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Old 10-01-2000, 10:46 AM   #1
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Question painting rawhide

Okay, I've finally gone over the edge. In the search for an old-time blue color, to use on rawhide, I tried a source listed in Gaylord Torrece book on rawhide. On page 45, it lists Ewers reference to the Blackfeet producing a blue pigment from dried duck excrement. I know, I know, there is some old woman watching me from above thinking, some one really bought into that! I have tried boiling, baking, broiling,,,,, almost thought about saute! I have literally cooked the #&%@!* out of it. The only thing I have produced is a few laughs from my wife. Any other young fools tried this with better results? Maybe those Blackfeet ducks had a different diet. By the way, don't try this indoors. Curtis
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Old 10-01-2000, 01:41 PM   #2
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Iron Wood,

I too have just started a rawhide project- It s a shield and I am wondering what type of paint I can use on it.
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Old 10-01-2000, 02:35 PM   #3
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Ironwood: I believe you HAVE gone over the edge. No really, It may have something to do with the diet of the ducks. We have some berries around here in the fall that are a blue color. One day after a light rain shower, I noticed where the bird poop on the sidewalk was, there was a circle of blue pigment. I assume this is similar to the blue duck poop paint. Now I haven't gathered any up but I might collect some now and send it to you for further testing. I've always been curious about this, but I think I've finally found the right guy to test it!!!!

By the way, a guy I know of told me that to get that light Cheyenne blue color to use Mrs. Stewarts laundry blueing(thanks for the tip Ironwood). It is a nice color and afterall the Plains people were trading for paint and dye as soon as the white traders came into the region. For that matter they still do.

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Old 10-01-2000, 03:48 PM   #4
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Whirlwind,
Mail me some of that good old duck poop. I know this one will be hard to return the favor.

Jmm,
I get red and yellow ochre from around a lake, in my area, here in Texas. I have some green that came from Colorado, but I am almost out of that. I have bought red, yellow and green from Crazy Crow in the past, and have been very pleased with the color. The green is just a little bright, but not too much so. Whirlwind is right about the laundy blueing. That was not an original idea of mine, but was passed along to me from someone who does restoration work. The laundry blueing is a perfect color for Cheyenne style work. Dark blue is what gives me the most trouble. Try Prussian blue pastel. Gotta mix all of this stuff with glue to get it to work. Use a very dilute amount of Knox gelatin for your glue. It's the same thing as hide glue. Saves you hours of cooking your own. It also helps to dampen the rawhide. If you are painting the sheild cover, don't dampen the hide.
Curtis
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Old 10-01-2000, 07:04 PM   #5
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Hello,
I have a rawhide belt for my jingle dress... I needed to paint it and i have verious shades of of blue on it. I used car model paint on it. there is a matte antique blue i have ... it i really nice looking.
have fun
-n8tivechick
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Old 10-01-2000, 10:26 PM   #6
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Try putting blue food coloring in bread and feeding it to the ducks http://www.powwows.com/ubb/wink.gif

Or maybe use blue acrylic paint.

I know, big help!
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Old 10-01-2000, 11:40 PM   #7
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jmm As you can tell Ironwood and I are familiar with each others work. Ironwood uses hide glue(knox gel) whereas I use prickly pear cactus juice. Singe the pads, cut up and boil them for an hour or so. Strain the juice through your wife's panty hose(remove them first) and you have good sizing. Mix the dry earth pigments with sizing and paint the rawhide. Then after it is done let it dry. Now cover the entire project with sizing again and it will help to waterproof the rawhide. I've also used buffalo eyes for sizing and it gave a shiney varnish effect to the hide. Another guy I know uses Aloe vera juice (buy it by the quart) instead of prickly pear juice. It seems to work also. Good rawhide work is very functional for storage and has a class all of it's own. Good luck.

Whirlwind

PS Paint very delicatly and lightly, Cheyenne work in particular is very light subtle colors. Other tribes (Crow Lakota) used darker, more bold colors. Do your research first and you won't regret it.
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Old 10-02-2000, 04:33 PM   #8
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n8tivechick,
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm going for the old time stuff. Does the model paint ever crack?

DCP,
With the food coloring, I can get a wide variety of colors. Does it matter what kind of bread I use? I'll be following with a scoop and a bag! Curtis
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Old 10-02-2000, 06:32 PM   #9
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hello,
it's me again : http://www.powwows.com/ubb/eek.gif: lol. no the model paint doesn't crack!
n8tivechick
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Old 10-03-2000, 08:33 AM   #10
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PANNYHOSE AND BLUE DUCK POOP???

I didn't know y'all had such fun conversations in here!! LOL!!
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Old 10-03-2000, 04:37 PM   #11
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LOLOLOL! I wonder if that duck paint method is some how responsible for the saying about the blue goose??? ::ducking - no pun intended::

Seriously, though (although I am finding it hard to be serious after reading all this), find a ceramist (a person who makes pottery - the stoneware, highfire kind; I am not talking about the lady down the street who makes pre-cast critters that she paints with bottled glazes) in your area who makes his/her own glazes (If you have a college/univ. nearby that has an art department, start there - just don't tell them about the duck thing :::fleee::: http://www.powwows.com/ubb/smile.gif.

Ceramists use various minerals to "color" the glazes. I know that Cobalt will produce a definite blue, but I can't remember how hot it has to get to pull the blue out of it. The ceramist would know for sure and possibly know of some other minerals that might work.

I realized you're probably too pooped to do it right this sec ... maybe in a duck or two???? http://www.powwows.com/ubb/wink.gif
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Old 10-04-2000, 04:17 PM   #12
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Unless you are really enamoured of getting a duck to poop blue, you might try using blue chalk (as in Chalkline..it also somes in yellow, red and green)and adding it to the medium. We have Mulberry and Choke cherry trees on our property and the birds just fine in dying anything they fly over.

Mable Morrow wrote a fine book on rawhide wherein she discusses all sorts of paints and dyes and other tribal specifics.
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Old 10-05-2000, 12:18 AM   #13
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ironwood: Well there you go, ask and you shall recieve! I believe that Nagi is right on about the ceramic earth paints. But you could also incorporate DCP's idea of feeding the ducks. Now get whatever color of earth paint you want,feed the ducks and get whatever color poop you want. Makes perfect sense!!! So maybe you can grind all your native ochres, feed the ducks, then harvest the recycled paint. Possibly the ducks could even be bypassed?
Whirlwind PS Now what about about the green pond algae scum!!!!
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Old 10-06-2000, 09:40 AM   #14
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... another option for sizing/glue is Rabbit Skin Glue (Grumbacher makes it) that comes in dry pellet form and you mix it with water and heat it up -- most art stores should have it.

Tara
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Old 10-06-2000, 01:35 PM   #15
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Smile

Raptor is correct, use the chalk line colors.
These colors are made for the most part from natural minerals.
You can also obtain them in larger quanity by contacting your local masonary supply store.
Blue is the hardest color to obtain naturally. Long ago it was an inter-tribal trade item. One source was from the Blue Earth River in Minnesota (Mankato, MN) Makato Wakpa. This was a bluish-green from a copper deposit.
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Old 10-06-2000, 10:41 PM   #16
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I was over on Tara Prindle's site (Native Tech) earlier today. In her section on porcupine quilling, she has a page on natural dyes that includes some plant/vegetable dyes that give blues. If any of those plants were indigenous to the area the color you're trying to recreate was used in, it would stand to reason that you might be able to either make a paint directly from those plants or feed the plants to the ducks.

Nagi
PS: URL to Native Tech is http://www.nativetech.org ... at least that's how I got there!
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Old 10-09-2000, 06:42 PM   #17
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Thanks All!
Just wanted to thank everyone for their enthusiastic, educational, and light hearted responses. There are several of you're ideas that I may try to use(here ducky, eat this blue bread). I am very interested in using the old time materials, and methods. I want to see what will really work, and how this stuff was originally used. The old ways aren't always the easy ways, but they are but they sure are neat to learn.
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Old 10-09-2000, 08:10 PM   #18
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Yellow Dye: Years ago when I was making(attemping to make, breaking was the more accurate term) my first Osage Orange bow, I borrowed one of my mothers tea towels to drape over the stave in a boiling pot on top of the stove. When the towel was removed, behold a brilliant yellow color. Mom was not impressed with my discovery. I've used this dye on porcupine quills and horse hair. It seems to work very well. Just take some of the inner golden colored wood, shave it up and boil it for a while. There you have it. Sounds like Hickory will do they same, but I've never tried it. This is to make Dye. Paint is a whole different ballgame. It seems to me as if the old time dyes were usually vegetable materials, while most of the paints were minerals, except pond algae, and of course our favorite, duck poop.


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