The Earth Reliant Artist

Trace Willans All Natural Mixed Media

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Experiments with Alternate Grounds

I live a long way from shops
and I do a lot via the internet
and the postal service
But I really like to find alternatives
to do things myself
so as I have to buy whiting
a form of calcium carbonate used to make
traditional gesso
I thought I might have a play 
with alternatives

The first two samples
are cuttlefish bone ground in a mortar and pestle
this is mixed with rabbit skin glue

* glue mix

this is chicken bones 
that were loose in the fire overnight
in the morning they were a lovely soft white
crushed in a mortar and pestle
top with rabbitskin glue on fabric
below with the glue mix*

The next two samples 
are made with shell nacre
I found if I heat it with the blow torch 
it separates and becomes very brittle
and easy to break up
it is then crushed in a mortar and pestle
again the top is rabbitskin glue on fabric
and below is Glue mix

This is cuttlefish and rabbitskin glue
which has then been printed with egg yolk
and then dipped in Purple Carrot
and Bloodroot, both dissolved in methylated spirit

the glue used through out to stick down the pieces
is skim milk powder and water

*Glue mix consists of equal parts 
white sugar and white flour
mixed with water
Normally this would be cooked
But I did not do that 
this time

I will repeat this experiment
but next time
I will use my studio spice grinder 
for a finer result
I also now have a darker bone powder
made by enclosing the bones in a tin
and therefore excluding the air
before placing in the fire

and questions
or feedback
please leave a comment

x te


Velma Bolyard said...

golly, trace! what amazing stuff, as usual.
you will laugh--i don't know what a cuttlefish is (yes, i could look it up and may after this) but i get such a kick out of the word. it's a good one.

Trace Willans said...

You don't know what cuttlefish is!!!!!!! Wow, I always find it fascinating when people don't know something that is so familiar to yourself. A cuttlefish is a cephlapod most closely related to squid.
It doesn't have bones and when it dies it leaves behind something that looks a lot like a small surfboard, here in Oz we put them in our birdcages for birds to peck at, we grind them up and put them in the chicken food. The beaches are littered with them especially down where I am, straight off the Southern Ocean. I shall put in a link