_Lacquer for Brass._
Take of seed-lac, 6 oz.; amber or copal, ground on porphyry, 2 oz.; dragon's blood, 40 grs.; extract of red sandal-wood, obtained by water, 30 grs.; oriental saffron, 36 grs.; pounded glass, 4 oz.; very pure alcohol, 40 oz.
To apply this varnish to articles or ornaments of brass, expose them to a gentle heat, and dip them into varnish. Two or three coatings may be applied in this manner, if necessary. The varnish is durable and has a beautiful color. Articles varnished in this manner may be cleaned with water and a bit of dry rag.
_Lacquer for Philosophical Instruments._
This lacquer or varnish is destined to change or to modify the color of those bodies to which it is applied.
Take of gum guttae (gamboge), 3/4 oz.; gum sandarac, gum elemi, each 2 oz.; dragon's blood, of the best quality, 1 oz.; seed-lac, 1 oz.; terra merita, 3/4 oz.; oriental saffron, 2 grs.; pounded glass, 3 oz.; pure alcohol, 20 oz.
The tincture of saffron and of terra merita is first obtained by infusing them in alcohol for 24 hours, or exposing them to the heat of the sun in summer. The tincture must be strained through a piece of clean linen cloth, and ought to be strongly squeezed. This tincture is poured over the dragon's blood, the gum elemi, the seed-lac, and the gum guttae, all pounded and mixed with the glass. The varnish is then made according to the directions before given.
It may be applied with great advantage to philosophical instruments. The use of it might be extended also to various cast or moulded articles with which furniture is ornamented.
If the dragon's blood be of the first quality it may give too high a color; in this case the dose may be lessened at pleasure, as well as that of the other coloring matters.
_Gold-colored Lacquer for Brass Watch-cases, Watchkeys. etc._
Take of seed-lac, 6 oz.; amber, gum guttae, each 2 oz.; extract of red sandal-wood in water, 24 grs.; dragon's blood, 60 grs.; oriental saffron, 36 grs.; pounded glass, 4 oz.; pure alcohol, 36 oz. Grind the amber, the seed-lac, gum guttae, and dragon's blood on a piece of porphyry; then mix them with the pounded glass, and add the alcohol, after forming with it an infusion of the saffron and an extract of the sandal-wood. The varnish must then be completed as before. The metal articles destined to be covered by this varnish are heated and those which will admit of it are immersed in packets. The tint of the varnish may be varied by modifying the doses of the coloring substances.
_Lacquer of a Less Drying Quality._
Take of seed-lac, 4 oz.; sandarac, or mastic, 4 oz.; dragon's blood, 1/2 oz.; terra merita, gum guttae, each 30 grs.; pounded glass, 5 oz.; clear turpentine, 8 oz.; essence of turpentine, 32 oz. Extract by infusion the tincture of the coloring substances, and then add the resinous bodies according to the directions for compound mastic varnish.
Lacquer or varnishes of this kind are called changing, because, when applied to metals, such as copper, brass, or hammered tin, or to wooden boxes and other furniture, they communicate to them a more agreeable color. Besides, by their contact with the common metals, they acquire a lustre which approaches that of the precious metals, and to which, in consequence of peculiar intrinsic qualities or certain laws of convention, a much greater value is attached. It is by means of these changing varnishes that artists are able to communicate to their leaves of silver and copper those shining colors observed in foils. This process of industry becomes a source of prosperity to the manufacturers of buttons and works formed with foil, which in the hands of the jeweller contributes with so much success to produce that reflection of the rays of light which doubles the lustre and sparkling quality of precious stones.
It is to varnish of this kind that we are indebted for the manufactory of gilt leather, which, taking refuge in England, has given place to that of papier-mache, which is employed for the decoration of palaces, theatres, etc.
In the last place, it is by the effect of a foreign tint, obtained from the coloring part of saffron, that the scales of silver disseminated in confection d'hyacinthe reflect a beautiful gold color.
The colors transmitted by different coloring substances, require tones suited to the objects for which they are destined. The artist has it in his own power to vary them at pleasure, by the addition of anatto to the mixture of dragon's blood, saffron, etc., or some changes in the doses of the mode intended to be made in colors. It is here impossible to give limited formula.
_To make Lacquers of Various Tints._
There is one simple method by which artists may be enabled to obtain all the different tints they require. Infuse separately 4 oz. of gum guttae in 32 oz. of essence of turpentine, and 4 oz. of dragon's blood, and 1 oz. of annatto also in separate doses of essence. These infusions may be easily made in the sun. After 15 days exposure pour a certain quantity of these liquors into a flask, and by varying the doses different shades of color will be obtained.
These infusions may be employed also for changing alcoholic varnishes, but in this case the use of saffron, as well as that of red sandal-wood which does not succeed with essence, will soon give the tone necessary for imitating with other tinctures the color of gold.
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