Developments (DoL)

So, what is going on with this piece?

On returning from Ireland, I was hoping the silver would have darkened for me. Two weeks usually gives me some changes in value. I have used chalk gesso for silverpoint before, but this time things seemed slow. Silver oxidation is dependent on many factors, including environment and weather, but this area of the country has never let me down, as the air pollution and humidity always seem to work with me on this.

The surface also seems less able to handle the thinner silver stylus I use for fine detail. It seems to gouge the surface more easily.

I reviewed the formula of the gesso from my old notebook, and I think I have found the issue. The development of a panel for iconography includes an increase in the ratio of the rabbitskin glue solution to the chalk every three layers. The top layers have a thinner consistency, with more glue, allowing for a smoother surface for sanding. This may decrease the ability of the surface to pull silver from the stylus.

Panels I prepare for silverpoint are rarely covered with more than 3-4 layers of sanded or textured gesso, and I do not decrease the ratio of glue. There is more chalk, and more substance to the layering.

So what do I do?

First, the silver is darkening, it is just taking longer, so I need to work up the colors and be patient. This one may take longer than anticipated and may not be ready for the June show. Second, I need to work up my design in a more stylized fashion, with fewer details than I wanted.

I also need to start up another piece to keep me from fussing too much with this one.

Enjoy the opening act of ‘A Pookah Encountered on the Spiral Path’



This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 06:38 and is filed under Daughter of Lir. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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