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Re: Electric paste pot!?

At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur (which I am fast becoming) cooking
wheat starch paste by hand in my stainless steel double boiler is a task
which still pleases me.  It takes me away from the bench/telephone/computer
and forces me to slow down while I focus on feeling the starch and water
slurry slowly thicken to a maximum and then begin to thin out as the
membranes surrounding the starch particles begin to burst.

After pouring the cooked wheat starch paste into a container of water,
assisted by the wooden paddle which I used to stir the paste, I wash the
implements and work a finger-full of paste between my fingers and that
tells me much about the quality of the particular batch of paste (there are
differences between a batch of paste freshly made & cooked and one which
sits around for a day or two before cooking; the latter is smoother and
will be stronger after being very diluted for use.)

Sometimes, what I am working on requires the paste with very little
dilution; at other times, for instance, when I am restoring an Asian
screen, scroll, or woodblock print, the paste must be diluted to an extreme

A machine which stirs my paste cannot tell me what I need to know.  Not yet.



Jack C. Thompson Thompson Conservation Laboratory Portland, Oregon 97217 USA

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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