Monday, July 24, 2017

Envrion-mentaly Friendly Mixed Media

This is not a post introducing new/fav materials, but soliciting suggestions. I'm modifying a post I placed on the FB Letter Journal group on FB because frankly, although hardly my biggest problem, this has been doing my head in.

I've always been uncomfortable with the amount of acrylic-based material prevalent in contemporary mixed media and didn't buy much until I joined the LJ group. A couple of months ago I finished three newish pens in one night, and was appalled by the use I got out of them vs. the amount of plastic I was throwing away, and felt the need to draw a policy for myself. Although it would be nice to get rid of all petroleum-based products, this is 2017 and in some cases convenience wins, and I don't always understand names of chemicals/ingredients, but I assume that means baddies. I've started a tentative list of things I can/should not buy when I run out of them. Can you please help me add/change/update with material you know that would help me reduce petroleum consumption? Thank you.

Use:
*Pencils: lead, oily, water-color, ink/sumi
*Charcoal & conte & pastel- the powdery kind
*Crayons & pastel & sticks: oil, water, ink
*Paint/dyes in cake or metal tube; watercolor in half pan allowed for now to fill with tube paint later (Although are metal tubes environmentally better than plastic?)
*Ink/sumi/dye/pigments
*Brushes, sticks, feathers, fruits/veg, etc, etc.
*Pen nibs / fountain pens?
*Also buy individual colors not in ornate sets/packaging
*Also buy bigger sizes if in plastic and if I like the color??
*Glue in tubs - also test rice glue
*Paper/newspaper/natural fibers
*Worthwhile refills of items on "Avoid" list
*Eraser, eventually reusable soft kinds only.
*Sandpaper
*Ceramic/metal containers/palettes; recycled plastic containers/palettes

Avoid:
*Acrylic paint and associated products for textures, adhesive, sparkles/shine, and all the next best things. Gesoo??
*Most pens including ink/paint/gel/felt-tip unless good refills are available
*Washi tapes until I know more about commercial products because they don't feel like real washi.
*Paint in plastic tubes if possible
*Plastic tools, especially if I can make them
*Kitchen plastic wraps for effects.

OK for now but look for alternatives:
*Spray varnish; used to seal many of my preferred material, especially on envelopes; cf. liquid varnish - are they all acrylic? Are others better or worse? (I use spray because hubby uses it, too.)
*Glue stick when not home
*Possibly white/gold/silver/bronze gel pens, cuz... I like them.
*Probably oil-based felt-tip pens in black in a couple of widths, possibly blue and red
*Kitchen wax paper - look for very thin plastic table cloth?? Also, check "how to make" vids and see if I can make them thin. I put them between paper/pages and then stick them under weight to flatten the whole journal, or to post to the next person when unsure if the pages are completely dry.
* Disposable gloves - although the better ones Mom sent me can be used for at least half a dozen times before getting crusty with dry paint/glue, etc.

Questions:
*One of the things I'd like to try on Tess' suggestion is portable plastic brushes with a compartment for water, in conjunction with ink; has anyone tried this?
*I used to be able to buy gel pen refills in more colors than I found pens, Japan?, but haven't seen them here so I'll go online. Know a good site? I have 30 or so shells, and I sure hope they don't come in skinny plastic tubes!

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