Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gum Tragacanth

There's to be pastel work in the upcoming Cornell course. So with all these wonderful dry pigments here, I figured why not try whipping up my own pastels. My latest Kremer order arrived today with, as well as a couple of new earths, a 100 gram bag of Gum Tragacanth.

Gum Tragacanth is a popular binder material for pastel making. The standard starter recipe is 1 part gum tragacanth to 30 parts distilled water. This evening's batch was 1 tablespoon to 15 ounces or, in metric, 15 ml to 450 ml.

Adding the gum to the water didn't lead to any immediate dilution.

And stirring only seemed to get clumps stuck all over the spoon. I'm reading that it can take up to two days for the gum to dissolve and form a gel. The mix should be refrigerated during this time. And that's where this is now at. Tomorrow we will take a peek at the expected progress. And by then, I should have some direction on next steps.

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