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Subject: Gelatin as model-making material

Gelatin as model-making material

From: George Schwartz <george>
Date: Monday, December 17, 2007
Di Whittle <dw3015 [at] bigpond__com> writes

>I would like to know if anyone has come across the use of gelatin as
>a sculptural/model making material possibly in combination with
>cellulose nitrate as a dispersion or surface layer.

Gelatin cross-linked with Formaldehyde has been widely used for a
variety of purposes including model making and consolidation of
specimens especially those which are wet, or undried. Cellulose
nitrate or nitrocellulose were popular model making early
replacements before we had all the new plastics used today. The
models you describe seem to have benefited by both of these.

If I had to speculate, the gelatin solution may have been coated
onto glass rods and when dry, dipped in formaldehyde which rendered
the gelatin film mostly insoluble, but prone to swelling in steam
which made removal from the rod possible. Once stabilized, Cellulose
nitrate may have been used in the construction of the model, to
adhere the parts together and/or as a texturizer, or colorant.

Some references to this are made in the following article and others
on the web

        <URL:http://www.mnhs.org/
            preserve/conservation/reports/shell_objects.pdf>

    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

George Schwartz, PA - AIC
Senior Conservator
ConservArt Inc.,
8177 Glades Road #16
Boca Raton, FL 33434 U.S.A.
561-482-7292
Fax: 561-482-6787


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Received on Monday, 17 December, 2007

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