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Re: Using improvised materials

>... I am interested in using blood as a
Robyn Sassen writes:

>...I am interested in using blood as a medium in a book which I am
>making.... >the areas I would like to investigate are :

>1  Colour - the way it will change when wet, when dry.
>2  Olfactory quality
>3  Speed of drying and the use of anti-coagulant
>4  Coagulating quality - how it will dry on paper, on gelutong wood..

Color - well, only you will see the change. And, in the work I've done
using blood it comes out looking like dried blood - pretty much. It may
flake off the surface you put it on. When I put blood on linen, it dried,
rusted and dusted off when touched. So, you might want to add gum arabic to
the blood for adhesion. If you want to play with color, and maybe not use
gum, try some of the traditional dyeing mordants - alum, for instance.
Remember that since it's got lots of iron, it will rust and, depending on
your substrate - it may "burn" through.

Olfactory - the smell will only last a little while after it dries. When
writing with blood, I noticed that it didn't smell much after a few hours.
Even strong smelling liquids like garlic juice become oderless in about a
week. But it's good and sticky - great for writing and then gilding.

I didn't try getting an anti-coagulant, maybe you could get one so that, in
a vacuum, the blood stays liquid - that'd be juicy, wouldn't it?

Coagulating quality - If you want to paint or write with it, just add water
- or use it as soon as you get it/bleed it. Any thing over an ounce will
stay liquid for a while - it's the air (I think) that makes it coagulate.
My memory is that you don't want a puddle - it will "fall" like a casserole
if you touch it when it's dry. You could add a gesso and make a bloody
fresco, but again, I don't know how it will react in suspension with the

Good Luck!
Nicholas Yeager

Nicholas G. Yeager * Artifex Librorum * 51 Warren St. #2 * New York, NY 10007
212.346.9609 email:artifex@xxxxxxxxxxxx *** Luxury, rather than necessity
is the mother of invention - Henry Petroski *** And laziness is the father

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