Before I begin I must state that this mixture has been created to suit ‘my personal requirements’ as a ‘hybrid’ plaster and pulp medium created by myself to suite ‘my own’ current mould casting requirements that retains connections to the art form ‘paper mache’ with current use again by myself within liquid latex moulds, but has a high potential for other uses too.
Whilst this is far from a new creation in its main ‘descriptive’ form it is fair to mention that the Victorians used similar medium to create cornices and other decorative wall mouldings. However it must also be pointed out at this time that the Victorians also used slightly different recipes along with huge hydraulic machine presses to create these mouldings.
My medium allows artists wishing to create art forms using pre-made purchased or self ‘home made moulds’ and also potential use as both a bulking medium or free sculpting medium on or over existing or self made free standing armatures.
Throughout this document I shall include the recipe and method used to create this medium. Please note the recipe given is as ‘I personally’ designed and have farther enhanced this being version 2.6. I shall also include all known ‘issues’ with this medium known ‘to me’ at this time from my own usage within such boundaries as well as any alterations ‘other’ users may find to potentially work when modifying this medium to better suit ‘they’re own’ requirements. In the matter of altering the given recipe to suite ‘other users’ requirements I limit my information to known working formulae discovered by my own usage and experimentation. Anyone wishing to use this medium outside the given known and working area’s listed by myself run a high probability of encountering unknown issues that I have not accounted for as ‘other artists’ uses may well be outside my personal range of intended uses and therefore I may or may not have answers to any such issues that potentially arise. I shall however attempt to assist in any issues other artists encounter if and when I can.
Whilst i will be only too happy to assist where i can with unexpected issues that may develop after alteration of my original recipe for this medium and any uses not listed as tried andtested by myself. Please understand i cannot see (hands on) or know the limitations or effects of brand or none branded materials 'you' may be using in both the preparation of this medium nor the materials you intend to use this medium with/on especially if these relate to other countries and materials found there that potentially differ from those 'I used' here in the UK.
The medium i have created that i have called WHITE MATTER V2.6© works based on materials and working conditions relevant to the
. Whilst using this medium 'please' take into account of the potential differences in materials etc relevant to 'your’ country/regions when casting judgment on my efforts and creation. Thank you. UK
Makes 3.2lb/1.5kg batch size
6 ounces/1.25gms wet tissue pulp.
12 ounces/3.50gms white plaster of Paris.
4 ounces/100gms (NOT FLUID OUNCES) PURE PVA (white latex based) glue.
30 fluid ounces cold or tepid (room temperature) water.
Create your tissue pulp as you would normally do so. I used the cheapest tissue I could find as this breaks down much easier to a finer pulp. You can even do this by hand with nothing more than a house hold utensil such as a large fork.
Drain the freshly created pulp for 1 hour in a sieve/colander etc. The pulp should be visibly ‘wet’ but not dripping wet when handled in the palm of your hand.
Measure out ALL the required ingredients and place to one side in ‘separate’ containers.
Place the tissue pulp, PVA glue and water in a suitably sized mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly until you are sure the ingredients are mixed as thoroughly as possible.
Slowly add the plaster and again mix as thoroughly as you can. Continue until ALL the plaster has been added. Mix for around one minute or so to ensure the ingredients HAVE been mixed throughout as much as possible. Failure to do so can promote hard unworkable plaster lumps in the mixture later. These ‘may’ promote premature curing of the medium in random clusters and also create week regions in a project when used.
STEP 6: Use as intended. In the listed formulae above the medium is designed as a pouring/spreading (soft brush or spatula) medium for moulding. For uses in ‘slip moulding’ or ‘free hand sculpting’ read on.
KNOWN MATERIALS THAT IT WILL BOND TO
By this I mean materials WHITE MATTER V2.6© is known by myself at this time to readily bond with. Such materials and uses then include: Whilst repairing existing projects or existing or self made armature forms either for use as a light weight ‘bulking’ material or as a free hand sculpting material. Also in this respect I imply ‘absorbent’ or ‘porous’ un-treated un-finished ‘none polished’ surfaces which will produce a firmer more lasting bond.
Paper ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Card stock ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Wood ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Dried pure plasters ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Dried White Matter© ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Cloth/fabrics ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Foam Firm open pour none smooth like surfaced types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Clay ALL types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
Stone/Brick Including natural & man made forms. Open pour none smooth like surfaced types untreated (none glossy painted, varnish finish, waxed, laminated surface, plastic coated surface etc type) ALL thicknesses. Note potentially ALL thicknesses with limitations involving thinner samples respectfully.
WORKING TIME/SHELF LIFE
The current and previous versions of WHITE MATTER V2.6© created using the listed materials and method had an on-going working time of some 10 plus hours (viability as yet undetermined beyond this time frame) when left standing in an open bowl or plastic container (bag) in a moderately cold to cool working environment between 20/30 degrees centigrade approximately. Experimental batch Version 2.0 was also stored in a sealed plastic bag over night (some twelve hours or so) in a refrigerator. Batch version 2.0 then went on to being used even after being left in an open plastic bowl for the remainder of the day some eight hours or so later when the remains of the medium where used successfully in assorted latex moulds.
I suspect that WHITE MATTER V2.6© can potentially be stored in either an air reduced plastic bag or closed plastic food storage container for several days perhaps a week or more. The limitations of such storage times are yet to be tested. As are the viability of further working with WHITE MATTER V2.6© after being subjected to these time frames of cold storage. I will be testing other temperature and storage limits too at a later time.
WORKING WITH MOULDS
In the original un-altered listed medium form. I can confirm that working with plastic or liquid latex moulds you should experience little to no issues with this medium bonding with the mould surfaces. Even though PURE PVA glue which is latex based WILL bond to latex mould forms (or others potentially) WHITE MATTER V2.6© will not bond to none branded liquid latex mould forms.
As for ‘other’ moulding materials I have no working experiences so can not comment at this stage when using WHITE MATTER V2.6©. Information given by ‘other’ artists using a variant of this recipe, have experienced no issues with using silicon moulding form that I know of. I do not know the brand of the used silicon mould medium how ever.
OTHER WAYS TO USE WHITE MATTER V2.6©
In the current listed prepared form WHITE MATTER V2.6© as was created and intended for can simply be poured, brushed or ‘pushed’ using a spatula into a latex mould of course.
I am currently toying with the theory that WHITE MATTER V2.6© can potentially be watered down and then in a ‘slip’ form be used in ‘slip casting’ should the user have access to as well as experience with at home slip casting moulds. I have an idea to text this theory later. Otherwise this remains a working theory only at this time.
Existing ‘un-decorated’ none painted varnished or other forms of surface treated pure plaster forms can be ‘added to or even repaired with varying success depending on the nature and extent of the damage using WHITE MATTER V2.6©. As with ALL such damage and repairs of course WHITE MATTER V2.6© is not without its own limitations.
Newly moulded forms using, either pure plaster, clay, paper clays and of course WHITE MATTER V2.6©. Can be readily joined and or sculpted over with WHITE MATTER V2.6© with a strong and lasting result. Of course I repeat WHITE MATTER V2.6© will have related limitations in this procedure. This is something how ever subject to ongoing experimentation by the user.
White matter can be readily sculpted over many of the above listed under the heading: KNOWN MATERIALS IT WILL BOND TO. How ever to free sculpt on or over a pre-designed armature etc some ‘slight’ modifications are required first. WHITE MATTER V2.6© In its current form is a ‘flowing medium’ best suited for use in moulds specifically. To alter this medium to make it more user friendly as a free sculpting medium you ‘must’ thicken the medium first.
WARNING: This WILL dramatically reduce the working life from 10+ hours to anything from 2 to 15 minutes. When doing this it IS advised that you create & work with small batches of around 2 to 4 ounces which will be easier to use up before the medium cures (hardens).
To do this:
1: Reduce the amount of curing retardant (the PVA glue) levels.
2: In some cases depending on ‘your’ batch size and current alterations made to ‘your’ batch increase the plaster content slightly.
Carrying out steps 1, 2 or both together will dramatically change in accordance to ‘your’ working batch sizes. Trial and error are the main rules in this case. Not knowing what batch sizes ‘others’ will be working with I can not know how much you would require to vary steps 1, 2 or both together. This you will have to discover yourself.
GENERAL WORKING RULES AND CONDTITIONS
Whilst my listed recipe is for an extremely large batch the following rules and conditions will also be relevant and ‘apply’ to ‘your own’ smaller batches equally once you establish a working combination. It is advisable that you take note of these rules and conditions. Failure to do so at ‘best’ will result in failed mediums and wasted materials at ‘worst’ could result in an accident, damage to personal property or ‘yourself’ or ‘others’ present.
1: Room temperature variations WILL increase or decrease mixed batches working life from the moment you make up a batch ‘regardless’ of the batch size.
2: Varying recipes that differ from the original ‘listed’ batch recipe given above WILL have different working and storage life times. As these WILL vary from personal user requirements batch sizes and recipe amounts during creation I can not therefore know or list what other working or storage life times may then be in effect.
3: It IS advisable that you leave the medium in the moulds until you are sure the medium is cured sufficiently before de-moulding. You can (with practice) de-mould once the medium feels hard within the mould. De-moulding times WILL vary from recipe to recipe and batch sizes. With practice you will discover the relevant times for ‘your’ own recipes and batches to allow de-moulding.
4: Air drying IS advised at all times. Drying times WILL vary from recipe to recipe, batch sizes and room temperature.
5: Only attempt to speed up drying times ‘after de-moulding’ then it IS advised that you do so ONLY by placing ‘near’ or ‘on’ a hot radiator for several hours or overnight. At this stage the medium should be adequately dried to handle the process.
NEVER attempt to speed up the drying process by placing moulded or de-moulded projects in a conventional or microwave oven. There WILL be trapped air within the drying medium.
6: Colour can be added to the medium during the mixing process by use of ready made tempura (water based) paints. Whilst these paints contain water it is a small amount. This combined with the fact only small amounts of such paints will be required to colour individual batches the water content in the paints should not adversely effect your altered recipes.
7: Adding oil based paints or other mediums during mixing WILL affect a recipe. These effects may potentially include: Drying times, bonding, working life and storage life.
8: You can paint finished dried projects with any paint types you wish. This includes use of sealer or varnish mediums too.
9: WHITE MATTER© (ALL versions) when mixed in the correct working combinations IS an extremely strong, hard and very versatile medium. It looks and feels like pure plaster but due to varying tissue pulp levels incorporated during mixing can be many times lighter in weight. It MUST also be noted that whilst it is very strong and hard a set back to adding any pulp medium to plaster WILL dramatically reduce the medium in comparison to pure plaster which in itself has its own strength issues. It is therefore NOT a plaster substitute or replacement. It is simply a paper mache ‘hybrid’ medium. It should also ONLY be treated and respected as such at ALL times.
ALL original contents of this document including ALL references and relevant context in relation to ALL versions of the above listed medium here in described as and listed as a ‘hybrid’ plaster and tissue pulp sculpting medium also otherwise known as White Matter© as listed within this document remain the property of J Jones.
The contents of ‘this’ document may be: added to, altered with intentions of updating or improving facts, figures or methodology at any time without any prior notice. The contents of this document are hereby FREE to be ‘used’ both in the ‘original’ state and as with intentions to create ‘new’ versions of the medium known as White Matter©. The original documentation shown here may NOT be altered in anyway without permission from Mr J Jones
©20/02/11 J Jones.