Cooking Up Glue

It is a cold morning in Wyoming, 12 degrees to be exact.   It’s a perfect day for simmering a big pot of chicken soup on the stove.  Instead I have spent a little time this morning cooking rabbit glue on a hot plate in my studio.

I am preparing a few icon boards, and one of the first steps is to apply a linen cloth to the board with rabbit skin glue or also known as rabbit collagen. It is exactly what it seems, and it’s been used for centuries by artists in their work. The rabbit collagen will be used again in the next step of preparing the board; making and then applying the gesso on top of the linen.

There are products on the market now that are similar to rabbit glue, but I enjoy using the ancient methods in my work of icons.

The glue does have a distinctive smell, and I’m not talking potpourri. It is a good day for others to stay away from the studio.

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