Week 4: Montse & Jo
Last week was a slow week. I have been learning new ways to code and visualize molecules using VMD, but am still working with some of the details in order to post some interesting pictures. Below are some preliminary examples (figures 1-3).
Jo and I have discussed using other liquids to prepare the tea extract to try to get new colors. Examples of liquids discussed were nail polish remover (acetone and ethyl acetate), rubbing alcohol (isopropanol) and drinking alcohol (ethanol). In her last blog, Jo posted some new pictures that appeared more colored. I am intrigued and would like to know if any of those were obtained using these liquids (solvents).
I have been thinking about the cyanotypes, and have a few ideas that might be interesting to try when preparing them.
I will start my own experiments to try to reproduce the formation of mold on the tea. If mold appears (with the help of my colleague), we will try to identify what type of mold it is.
This week I will also begin an art course that specializes in drawing plants. I am looking forward to drawing the tea plant from our lab.
I will send the package to Jo tomorrow.
Crystal structure of cytochrome c 1LC1
This past week has been a busy one with packing up studio work as I end a one month Artists Residency Fellowship at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN. I am on a flight back to New York City in a few hours so my blog will be more abbreviated than in past weeks.
During the last seven days, I had a bit of time to continue some of the aspects of the collaboration as discussed last week. To continue the ongoing experiment with staining and molds, as per Montse’s and my conversation concerning the coloration of black and green tea due to processing, I only used those two types of teas to brew, stain and wax.
This time, instead of selecting earlier inexpensive paper like newsprint I used the Chinese 1 ply paper, Dan Xuan (and also one piece of 2 ply Xu-jade Yuan) given to me by another Artist Resident who is from Quzhou, China. This paper allowed a bit more flow and subsequent detail in the ensuing stains from the brewed tea. However, after waxing the dried post-stained paper and watching the detail be less visible due to the wax, I might just stain the paper which is naturally transparent. I also was able to generate more mold with each of these two teas and wondered how the two new molds might compare what I processed with the original 7 teas. I also wondered how we might determine whether the mold that ensued in the steeped tea was from the walls, the atmosphere or perhaps even glass residue.
As suggested by Montse, to promote the stain, I used rubbing alcohol (or perhaps next time will try acetone, both of which lack organic mode) as I tested color, mold and flow on small scraps of papers. Images of my experiments with stains, both with teas and with Cyanotype coating residue is included in the posted images.
When back in my University studio next week, I would like to try some of the innovative approaches to Cyanotype chemistry suggested by Montse, such as combining ferric cyanide and tea (which as she mentioned might replace the hydrogen peroxide or the ferric ammonium sulfate). We also discussed how iron in blood might react, as in the tea, to the iron in the Cyanotype chemistry.
As mentioned last week, we will focus on the properties of various teas and methods of testing/seeing. I continue to be interested in the visual and also scientific perspective on the stains with which I have been experimenting, using various teas and also papers for best/consistent results.
I look forward to the teas and materials Montse is sending to me this week and will forward her my test results early next week once I unpack.
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