© 2005 Native American Visions
Hide glue is all-natural, non-toxic and non-flammable glue, well suited for use on bone, wood, rawhide, buckskin, leathers and other natural materials. It can be used for general gluing, and for mixing with natural pigments for painting.
These recipes are starting guidelines. Each artist may develop a technique and ratio unique for their particular application.
1 part glue granules to 1 part water.
Thin: 1 part glue granules to 2 parts water gives a basic paint wuitable for painting on rawhide where you may want a more translucent color without the texture.
Thick:1 part glue granules to 1 part water gives a very thick opaque texture paint similar to the look of acrylic. Not recommended for flexible surfaces.
Your glue is now ready to use, or mix with natural pigment for painting. When in use, your glue must remain at 140 to 150° F. The glue mixture can remain at this temperature for as long as 8 to 10 hours if covered when not in use to prevent the evaporation of water. Allowing glue to cool and reheat is possible but not recommended as the glue weakens with each reheating.
Measure enough hot glue into a dish for the area to be painted. Remember that a little goes a long way. Add pigment at a ratio of 1 part pigment to 1 part hot glue. Stir well to make a smooth mixture.
During the painting process it may be necessary to reheat your piant ot keep it warm and prevent separation. If necessary, place your paint mixture back in the pan of hot water and stir. Dip your applicator lightly and only apply a very small amount of paint at a time to achieve the look you want, (your mixture will go a long way so alway start with a small amount on your applicator). Use a small separate container of hot water while painting to dip your applicator into to help spread the paint and dilute it as it is applied.
For painting on rawhide, a thin application is best as it will be more translucent with little or no texture. Stiff brushes or other stiff applicators are used to apply the piant and actually work it down into the surface of the hide. Many authentic old rawhide items were painted when the hide was staked out and wet, allowing the natural glues in the hide to mix with the pigments. Since most modern applications are done with dry rawhide, a paint and hide glue mixture will obtain a similar result.
When dry, your painting can be finished by sizing it with a spray varnish, or a very weak glue mixture to further seal and give it a sheen. Howerever the glue mixed with the paint should produce a colorfast application. Note: It is best to mix only enough paint for a single painting session. While a pint mixture can be stored and reheated, subsequent reheating will weaken the glue in the mixture so this not recommended.