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  • Art Supply Stores

    Once before, I mentioned the wisdom of taking advantage of local art suppliers. Yesterday, I was at National Art Supply (name is form location on National Avenue) in Springfield, MO. Donna Thomas had given me information on a potential replacement for Crystal Cote. We have been using this thick varnish on carved eyes for the past few years. It is no longer available ~ but Golden has a substitute.

    A year or so ago, I was searching for a hard to find pigment and stopped by National Art Supply. They did not have the color in WN but did have it in a relatively new line QoR (Quality only Results), "A modern line of watercolor paint" from Golden. The clerk gave me a lot of information on this new line. I decided to try it and am now phasing out my WN supply and replacing with QoR. National Art Supply is adjacent to MO State U and carries a diverse inventory. The clerks all seem to be artists or art students and are more than willing to offer advice to me ~ with the caveat that they are not woodcarvers and are only guessing at some of the suggestions for use on wood.

    I stopped in to see if they happened to carry the Golden Soft Gel (gloss). I got lucky, the clerk told me that not only did they carry 5 different varieties; but, that she has been working with the soft gel, "...a lot!" She listened to my explanation of what I wanted it to do, recommended the one that would probably be what I wanted, and to top it off ~ explained several different ways of application.

    I am planning on using brass to add plant life to my woodcarvings. National carries a large supply of tubing and shimstock that are used for this purpose. When I asked her about painting and mentioned metal primers and such ~ she told me of some other method that might be better and easier. I told her I would be back when I got to the painting phase.

    A lot of assistance and advice received for the purchase of a $7 jar of soft gel! The young artists in there are eager to help and are extremely interested in woodcarving ~ a genre where they have very little contact.

    I, like everyone on a fixed income, like to save money. But, I believe the extra cost of buying my supplies through this local art store is more than worth the advice and assistance I get there.

  • #2
    I deal with a similar local business in the city = office & art supply. Those young people are so excited about art and artist's materials, they just want to talk art all the time.
    I think that art must be a condition of their employment. In the big franchise art chain stores, most people just "work there."
    Brian T

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    • #3
      I use Curries. They know me by name.

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      • #4
        Great to find someone in a store who is actually interested in what they sell and knowledgeable about their products and associated mediums.
        Before they slip me over the standing part of the fore sheet, let them pipe: "Up Spirits" one more time.

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        • #5
          Paul, Have you tried the Mod Podge dimensional magic? It may be close. There are a couple bottles of crystal coat on ebay.

          The dimensional magic dries very clear, but needs a couple of coats to build up any thickness.

          Tom
          If I took the time to fix all my mistakes, I wouldn,t have time to make new ones.

          www.spokanecarvers.com

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          • #6
            Paul, On eyes I use nail hardener polish to give it that light reflecting effect
            . . .JoeB

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            • #7
              Joe I did try nail polish, double strength varnish and a couple of other products after Crystal Cote became unavailable. They were good but did not mound up and offer the "wet" look I was after. I did some research and sound another product that seemed to be a reasonable replacement. Then Donna put me on to soft gel.

              I was lucky the other day that not only was it "on the shelf" at the art store; but, they had swatches of each of the 5 varieties to show how it ended up. I think this will be even more satisfactory than Crystal Cote, especially for large eyes such as those on the doe I am carving.

              Tom I have heard about Mod Podge but am unfamiliar with it. I like the description of dimensional magic. Building up was the recommendation of the young lady at National also. I am always looking for items that will assist me in adding to my carving ability.

              I very much like that I am shopping at a store which will be utilized by art students. Budding artists who are not sure of the direction they want to take and would like to explore many possibilities. I also like the fact that the money I spend there stays in the local community.

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