Yet MORE Adventures in Wet Plate - Making Varnish
by, 03-11-2008 at 06:25 AM (1156 Views)
Well, I got some glassware together and had my chemistry in order, so I made my varnish last night. What a pain in the ass! Gum sandarac takes forever to dissolve - I spent over an hour and a half stirring it in alcohol to get it dissolved. Of course, this also involved filtering the varnish almost a dozen times to get all the debris out - gum sandarac is a natural resin from a tree, and it gets bark and dirt and sometimes even insects trapped in it that all have to be filtered out before you can use the varnish. There's a synthetic varnish you can get (whose vendor I can't find) that eliminates a lot of these problems - supposedly it dissolves much faster, and it has no dirt, bark and bugs in it. If I ever find the stuff, I'll post it here to add to my list of suppliers. On the upside, now all the fingernails on my left hand have a nice shine to them.