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JoanH Lee <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 31 Mar 2005 16:20:28 -0500
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Silver in round wire (almost any thickness you might desire)  can be
purchased from Newall Manufacturing (800-621-6296) in Chicago  or
Forsley's (800-634-0525) in Wheeling, Illinois.  Check; they might have
websites. Tell them what you want it for.  Prices fluctuate daily, just
like gold so you might discuss this with the sales person, although you
probably don't want to buy a lot of it.

Few art supply stores know what kind of paper is best for silverpoint
these days. With the appearance of graphite sticks in the 1600's
silverpoint began to disappear as a common drawing tool. Some coated
paper suitable for silverpoint has no rag content so its durability
over time may be questioned. If you can't find good coated paper, you
can make your own. Paint a thin layer of Chinese white over smooth
surface paper such as illustration board.

You can sharpen the silver with a fine file or one of those emery cloth
type things for cosmetic use. Silver will tarnish, which is actually
quite nice because it darkens beyond its natural pale grey color. Spray
with fixatif when it tarnishes to the shade you want. Gold and platinum
  can also be used as drawing tools. They do not tarnish as silver does.

While I have made entire landscapes in silverpoint although nowadays I
think it is used more as a detail tool in very fine ink or graphite
drawings. I use a regular draftsman's claw holder for the silver wire.

On Mar 31, 2005, at 2:06 PM, kathleen garness wrote:

> I love to work in graphite and would like to try silverpoint. Where do
> you
> get the silver? From a jeweler or jewelers' supply? What size or grade
> do
> you ask for?
> And what kind of paper would you use - bristol?
> Surface? Vellum or smooth?
> Just curious,
> Kathy G, glad to see crocuses in bloom and migrant birds returning!