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dencal -

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dencal
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  • GA_Anderson
    Hi Denis -

    May I ask you a quick question - and I'd welcome just your guess even if you don't know for sure?  I noticed in a video by a prominent artist that after discussing the mediums (and mixtures) she uses with the fat over lean ratios the final batch was a 50/60 mixture of Damar and OMS... and then she put a date on the jar.  She never mentioned what the purpose of this final mixture was and also never mentioned why she was putting a date on the jar.  Do you know, or would you guess as to what significance the date has inasmuch as whether Damar (or this mixture) would go bad over time? 

    The reason I ask is that after retiring, I have just gotten back into oil painting that I left years ago. Now, I have several bottles of Damar that are 'years' old.  Would your guess be that they would still be acceptable to use?
    January 4
    • dencal
      dencal
      Damar is a resin I usually see in the stores looking like candied ginger.
      I suspect you have dissolved damar in a solvent (turps?).
      Not used any myself but it is a component in encaustic paint. Used traditionally for centuries both as a paint additive and as a finish varnish.
      The boffins at MITRA recommend against using varnish type resin in paint as this ‘natural polymer’ does the same thing as the drying oils such as linseed. However damar in paint leaves the surface vulnerable to damage when cleaning with solvents. The same criticism presumably applies to Venetian Turpentine.
      If your damar is homogenous, clear and not darkened it should be ok.
      I would also be circumspect if the seals on the containers are less than perfect. Causing the evaporation of the volatile components and deterioration from oxygen.
      I assume you intend using the damar as an diluent in the paint, no problem but the chemistry of art materials has moved on a long way since damar was about all that was available.

      Denis