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Re: Starch Pastes

Dear Stephanie and fellow booklovers,

You wrote: >Your observation about the varied types and characteristics of
pastes is
>SOOO true!  I "was raised" on wheat starch pastes (both western and the
>Japanese precipitated types), but know that book folks often use rice starch
>pastes instead.  I found rice starch pastes to be so incredibly tacky, thick
>and sticky no matter how I proportion the water or how I cooked or strained
>the paste.  The few I played around with had totally different physical
>characteristics than the wheat starch pastes I was familiar with.
>What are the paste characteristics that you like to use or prefer when
>working with books?  Do you have a preference for wheat or starch pastes and

I mainly use wheat starch paste, out of convenience more than anything, and
because my mentors (Martha Cole, Betsy Palmer Eldridge) have influenced me.
I buy precipitated wheat starch at my local health food store, and sometimes
at the aisan market.  I find the wheat starch from the aisan market to be
stickier than the health food store brand.  I like a paste that is smooth
and not too *gluey*.  I often re-blend my paste in my food processor with a
small amount of warm water if it has coagulated too much over night, or
after a day or two of use.

I usually make small batches unless I am going to make up some paste
decorated papers or use it to mount fabric.  I have done the microwave
method, but I find the consistency of the paste a bit different compaired to
the double boiler or low heat method. I have an electric stove, so I often
cook my paste over low heat on the stove, which is faster than the double
boiler method.  I wouldn't try this on a gas stove.

I have used both rice and corn starches when I had run out of wheat starch,
but I don't use them often.  The proportions of starch to water are quite
different and I haven't found the perfect recipe, so I mainly stick with
wheat starch.  I do recall the rice starch being very *gluey*.  The corn
starch was more similar to wheat starch.

I certainly don't consider myself an expert, but these methods work well for
me, and I'm happy with the books I make using them.



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