I think I'm going to start wheatpasting propaganda to the concrete wall protecting my own dumpster, on the back side facing my compost heap.
No one but the folk who hang out back here will see it, but also, no one but me would take it down, so it can stay up for a long time.
So, @ me with some good black and white shit I can print on some basic whatever-size-paper-Americans-use
@emsenn I'm assuming wheatpaste is an organic glue made from flour, but this is my first time encountering that particular phrase.
Just flour and water?
This has my wheels turning.
I used to make a clay out of a similar mixture with the addition of corn starch and salt when I was a kid.
I imagine it dries white, and isn't anything close to water proof but is otherwise pretty strong?
I'm looking for a mixture I can add to paper to stiffen it enough that it can stand up to children playing with it.
Right now, my best options are soy wax for some situations and PVA glue for others but I'm looking to find an alternative to PVA.
@ajroach42 Some people add both of those to their wheatpaste mixture!
I tend to add a wee bit of sugar to aid its gumminess when first applied so I can get the poster flat and stuck faster.
It's usually a thing enough layer that it's pretty clear - most posters you see put up have a layer of wheatpaste on the back and then one put over top, and that's why they peel and fade in that distinctive way - they're not waterproof, but they're definitely more water resistant than you'd expect. 1/n
@ajroach42 check the stores you would but you can probably find preprepared dry wheatpaste mix at craft stores, hardware stores, and places like my local scrap exchange.
To try it out without the labour of mixing up a batch.
@emsenn That's really good to know. I'll explore this option, and see what a paper toy coated in wheatpaste looks like.
@ajroach42 I imagine application technique is really going to make the difference here - brushed versus sprayed, how thin a coat or if multiple, etc.
Are you familiar with lacquering or clearcoating in general? (I'm not qualified to type a how-to, but if "no," find one, lol.)
@emsenn I've done lots of clear coating (in a spray adhesive) for book covers and CD cases and other paper products 5 - 7 years ago, before I gave much thought to the impact I was having as an individual.
Mostly I've used Aerosol sprays, which I'm obviously trying to avoid at this point.
I'll definitely look in to a tutorial.
@emsenn I think I'm going to start with printing, cutting, and then waxing the paper and see what that gives me in terms of stability, and then start experimenting with the addition of wheatpaste at various points in the process, to see what kind of a result that gets me.
@ajroach42 how do you apply the wax?
@emsenn I've tried two methods.
One is to heat it until it melts in a wide pan, and then dip the paper in to it, raise it out and let it drain. The other is to apply it with a brush.
Both work okay, but I've never tried either on printed paper.
@ajroach42 How do "let it drain" without whatever holds it above the surface leaving a significant mark?
@emsenn In that instance, I wasn't concerned about the physical appearance too much, so I had punched a hole in the top and run some twine through it. When I was done, I trimmed off the area where the twine had been.
I used the twine to drag it through the wax, and then to hang it over the tray.
@ajroach42 That is clever and outside any of the possibilities I thought of!
And it wouldn't be too hard to remelt the... chads? and scoop out the paper and reclaim most of the wax.
That sounds like a good solution. Maybe use a hot knife to do the cut so the wax reseals?
Those are good ideas that I did not attempt.
I'll try that once I have the printed paper ready. I'm going to try to make a spaceship.
@ajroach42 Here's a photo of a random scrap of paper glued down with wheatpaste; it's dry, but clearly fresh.
@emsenn neat! That's clearer than I expected.
@ajroach42 I figured it would be which is why I wanted to give you a demo :D
Now to wait for the bigger batch to cool a bit then I'll put up posters
@ajroach42 And this is what happens when I try and pull it up.
@emsenn Also, without rehashing all of our plastics talk, I would appreciate your opinion on PLA (if you have one.)
Right now, I only use PLA in one offs, but I came across some new techniques that have me reconsidering its applications.
It's made from renewable biomass (corn, sugar, or beet pulp usually) and can be composted. Alternately, it can be cleaned, shredded, and re-extruded in to usable plastic. (1/2)
@emsenn While it is PLA's mechanical properties that have me considering using it, a recyclable, compostable, bioplastic sounds to me like it would be less harmful than other available plastics.
I'm certain, though, that the data I have on the plastic is skewed by my general desire to work with plastics, and the plastic industry's desire to not stop existing. If you have a less biased view (or just a view with different biases) I would welcome that as part of my decision making process. (2/2)
@ajroach42 Most of what you've said is good is true, as far as I know. There's really two issues I know of:
- systemic: we grow corn for PLA and fuel when we're still struggling to feed people. Could we do both? Certainly. Do we? No. I'm concerned sourcing PLA encourages continuing that.
- practical: Wear and tear on PLA parts means tiny fragments of plastic ending up in your dust, dirt, everywhere. This is where a mega-innovation like new bacteria could be really useful 1/n
@ajroach42 much the way we've learned "hey throw this dried up fungus on your garden and it'll make your plants roots better," we can learn "hey throw this mix of bacteria in your compost to eliminate the microplastics."
But we don't have that yet, which has me so cautious about ALL plastic use. Which is a big bummer because except for that, gosh, it'd be amazing, for all the reasons you say.
@ajroach42 Now that still does leave lots of use for plastic, like in industrial facilities where things are properly captured at egresses, but for residential/small-scale use? I mean, I can see bits of plastic in the dust I sweep up around my apartment, and that's got me worried.
It still goes into the compost because what the fuck else am I to do, and I try to sift out what I can, but eesh.
@emsenn I appreciate this very measured response, and now I have even more to think about.
potential (but unlikely) doomsday scenario
@ajroach42 Wanna hear a terrifying fear I've got in the back of my head?
We'll figure out how to make microplastics "degrade" to the point where they're fine enough to transcend the food chain and start tearing apart all our mRNA suddenly leaving life on earth unable to reproduce itself at a cellular level :O
(This already happens to lots of "basic" parts of our foodchain, notably salt-water filter-feeders like oysters
potential (but unlikely) doomsday scenario
@emsenn Yeah, that's pretty scary.
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