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Holding things together has always offered so many variations that one can become confused. Here are some suggestions and applications for artists.



PVA - Polyvinylacetate bookbinding glue. It dries clear and remains flexible. It is also reversable with heat or moisture. It is available in quarts or gallons at Art Essentials and many bookbinding suppliers. When put into squeezy bottles with fine tips, it can be used for cards, collages and repairs. It also brushes on well. Jade, Elvase and Lineco are all brands of PVA adhesive that are pH neutral. One special characteristic of Jade and Elvase is that they can be used to dry mount very thin papers or fabrics. The glue is applied to a surface, let dry, and then placed on the work. It is "heat set" in place using a medium hot iron and a cover sheet. To slow down the fast drying qualities of PVA, mix it 50/50 with methylcellulose. PVA, once frozen, loses its adhesive qualities. Most suppliers will not ship it during the winter months.
Glue sticks - Pritt - Uhu
Paste Potato and Almond paste used in Europe is my all time favorite. I have now found it in FLAX: 1 800 343 3529, www.FLAXart.com. It is called Coccoina paste.
Methylcellulose - This granular powder is made from plant fiber and is pH neutral. It dissolves very slowly in water and makes a thick or thin low tack, clear paste that is vermin-proof. It keeps indefinitely when made with distilled water. A very good paste for conservation mounting and as a base for paste papers. The beauty of this paste is that it dries absolutely clear, allowing you to use it on very thin, delicate papers. To mix methylcellulose, use one T. of powder to one cup of warm water. Whisk often to mix well. Let it stand overnight so the powder absorbs the water. Use thick or thin it with more water.
Wheat Starch Paste - This water soluble paste is made by cooking wheat starch with water. It results in a strong, flexible paste. It is often used by conservators and when working with rice papers. It is good for mounting paper hinges when matting art work. It is not vermin-proof. Paste recipe: 6 parts water to 1 part flour or corn starch. Dilute flour in two parts cold water till smooth. Strain for the lumps (just in case) into a pot with the rest of the water. Stir to dissolve. Cook over medium heat until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Lower heat to simmer and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occassionanlly. Store in refrigerator. If you cover the paste with plastic or wax paper touching the paste before putting the lid on, it will not form a film. Corn starch gives a clearer paste.
Mold Adding a bit of synthetic glue to flour paste (1/4 tsp to 1 pint or so) seems to retard mold forming. I imagine it would also discourage critters from making a meal of the paste in the book.
PPA I find the very best glue for collage is Perfect Paper Adhesive available at Coast Blueprint in Santa Barbara.




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