Sizing with Gamblin PVA

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by sdivot, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Hi,
    Anyone use this product as a sizing for gum prints? I do 3 color gums as well as gumovers, and was wondering if this will work as well as using gelatin with formalin as a hardener. I've been using gelatin with formalin. It works well, but I always dread the the whole sizing thing. Someone over at Hybrid photo uses the PVA and it works well for him.
    Health issues are a concern for me as well. Anyone, anyone?
    Thanks,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    PVA is the new rabbitskin glue in the painter's world, used to size canvas before applying Gesso. It isn't hydroscopic (doesn't absorb water) and allows a good bond with either the acrylic or traditional oil gesso layer. I haven't used it for alternative processes, but I wouldn't worry too much about the health issues with PVA. It is basically highly refined Elmer's glue.

    Of course you may have an allergic reaction that I have never seen, but I don't know of any health issues with PVA.
     
  3. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    I have to say, I don't know why more people don't use this method for sizing their paper. If there is a reason, please respond and let me know. I am using this PVA now and it works great! It sinks into the paper without leaving any shine or residue or anything I can see. And it's archival.
    It sizes very well for multiple gum printing. I haven't yet used it for gumover platinum, but I can't foresee a problem at all.
    I was using gelatin sizing with formalin as a hardener. I hated it! It was probably more paranoia than anything, since the amount of formaldehyde used was small. But with my existing health issues, I have always been leery of using it.
    Currently, I use Gamblin PVA diluted 1:2
    Now I feel liberated! If anyone else has experience with this , please let me know.
    Thanks,
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  4. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Steve...

    Beautiful images on your site!

    How are you sizing? By brush or floating?

    I haven't done this before but would like to know...

    Thanks!
     
  5. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    I either brush on the PVA, or if it is a large area I use a roller.
    Thanks for the compliment!
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  6. bnstein

    bnstein Member

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    Does anyone know if this will work with carbon?
     
  7. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Steve, do I understand you correctly in that the Gamblin PVA does not need sizing?
     
  8. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    The Gamblin PVA is the sizing. It is applied to the paper, dried, and ready to print with your alt. process of choice.
    I've never printed carbon, so I can't answer that question. I would think that any process that uses gelatin/formalin (or any of the other hardeners available) would work with PVA. Not sure though.
    Steve
    www.scdowellphoto.com
     
  9. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    What's special about the Gamblin PVA versus normal PVA glues? Is it just a brand name? I thought PVA was fairly standard across the board.
     
  10. Jerevan

    Jerevan Subscriber

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    Sorry Steve - I meant to ask whether the Gamblin PVA would need hardening to be used in multiple printing...
     
  11. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Heather,
    Gamblin is the brand name. There may be no difference from any other brand.
    The PVA does not need hardening. It is not water soluble.
     
  12. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    PVA is a pretty standard glue, I was just wondering if it was anything special. From googling, it doesn't sound like it's different to any other PVA glue. I think it is slightly water soluble even when dried. We used PVA on some wood to try to protect it from a fountain on stage and it went slightly milky when it got wet (when it dried completely clear).
     
  13. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    This discussion is somewhat confusing because it's mixing up two different things which unfortunately go by the same initials. PVA=polyvinyl Alcohol is soluble in water when brushed out thin and dried, and for that reason can be used as the colloid in dichromated colloid processes like gum printing. PVA=polyvinyl Acetate, while it can be mixed with water, is not soluble in water when brushed out thin and dried, and that's why it works for a sizing without requiring hardening. I understand it's more complicated than this if you want to get really technical chemically, but this soluble/insoluble distinction of the dried film is a good enough distinction for our purposes.

    I made the mistake once when I bought something labeled PVA Glue, intending to use it to test some things about printing with PVAlcohol as the colloid rather than gum, but it turned out I'd unwittingly bought polyvinyl acetate rather than polyvinyl alcohol, and it didn't work at all for the purpose I'd intended. I haven't seen that bottle lately; I hope I didn't toss it, because now I'd like to try it for sizing, per Steve. So I'd suggest that you double-check the label if you want to try this with a different brand than the Gamblin specified here.
    Katharine
     
  14. Katharine Thayer

    Katharine Thayer Member

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    Question

    Well, I can't seem to find my polyvinyl acetate, so I guess I must have tossed it, thinking I'd have no further use for it. Moral: Never Throw Anything Away!

    I've been searching online, and I find two different products listed: Gamlin PVA Glue, and Gamlin PVA Size. Which one are you using? Also, the 1:2 dilution; I'm assuming that's with water?

    I've been experimenting with printing on masa paper, which is frustrating but interesting, and I suspect it would be easier sizing the paper with PVA than with gelatin. Thanks,
    Katharine
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2008
  15. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I encountered PVA in bookbinding class and I have come to use it for a variety of things pretty much anything that needs gluing. One thing you can do with it is use it like a brush on dry mount material. So you can drymount easily very small things and the PVA will smooth out with heat.

    The bottle I have on hand now is by Lineco and is for bookbinding. I went recently into one art store where the salesman told me that elmer's glue is PVA and that is what they carried. Gamblins is just a very high quality brand. I was not aware of the two types PVA, I only knew of the Acetate.

    I am interested in this sizing with PVA and I would like to try it. I am guessing that you need to dilute it and put the paper into it rather than brush it. I would think that brushing would be problematic with an uneven build up from brush strokes causing streaks.
    Dennis
     
  16. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    Steve - I tried Gamblin PVA for sizing several years ago. It didn't work very well for me, but I didn't test it extensively. I still prefer gelatin & formaldehyde.
     
  17. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    I also tried PVA for gum printing. The surface was too sized, and the gum layer just sort of slid off whole during development. I guess you could probably dilute it even more than the 1:5 that I tried, but like Kerik, I have found gelatin and formaldehyde to work with very few problems, so I didn't investigate any further. The initial test was such a disaster that I had to laugh.
     
  18. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Kerik and Clay,
    I haven't used it yet for gumovers, but for three color gum it seems to be working great. Take a look at my website. All of the Italy prints (there are only 4 so far) were sized with the Gamblin PVA. As you guys know, I had a lung transplant 6 months ago, so I'm just spooked by the formalin. I'm willing to use it after masking and gloving up. But I'd rather find a suitable alternative. Early results tell me I may have found it.
    Steve
    ps: Clay, update your website! :surprised:)
     
  19. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Katharine,
    I'm using Gamblin PVA SIZE
     
  20. clay

    clay Subscriber

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    That is great it is working for you. Are you diluting it at all?
     
  21. sdivot

    sdivot Subscriber

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    Clay,
    I'm diluting it with water 1:2. No particular reason, just a starting point that worked.
    Katharine pointed out that there are two different types: PVA glue and PVA size. Did you use the glue or size when you tried it before? I'm using the size. I have to give credit to Jim Larimer over at Hybridphoto.com for turning me on to this stuff. He uses it full strength though.