Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Experimental stuff - it keeps you on your toes.

One of the things I love about archaeology, and especially experimental archaeology, is how it keeps you on your toes and gets you to suddenly learn stuff about things you never tended to think about before.

As in - did you know that beeswax actually starts to melt at around 40°C, not the 60+ that are usually stated as its melting point? And that the temperature depends not only on the species of the bees and maybe their location, but also on who made the wax and how old it is? I learned about that yesterday. I was not as successful in finding out the melting point of natural pinus pinea resin, though (if you should have a helpful hint, I'd love to have it).

Today, I am trying to find out about the temperatures used in traditional batik techniques. Looks like they dye above the onset of melting of beeswax... and tomorrow, if everything goes according to plan, I will finish the thinking and planning and write down a plan to follow for the actual testing. There's a few sticky points still to solve - how to get the mixture out of the cloth again, how to make sure that everything is dyed at the same temperature but with no bad side effects from stuff touching, how to ensure an uniform temperature for the mixture application, and some more pesky details like that.

And now... on to more hunting of .pdfs, and finding out about melting points and possible sources and temperatures and processes. 

(For those of you who have not guessed it yet: It's all about the resist dye technique test runs at the Textile Forum.)


Anonymous said...

Hallo! Zu Batik fällt mir die Galerie Smend ein. Schwerpunkt sind aber Java und Sumatra.

LG Annette

Irma said...