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Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 23 6:02 pm    Post subject: frugal art supplies Reply with quote

not about one supplier, but comparing ye olde arts and crafts shop with babylon online via amazon

babylon online does include some who have evolved or migrated entirely

25 year comparison, real terms prices are half to a few percent of "shop"prices from the olden days

A3 handmade 100% cotton paper, 680gm
two uk pounds a sheet and next day delivery, that sort and size of paper would have been at least £15 a sheet in modern money

pigments, some are similar or matched inflation prices, the best are relatively far cheaper

i got several tubes that were a similar number£ to top end back then
i got some japanese pan pigments for a tenth of the price they would have been, chinese ink more choice and a fraction of the old number price for whatever the shop had

tools, i got 7 brushes of good quality for less than i paid for one back then not so good one in number money, and i had a far better choice
(i did get and still have some very good brushes from then, many from stalls etc rather than "art shops")
fur matters many cute things and even some of my wolfy brethen can be put on a stick and are good to use

food/energy goes up, other things sell at what they can get

re frugal, time spent on intel is never wasted in the amazon jungle, same product different advert can be an easy 30% sometimes more or it can find same factory different name or no name which can be dramatic

choice of search terms matters for the same item or the choice of more suitable items is remarkably frugal
between "hobby" and pro for same stuff ditto

avoid words that indicate hobby or pastime, 100gm for work is often cheaper than 10 gm for a hobby, same stuff different marketing

for example gum arabic, art or food, same stuff, very different prices


Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 8721
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 23 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good advice


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 23 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

digging deeper in the amazon gold mines, leaf 24k or "foil" matters for arty stuff for chemistry reasons

i only need a little for warm shiny highlights(think medieval manuscripts and icons etc)

good intel got the price down to a fiver for ten 30 by 30 mm sheets of 24k
i could have spent far more if i had gone for the first few suggestions for similar products

PS i was taught gilding by experts who did restoration etc in very posh houses, the real stuff is essential, but it goes a long way, if you avoid sneezing and drafts it even goes the long way you try to send it

an odd aspect of that shopping is that although it is a tiny wt of gold which has been worked, packaged and sent, it is a bit cheaper than the current bullion price per troyes oz
commodity behind the production cost curve

PPS be very wary of food items with "gold" among the ingredients
there is a high chance it aint gold, the prices indicate what may be" shiney" of choice for the cook

next one was ultramarine, persistence got me what i hope is good

£16 for 5 ml or 15ml, different entries from the same supplier, the bigger one might be even higher quality

back soon the traumatised is off to wildlife for a mo


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 23 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

where was ahh?
right, ok, shopping stuff

food items= cooks ingredients via industrial/professional
spices etc, better quality a fraction of "shop" prices
the intel from many found and most rejected can lead to super stuff at bargain prices if you apply the "other options"rules

the algorithms work for all, if we learn to play them, that includes us

E.G. sea salt is not the same, the best can be had by frugal shopping by intel

supermarket own brand, supermarket "best of"shelf cost vs intel shopping for handmade Michelin *** type salt that costs less if you buy a kilo and has more taste so it only needs a little
no contest


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 23 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the leaf landed, 99au 1ag, nice colour for under pigments

made in 2021 and has "before date" for "food use"

that metal would look as ace as when it was deposited if it was found in a field with a metal detector, it does not really have a shelf life
it did have a price life

PS the forge master made scissors are just the tool for leaf and its holding papers
mini sheep shears in style, made by a team who make 2 swords a year and make other tools for fluffier uses the rest of the time
hand made from japan can provide legacy worthy bladed tools if you shop well
they may be small, but they were a bargain hunt for new bargains bargain for less than £40

got those a while back when covid and brexit kicked in when sales dropped before imports did

"old" or "mistimed" stock can provide some useful stuff
it will not be the top listed stuff but it is there, often it is the top listed stuff

back to industrial vs domestic
fire cement

domestic kilo mixed in a tub or 15 kilo in a sack and mix it yourself, about the same price, the industrial had a better spec

oh dear i was just looking at flash the "stock dove" in the sunshine, pigment shopping for twotone refraction will be fun, i think i know where to start looking
years ago i discovered that art pigments and rejected face makeup had crossover for shimmery

this time they may come from the same place as the graphite pans


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 23 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shimery ones are on the way from the in the UK japanese stock where i got the "graphite" colours

twelve for £13 or so seems cheap for good quality and large pans

thinking of pans, 50 empty ones for a fiver, bargain
very useful for keeping tiny amounts of mixed pigments for later use

Mistress Rose

Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 15753

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 23 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may have found bankrupt of old stock, but if the price of the gold is less than the bullion price, perhaps you ought to consider why. Is it because some poor person is being paid a dollar a day and a bowl of rice to produce it, or even just a bowl of rice? Imported charcoal used to be a case in point as we cannot produce it as cheaply as some countries as we have rules about sustainable forestry and our cost of living for the workers is higher. Now with increased shipping costs and duty on imports it works out rather fairer.

As far as buying in larger quantities is concerned, and mixing your own, it does make sense if you are going to use it. If you only want a small amount for an odd job, then buying several kilos that will be wasted is not worth while.


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 23 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i recon it was the sell by date and "catering" issues rather than the recent rise in gold price that give the differential

what matters is the foil/paint/environmental chemistry
real gold does not react with paint or the world, dutch metal and similar foils react like the alloy of base metals they are made of(bad in food and worse under paint)

as a small aside, i have become very wary of any food at a reasonable price, that has "gold" decoration
i never understood why drinking "christmas" gin or nibbling a fancy cake should require one to be able to donate unicorn manure the next day

the american ultramarine is as good if not better than the moderately expensive stuff from my favourite uk colourist
what happened to the house? i swapped it for a tube of paint
ace shop, i refuse to browse online as i know what is in the jars and draws

about 25yrs ago i needed the correct permanent violet, only a tiny bit, 1ml a bit over £30 in then money
very nice paint, the painting has had interest a few times, but they could not afford it and i am happy to keep it

i am just as happy to use poundland* paint if any of the set is a decent pigment(a few can be surprisingly good, most are landfill or low end decoration tinters)
if you get one decent example out of 12 tubes in a box for a pound, it is a decent one for a pound(with a waste bycatch)
*other bargain shops are available


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 23 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i will not be buying a 15 g ink stick for £72.03 no matter how nice it is

dont even need to see it on paper to know it is good, i need good but i need a better black rather than the best blue


maybe £40 for a better black is reasonable
that sort of thinking does work with oil paint pigments

the stuff i have is a bit coarse for mixing up into a good ink with gum and a little blue and red to stealth it up a bit more

black is not black unless it is black in a black body sense or as close as possible

it would be nice to start with one that was fine and close to black


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 23 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh well £7.98 might have got a decent pine soot one

nellie the effalump makes good soot but that has a few ethical issues and most of the old pianos are long gone so only a few bits of long gone nellie are available for recycling and those usually end up in good oil paints

maybe the permafrost melt has an upside, chilly the effalump has left a few tusks hither and thither sorry


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 23 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


has anyone got a spare hippo?

more research required, the last time i got the real thing it was among a poundland box set, i did not ask the ethics

that one had a few other rather good traditional pigments if you dont mind lead, cadmium or chromium

probably not a set for a kid's xmas stocking this side of 1895 was my thought at the time

Last edited by dpack on Thu Apr 06, 23 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 23 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the pine soot ink is splendid
far better than oil soot which is ok for shopping lists

the oil soot seems very like western lamp black, in form and shade

2 sticks of bargain pine soot for just under £8 is somewhat better value than many listings

the smell is lovely, it grinds well and with a bit of gum it has a good texture
a trace of good quality, suitable type, blue and red pigments give a very nice black

tis pity the red was a pint and a bar meal for 5ml and the blue another serving for 10 ml

some things are the price they are and the alternatives won't work
hey ho, dont need much for stealthing the ink

me so happy


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 23 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

back on frugal

when you buy matters, a weekend price may be a lot less on tuesday

pending in a saved basket for a while can give good other options(often from the same vendor)

look at the pictures, searches find lots of the same thing at very different prices with different descriptions and sometimes different packaging

if the review is not a technical test report by somebody who knows such materials it is of minimal use for art stuff(and other things)

it arrived promptly and will be a lovely gift for...
the first time i tried it the bristles were on the painting in a couple of minutes and i was holding a stick, it seems the bristles were held in place with wallpaper paste

or vs
this is not sable it is some sort of "no fun fur"


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 23 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


brand name vs same item without brand name

that is one for comparing pictures and specs very carefully

my £10 camera batteries are identical to my £70 camera batteries apart from a few letters in white ink and no letters on the terminals cosy

my £30 remote is identical to the unavailable £60 branded one, the difference is one extra letter in white on my one

my haix boots were under a quarter of the price they would be if they had more than a nato number as markings(pre production for me and maybe some squaddies will have comfy feet in the jungle later)


Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 45903
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 23 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

price for purpose again
i need to make some natural stuff dissolve and

abs ethanol, 97.something %. sold as bioethanol stove fuel(same spec as the lab stuff)
lab grade, workshop grade, purple meths etc

no contest on price, and no methanol(major bonus for making and using glazes) in the solvent

i would want to see it through a GLC before i put it in a cocktail, but as a solvent I'm not too bothered that i might go blind after a few mins with the airbrush

owt over 97 with no mention of "denaturing" etc is lab grade abs as far as i care for solvent purposes

having just done a mental stock check on chemical store, it is odd compared to shakenvac or fabreeze
among the odd things i have acquired recently are myrrh and new frankincense for use in the "great gums test"
i know which i prefer

shopping for shellac was quite educational about how to look. for such things the words technical grade reduce the price and improve the choice and quality a lot

ps shellac offered me a huge choice of nail varnish, most of which had never even met a beetle, been there, done that, i got quite good at multi layer water shading and glow in the dark dog claws
not what i needed for this project

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