!
When I expressed my concern (ie horror) about it’s lasting qualities she assured me it’s fine – after all house paint colour is made to last !

What amazes me is that this is not just a group of amateurs dabbling in their art. It has some professional members and they have their own gallery and sell their work at quite high prices.

Minky

doe
01-28-2003, 07:30 AM
What an unusual recipe. The Whiting is calcium carbonate, it's an ingredient for mixing glazes and clay bodies in pottery (another one of my activities.) I've heard of using zinc oxide and kaolin sometimes so maybe whiting is ok too. The thing I am most suspect of is the house paint pigments because every paint I've ever used on my house fades.:confused:

KarenU
01-28-2003, 10:14 AM
Amazing :eek:

llis
01-28-2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by doe
What an unusual recipe. The Whiting is calcium carbonate, it's an ingredient for mixing glazes and clay bodies in pottery (another one of my activities.) I've heard of using zinc oxide and kaolin sometimes so maybe whiting is ok too. The thing I am most suspect of is the house paint pigments because every paint I've ever used on my house fades.:confused:

I did a little research on this back in 2000 and found that precipitated chalk, which is the ingredient true pastels are made from, comes in many grades. Some grades have lots of fillers in them and are not archival. Amazingly, the highest grade of precipitated chalk (synthetic chalk) is made for use by pharmacies who still make their own mixes to fill special prescriptions. Precipitated chalk is a synthetic chalk.

Calcium carbonate, also sometimes labeled as precipitated chalk, comes from many sources...like earth chalk, limestone, marble and sea shells. Because of the many sources of calcium carbonate, the whiteness of the powder varies a lot...thus the reason to use synthetic chalk in making pastels professionally. Calcium carbonate is the same thing that Tums are made of, so one could assume that you could use a Tum to make a pastel...LOL .

The whiting you speak of contains lots of fillers and is not regulated, so you never know how much filler you will get vs. the calcium carbonate. Also, you will not know the true source of the calcium carbonate, so the next time you make a batch, your results might be a lot different.

It is interesting to read that the lady uses house paint pigments. I really don't see where this would be a big problem because pigment is pigment. The only thing about it is that you don't know how much filler is in the house pigments you purchase either. As an interesting side note... I painted a pineapple for my mother when I was 16 and used house paints because we just couldn't afford anything else. That painting still looks as good today as the day I finished it. The big thing with house paint fading is sunlight and weather, I suppose.

Bottom line, if you want a quality product, use quality materials. If you are interested in making handmade pastels, take a look at this article I did back in 2000. You will see that it really is an easy thing to do... but quite messy. :)

Making Handmade Pastels (http://www.wetcanvas.com/ArtSchool/Pastels/MakingPastels/)

jimb
01-28-2003, 05:09 PM
Illis,
I have a bag of marble dust that I'm trying to find a good use for. Would this work as well as precipitated chalk? It's artist quality (Fredrix I think) and near as I can tell, it's 100% calcium carbonate. What do you think?

llis
01-28-2003, 05:27 PM
Sure could not hurt to try. Marble dust is also good to make pastel grounds for painting. Take some marbel dust and add some acrylic medium to make your own gesso. Then take the mixture and brush it on some pastel paper like Canson or old watercolor paper. Be sure to stretch the paper on a flat surface first. I've found that if you stetch the paper, then apply the guesso/marble dust mixture, it really gives a flat surface with a bit of tooth to it that I think you will like using your pastels on. Brush the mixture one way and then rotate and brush the other way to take out some of the brush marks.

I even tried taking a rolling pin and dusting it with marble dust then rolling it over my wet marble dust/acrylic gesso painted surface. Sometimes this worked and sometimes it just pulled the grains of dust up too much. I think it has something to do with the degree of wetness and take practice to find the right time to roll.

KarenU
01-28-2003, 08:44 PM
Not to get this thead off course, but where does one find marble dust? I could only find pumice, and I don't think it is the same thing.

CarlyHardy
01-28-2003, 09:41 PM
Dick Blick carries Fredrix Powdered Marble Dust (4 lb) is $3.39

Probably other online suppliers have it too.
carly

KarenU
01-28-2003, 09:50 PM
Thanks Carly! :D