Friday, March 16, 2012

Washing Linseed Oil

For some time I have been following the work Tad Spurgeon. His work is so deep, so comprehensive, that I ask that if you're at all interested as an oil painter, to do check out his site. I can't begin to describe his extensive research. There is also lots of wonderful and interestingly narrated paintings.

Over the past few months I've been assembling the ingredients and containers to try my hand at washing linseed oil. Swimming pool filter sand is hard to come by when the snow flies! Not shown is the linseed oil but you can check it out here. For information on Tad's thoughts on oil and its washing, see this.

Marble dust, half gallon mason canning jar, pool filter sand, salt.

I mixed these ingredients:
  • 2 cups linseed oil
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon marble dust (150-300µ)
and shook them up. This is what it looks like right after shaking. Within a minute the sand begins falling. Next the oil begins to rise, the salt water to clear.

Right after being shaken.
Upon resting overnight, the separation is complete. After taking this photo, I removed the oil and restarted the process with the very same oil. After three washings with the above ingredients, there will be water and sand only washings to flush out the salt.

Overnight rest.
I am so excited to finally be at this point! Watch over the next few days as this cloudy orange oil becomes transparent, brighter and yellower. Well, that's the plan any way. :-)

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