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What kind of alcohol do I use for pigments?
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Author:  Dave's email inbox [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:34 am ]
Post subject:  What kind of alcohol do I use for pigments?

My second question concerns dry pigments.  I am going to prepare some with alcohol as you instruct.  As the pigments I have are a fine powder, I presume I can  skip the grinding step?  And, you said you use  pure alcohol from the pharmacy.  Is this denatured rubbing alcohol which is methyl (or isopropyl)  alcohol and different chemically than the ethyl alcohol we drink?  Or is it pure ethyl alcohol like "Everclear" you are using?   Is the alcohol a preservative?  I've only got rum, red wine, and beer  (there is no liquor store here though I can order some from Juneau and have it flown out or much easier and inexpensively, go raid my friends' supply, though sake might be a little hard to find here )  Hopefully the methyl is OK.  They have it at our general store.

Author:  David Bull [ Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of alcohol do I use for pigments?

Quote:
As the pigments I have are a fine powder, I presume I can  skip the grinding step?

I suppose so ... the only purpose of the grinding is to break up lumps that would come out onto the block later ...

Quote:
And, you said you use  pure alcohol from the pharmacy. ...
 I've only got rum, red wine, and beer

Wine and beer are too 'watery'. I don't have any experience drinking rum so I can't say. Just try a bit. The idea is to act as a kind of 'surfactant' and break down the tension on the grains, so that they will not just float on top of the water when you blend them. Printers here use a dash of o-sake ...

I use the pure alcohol because I don't want any sugary residue left behind ... I doubt that this is important though, considering how much gelatin and stuff is in the paper already from the sizing ...

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