Saturday, September 27, 2014

Methylcellulose has arrived!

My online order for methylcellulose showed up in my mailbox today. Its my 1st order from Modernist Pantry. It came in a distinctive metal foil packet with 50 grams of powder. You mix it with water into a gel and use it as a glue.

The package photo is printed on metal foil and reflects light as you move it around. Colors from the room and window appear in the illustration of a cook. The package is also remarkable by the attempt to make the product and service personal. It came with a cute photo of a child, Chloe, and a note from the family who sent it and their phone number. The invoice describes it as low viscosity and is tagged with a note "packed by Mike".
My research led me to this as a reversible paper paste for mounting drawings and prints. It's sold as a cooking ingredient now but was used in wall paper paste years ago. Now its hard to find retail. A doctor friend told me it is also a weight loss ingredient.
Wall paper is adhered with vinyl and acrylic based pastes these days. Since they polymerize as they dry they are not reversible but must be dissolved with a solvent. You may already know how hard it is to remove wallpaper.
I've used this paste years ago to mount paintings on paper to plywood. That was not wise and now I need to separate the art from the wood. Chemicals in the luan plywood panel is leaching into the paper, staining it. Those pictures are valuable to me, about 30 years old and worth the effort. I'll share that project in the future.

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