U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: vernis soehnee

Re: vernis soehnee

On Sat, 19 Jan 2008, Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

Also a French book mentioning it on p. 350 that you can download...it is an 1844 volume scanned by Google, out of the Harvard Library. You can download it to your desktop and check out the couple pages on Soehnee which are pp. 350-1 in the book but I think, say, 367 in the PDF. Traite de chimee appliquee aux arts.

I assume you read this -- and may have concluded as I did -- they're not telling you very much -- except all the problems of making the varnish, and also, as I suspected, it's used for furniture, because as I said, or meant to say, who makes a fortune from art varnish?

The "laque" is presumably shellac, and they seem to be saying that it had to be soaked in alcohol in the sun & stirred occasionally for somewhere between 15 days and a year.

I have a couple of more recent volumes en englais, and with this in mind will check them again. But the more I think about it the more I suspect (and certainly HOPE) that the reason shellac didn't work as Demachy said it did was that the paper was wrong. (If I were a scientific person, I'd try shellac on a gum print with starch size...)

"Succin" by the way is, according to my dictionary, "yellow amber," which might give a nice tone, tho there are probably easier ways to do that.

I suspect, btw, that in modern art practice most of the old varnishes have been superceded by acrylics... I need to cover some prints where I don't want to use glass. I plan to try liquitex high gloss. Has someone done that? With inkjet? With gum?

Marc Golden, incidentally, may be today's "Soehnee" -- he's making some interesting varnishes (for Golden paints). If the upcoming CAA conference weren't at the ends of the earth (ie., not in NYC) I'd ask him. Tho come to think of it they have, or used to have, a telephone info line....


  • References: