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Re: [BKARTS] Paste Debate!



>Greeting Everyon
(snip) >

>Rather than invite a plethora of comments about what one personally
>prefers to use or believes to be "superior", I would love to see
>published sources that can be cited, as very few sources are
>mentioned in the list archives.

Ok.  I'm not going to wander off topic about how so few people
anymore read books anymore and depend on the internet to answer
their questions; I'll save that for my next posting, about aluminum
alkoxide....

I'm looking at some photomicrographs of starch granules which were
published in _Starch: Chemistry and Technology_ Vol. II, published
by Academic Press in 1967.

On page 678 there is a photomicrograph of wheat starch; on page 682
there is a photomicrograph of rice starch.

One of the first things a person may note is that wheat starch granules
come in a far wider range of size than rice starch granules.

What this means in practical terms is that during cooking to make a
starch paste rice granules will all absorb moisture, expand, and burst
at approximately the same time; wheat starch granules will take longer
to involve the same relative number of granules in paste making.

But they will both make a very decent paste.

At my own bench I do not use a mechanical stirrer, nor do I microwave.

I have examined microwaved wheat starch paste under the microscope and
it was clear that fewer starch granules were 'burst' when compared
with wheat starch paste which I had cooked and stirred in a double
boiler.

It happens this way.  I combine one part of wheat starch with five
parts of (distilled) water.  As it begins to heat up I stir it with
a wooden paddle which I purchased 30 years ago at a Safeway store at
the check-out counter and have never used for anything else since.

The liquid is fluid at the beginning; as the starch granules heat up
they absorb water - in the fullness of time the liquid thickens as the
starch granules absorb to their capacity, and stirring becomes a task
requiring some attention (and perhaps a cloth pad to hold down the
inner unit of the double boiler to keep it from turning round and round)
and then the starch granules burst and stirring becomes easier.

Stirring continues for a short time, to allow non-median sized starch
granules to catch up and join the rush to paste-hood.

A friend of mine manufactures Japanese screens, and he uses rice
paste to bond paper to wood.

He takes some rice, left over from last night's dinner, and cooks it
down to make his paste.

It works just fine.

I have spoken with Japanese scroll mounters and their opinion is that
wheat starch pastes work fine, but rice starch paste is 'whiter' or
lighter and more appropriate for things which will be seen, such as
screens or scrolls.

All of this information, and ever so much more! is available to those
who will take the time to go to a library and read some books.

Ok; so I lied.  It's not (yet) all on the internet!  Read a book, then
read the bibliography and footnotes; read the author's source material
and make up your own mind.

Cheers,

Jack

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon 97217
USA

971/404-4543

http://www.teleport.com/~tcl

"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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