Q: I wish to use Casein or Casein Silverpoint on wood panel for bole/gilding application and egg tempera painting of icons. Which is the better product for this application?
A: While most gilders prefer a traditional chalk ground made from chalk and rabbit skin glue, the Silverpoint Ground would be better suited as a substrate for bole, since it dries harder and is more absorbent.
Q: How is casein gesso better than casein paint (such as Shiva titanium white), when preparing a ground for silverpoint (on paper)? Thank you.
A: Shiva Casein Paint does not dry to permanent finish, whereas our Casein Gessoes do.
This ground also contains Zinc White, which allows for the tarnish marks that are left when a silverpoint comes in contact with the surface. Shiva Titanium White does not contain Zinc White.
Q: I have both of your casein gessoes for experimenting with grounds for watercolor on 300lb watercolor paper. Both seem pretty resistant to absorbing watercolor with much beading up. Am wondering how to make your dried and cured casein gesso more absorbent for watercolor.
A: You can make the gessoes even more absorbent, by thinning the gesso with 10-20% water before application.
Q: Should I prime birch wood panels before applying the ground?
A: There is no need to prime the panels, but they should be sealed with a layer of shellac or PVA, in order to prevent uneven moisture absorption on the rest of the panel.
I'd like to order Casein Absorbent Chalk Gesso and I just wanted to make sure if it's safe to ship this product in winter due to freeze/thaw conditions.
And the second question is whether you recommend to size the wood panel with Gac 200 or any other sizing medium.
A: All of our Casein products are not affected by freezing temperatures. We always recommend sealing any type of panel, before applying the ground.
Q: Can you provide composition and material safety data sheet?
A: Yes, we do have an SDS sheet for this product and we will forward a copy to you today.
Q: Is this gesso suitable for non-porous surfaces such as polyester or metal, will it be prone to cracking off?
A: In our experience the ground works on metal, but you may want to test your particular application, before using the gesso on a larger scale.
Q: Will casein absorbent chalk gessoa and silverpoint ground work well for encaustic on panel?
A: All of our Casein Gesso Grounds make an excellent surface for encaustic painting.
Q: Can you use the casein gesso in place of a traditional gesso for the base layer with bole and gilding over top for a frame?
A: While we always recommend a traditional chalk ground, made with rabbit skin glue, we have some customers who use this silverpoint ground as a substrate successfully.