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GinPetty, thanks for your help... Im using different cookie molds, some are maybe 3x3 ins, the others as big as your hand.. I cast some and had issues with strength.. I was wondering if I added some "new " paper to the mix if that would help.. I added paper stabilizer and buffer to the water but just used the linter. After drying some of them seemed to have weak "seams" in some areas.. I watered down some PPA and brushed it on to help hold them closed and it also added some strength but I dont want to have to coat every casting.. the thinner ones seem to be more ridged.. Im just getting started with casting and really dont want to waste any of it if I can help it..Using just the cotton linter gave me really smooth surfaces, almost too smooth it seemed but great detail. I would like to have just a tad bit of texture to them..Id like to hand color some of them after they dry and so have to make sure the water colors will not bleed.
.any suggestions and help is greatly appreciated!
"New" paper or recycle paper won't give you strength. (Possible exceptions would be picture mats, professional watercolor paper or quality stationery. All of these contain cotton rag which has a longer fiber length than linter.) The addition of a little abaca half stuff would give additional strength. You can also add either cooked cornstarch or PVA glue for strength. If you're planning on watercoloring the pieces, you might do a couple of test pieces using the addition of cornstarch or PVA and see how that affects the color absorption. Depending on how much you use, both will act to a certain extent as sizing (prevention of water absorption). Don't be afraid of that, though. Professional watercolor paper has sizing in it. Otherwise, the paper would act very much like a blotter.
I can't offer any guidance on "how much" of anything. You'll just have to play it by ear. I can offer this - I used cooked cornstarch in the vat to strengthen handmade paper and to give it some sizing. In a container I can shake, I mix 1TBS of cornstarch and 2 TBS of cold water. To that I add 1 cup of rapidly boiling water and stir. (Pour the boiling water in quickly. If you don't, you get lumps.)