ASI W9600315r1.3

Moon Miners' Manifesto

#91 December 1995

Section the Artemis Data Book

MMM#91 Waterglazing

Peter Kokh, amateur artist

Pioneering a Moon-appropriate art medium

R&D Report: #4 - 11/05/'95

RECAP: This is a "Lunar Arts/Craft" R&D Project aimed at determining if "paints" suitable for use by artists in a pioneer settlement can be made entirely from elements recoverable from lunar regolith soil. The idea is based on the fact that sodium silicate, commonly known as "waterglass" and a liquid at room temperatures, is the only known inorganic adhesive. It can be produced from lunar soil, and the basic experiment is to see if adhesive-based (rather than solvent-based) "paints" can be made by mixing in colored metal oxide pigments.

The first painting, Moon Garden #1, was produced 9/29/'94 using sodium silicate, titanium dioxide (white), manganese dioxide (black), ferric iron oxide (rust), chromium oxide (green) and sulfur (yellow) and combinations of these to produce gray, orange, and pink. The "canvas", again picked because it could be produced locally in a lunar settlement, was glass, painting, foreground first, on the backside.

An article about the project appeared in the Jan/Feb '95 issue of Ad Astra, pp. 46-7. Since then other pigments have been tried, not all successfully. The most notable (and costly) addition to the palette being cobalt aluminate blue.

The Aging Problem - Worst fears allayed

In a few months, the first two paintings had begun to show patchy delamination from the back surface of the glass. The prime suspected culprits were low winter indoor humidity, a film of windex on the glass, or, worse, a temporary aspect to the adhesive quality of the medium. The third painting, done in mid May addressed both the first two concerns. The pane was baked after cleaning to remove residual windex film. And the air was now more humid. Six months later, this painting looks much as it did the day it was produced.

While this allays the worst fears, that waterglass painting may turn out to be suitable only for "temporary art", we are not ready to claim that the problem is solved. This is an experiment, and it is the nature of experiments that sometimes the desired result is not, even cannot be, produced. Time alone will tell whether or not this "aging" will continue, whether or not it can only be postponed, etc. We will not resort to organic additive "fixatives" because this would invalidate the experiment.

New Pigments, methods tried

In the past several months, some new pigments have been purchased. Iron Sulfide, FeS2 (fool's gold), yielded disap-pointing results. Vanadium Pentoxide, which promised a bright golden orange joined the ranks of three previous "failing" pigments in immediately reacting with the waterglass and gumming up. Chemicals that had not worked now represented an investment of well over $200. However, a somewhat crude "work around" application method promises to recoup some of this invest-ment and expand the palette. We have succeeded in "flocking" one of these four powders on glass wet with plain waterglass. Potassium chromate gives us a brighter, more vivid yellow than the pastel sulfur we've been using so far.

New paintings, sales, gifts, donations

This fall saw three more paintings. "Out the Window" depicted an oval window in a lunar habitat, looking out on the Moonscape (painted on the reverse side of an 8x10" pane) with the peripheral foreground inside the habitat painted on the front side of the glass. It was donated to Greg Bennett, CEO of the Lunar Resources Company and chief architect of the Artemis Projectx - after hanging "NFS" [not for sale] in the First Contact II art show. Also in the show, up for bid, was "Earth in Space" painted on the reverse side of the 8x10" glass, with however, the clouds on the front side of the glass to create depth and show that they were not Earth surface features. This went for $60. A small 5x7" demonstration piece, "Moonscape" was donated to the charity auction and went for $12. The following week, the second painting produced (mid-October '94) called "Greening the Gray" was donated to the MSDC seed money raffle. Meanwhile, membership in L.A.A.M.P./sub-scriptions to semi-annual Moonbow, crept up to just ten. Commissions Accepted

To generate more income with which to pay for continued experimentation, commissions will be accepted for"Earth in Space" originals painted on backside of 8x10" glass (clouds front side): black, white, blues, greens, tans - no two alike, metal frame. $50 includes explanation of art form, "paints" used, shipping/handling, two issues of Moonbow. Make payable to the artist and send to the L.A.A.M.P. address listed at the bottom of the opposite page. Allow 3-4 weeks. Waterglass-aided Stained Glass Experiment

We hope to soon begin diversifying work with water-glass. Stained glass (art glass) is certainly a viable lunar art-form, materials wise, with one exception: the "leading" that separtes/joins the individual colored glass cartoon pieces. What we want to try is cementing these colored glass pieces, using waterglass as an adhesive, to a host transparent pane, filling the gaps with a thick paste made of waterglass and common regolith simulant. The look should be similar enough, and the heavier pieces will be lighter in lunar gravity. -- Peter Kokh

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