WTH is Plasticene?

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by herb, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    Was just reading a good book written in UK about Master Class in B/W printing, and they talk about putting "plasticene" on a wire to use as a doging tool.

    Being in redneck country, we do not have a clue as to what that is, or what could be a substitute.

    Brits of the world, arise to the occasion!

    Give us poor colonials the answer!
     
  2. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    Plasticene

    oops, dodging, not doging
     
  3. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    it's oil based clay... you can shape a wad of it, and stick onto the end of your dodging tool, and change the shape. It has the benefit of mot drying out very easily, so you can change its shape easily.
     
  4. rorye

    rorye Subscriber

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    Fun tack!
     
  5. canuhead

    canuhead Member

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    Kinda like Silly Putty but firmer. Or like plumber putty but less messy, play doh like shapeability. Good idea for odd shapes. Must try next time I'm in the dark.
     
  6. mabman

    mabman Member

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    As someone from The Colonies (aka Canada), growing up we used the brand name "Play Doh" as a synonym for the more generic "plasticene". Not sure if that's available in your area, either, though.

    Basically if kept covered it's a non-toxic re-shapable clay-like substance that kids play with, and make various structures and basically whatever you want to do. It will dry out eventually, but if you cover it when not in use it lasts indefinitely. It does come in a variety of colours, for b&w dodging that probably doesn't matter too much :smile:

    I have no idea if there's a more generic analog - modeling clay, maybe? Never used it, so I'm not sure.

    EDIT: Darn, beaten to the punch :smile:
     
  7. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Go to the hardware store and buy some rope caulking; it works very well for that very purpose and it's cheap.

    Chuck
     
  8. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

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    And I always thought it was something porter's were made from, with looking glass eyes....must be a generational thing.


    erie
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2007
  9. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    Or perhaps it's all the LSD used by that generation?

    By the way, it's "looking glass ties".
     
  10. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    You had a seriously deprived childhood! Plasticene of many colours was a favourite in kindergartens across Australia. My parents were teachers so there was always buckets of the stuff lying around in my youth. (I'm sure there is a US equivalent with a different name.) Think of a less sticky version of Blu-Tack which by the way is also a good alternative for shaping a small dodging tool.
     
  11. John Tonai

    John Tonai Member

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    I remember awhile ago when a student kept having faint, white fingerprints on her prints. I told him to wash her hands because she may have had some lotion or other oil on them. But no matter how many times she did this, she still got fingerprints.

    Then I saw her using her dodging tool with plasticene on it. (Her father told her about that handy hint.) She was reshaping the tool or just touching it every time and that was depositing oil on them.

    Once I figured it out, the fingerprints disappeared.
     
  12. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Yes, I remember quite fondly playing with plasticine, in fact I purchased a box of plasticine for all of my sisters children as they were growing up.

    This is the correct spelling, I looked at a box of it in the darkroom.

    Mick.
     
  13. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Plasticine is a wonderful tool in the studio too, I use it to hold the props when table top shooting or temporarily fixing any kind things...
     
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  15. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    Check this link for a little history on plasticine.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasticine

    Seems to be more common in Commonwealth countries. We used it a lot when we were kids before play-doh arrived on the scene.

    Gord
     
  16. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    Gromit and Gumby

    Surely someone watches Wallace and Gromit.

    Cheers,
    Clarence

    I once had an employee who appeared at her job interview wearing a Gumby University T-shirt. She got the job.
     
  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    We used to get it in a flat packet with 1" strips of various colours. The first thing my brother and myself would do though is mix it all together until it was a uniform brown colour then make model snakes out of it.


    Steve.
     
  18. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    It was "plasticene" in Canada when I was a kid, pre-"pleistocene".
     
  19. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

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    Plasticene is modelling clay in the US. It also comes in 1inch square strips in various colours(red yellow blue green). The stuff of dinosaur dioramas and stuff like that. Some of the colours seem to stain quite badly too besides being oily so I'm not sure if I'd want the stuff around.

    Signed,

    the US expat living in the UK.
     
  20. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    I remember doing the same. Rolling it on a flat surface and creating a really sharp pointy end was popular. Also making handlebar moustaches and walking around with them wedged between the top lip and nose. Cutting it into slices with a wooden ruler etc. etc. I seem to recall it coming in packets shaped a bit like crayons in Australia?
    Gee, if only we had been brought up with a PS2, imagine how much more creative and well-adjusted we would be today!
     
  21. herb

    herb Subscriber

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    WTH is Plasticene

    Thanks guys-I was in the era (WWII) when playdoh was not in my childhood, however we did have something called modeling clay.
     
  22. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Modeling clay(platiscene) has the advantage of not drying out like Play-doh. Most craft shops like Hobby Lobby or Michels have it.
     
  23. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Ah Plasticine. I must have bought or had bought for me about 10 tons of it in the late 40s/early 50s.Probably ingested a fair bit as well and still alive. It came in several colours but by the time I had constructed the Mona Lisa or the bust of Plato it all ended up mixing into a uniform grey. Always a few sticks in a Xmas stocking. Available from any Woolworth's store and all good modelling shops. In the dark winter nights it was my main source of amusement and education. That and Dick Barton Special Agent on the wireless. Anybody old UK APUGers remember Dick Barton?

    Anyway back to the subject. Good as plasticine was for modelling, I'd use what in the UK is described as Blu-tack. It's an office supplymaterial, used to stick cards and paper to walls or boards but which is easily taken off without leaving any residue. It's non oily and can easily be modelled to any shape. It's especially good for small dodging when placed on the end of a paperclip or other wire.

    pentaxuser
     
  24. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    This is all quite interesting but here is one thing overlooked here....

    During the war, we had plasticene envelopes due to a paper shortage. Now this obviously could not be the plastic material described so far. Plasticene in one form was thin and translucent or in another form white and opaque. It gradually stiffened with time and would eventually disintegrate when flexed. It would shatter into little flakes. I can rememeber that they resembled snowflakes.

    Anyone remember plasticene envelopes?

    PE
     
  25. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Glassine Bags or envelopes.

    Basically wax paper.

    My Grandfather was a stamp dealer (philatelist) and these were used to keep stamps in upon sale so they would stay dry.

    Still in production: http://www.google.com/products?hl=en&resnum=0&q=glassine+bags&um=1&ie=UTF-8

    BTW: they were the packaging of choice by, amongst others, heroin dealers - until the introduction of plastic "baggies" in the 1970's. :D
     
  26. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    George;

    Yes and no. Wax paper is way more stable and pliable I think than the plasticene that I remember from the 40s.

    IDK for sure.

    PE