March 24, 2011

I feel somewhat better, I just trashed Jerry's gesso in a review.

Ten yards of canvas painstakingly stretched and primed, and one week friggin later, the gesso still reactivates with water. I can't afford the time or money to trash them, order more, and start from scratch. The gesso is dry to the touch, has been for days, but it just keeps reactivating with water whenever I lay down a wash. I tried a layer of GAC 100 on one canvas, which seems to be working, but I'm not fond of this method because I'm not into having a polymer emulsion as a base layer. I tried a layer of different gesso on two other canvases, but it basically just made the crappy Jerry's layer wet again, so now I have three coats of gesso that won't cure on my canvases. The super nice guy at the local overpriced art supply store told me the Jerry's gesso probably froze during shipping, which made the binder and gesso pigment separate.

You know what's really funny? I'll tell you what's really funny. Today at my train car studio, while this gesso mayhem is taking place, I saw a train go by. The train car had "calcium carbonate" stenciled on it. I thought, calcium carbonate, why does that sound familiar?

I'll tell you why that sounds familiar:
Modern "acrylic gesso" is technically not gesso at all.[5] It is a combination of calcium carbonate with an acrylic polymer medium latex, a pigment and other chemicals that ensure flexibility, and ensure long archival life. source: wikipedia.

Life is funny, is it not?
Clay Slurry or Calcium Carbonate Only #2

And here is a picture of Calcium Carbonate transmogrified into Mother of Pearl. l.


Nomi Lubin said...

Forgive me if you covered this, but why can't they at least give you your money back and some gesso that is not chemically destroyed? I know they can't give you back the time you've put in, but they could do this much at least?

M.A.H. said...

Jerry's is about 15 miles away. I used practically the whole gallon in good faith that i was covering my canvases with decent gesso. It's taken over a month to build, stretch and prime everything. I guess they'll take it back, but I'd never buy it again and right now, I don't want a store credit either. Not having every used it before, I honestly don't know. When I work with acrylic, my first layers are puddles and washes. For all I know their gesso might not contain enough binder for that much water. My washes actually soaked through 2 coats of gesso to the back of the canvas. It was like I hadn't even used gesso.

I'm still priming the damn things.

Nomi Lubin said...

My god. Well, yes, I can see why getting money back or store credit is not what you need right now. Damn, this sucks. I might feel violent rage over this.