#91 December 1995
Section 220.127.116.11.091.of the Artemis Data Book
Peter Kokh, amateur artistPioneering 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.
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.
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
Contents of this issue of Moon Miners' Manifesto