New Crock Pot for Heating Hide Glue and GessoJanuary 12, 2013
Yesterday I got a new crock pot that I bought at a local grocery store with the intention of using it to heat up my rabbit skin glue mixtures for mounting, sizing, and making traditional gesso. The cost was only $10. This electric pot has an aluminum core with a ceramic bowl that fits inside.
I’ve tested it out and it works fine. It has three settings: high, low, and warm. The best temperature to heat rabbit skin glue is around 130 degrees Fahrenheit, so to test it out I put about 1 cup of water inside the ceramic bowl, filled the tin can with water, and then placed it in the bowl. I then placed an immersion thermometer inside the can to see how hot that water would get. At the “high” setting, it took about 40 minutes for the water to get up to 130. I then turned the temperature down to the “warm” setting, and it stayed at 130 for about an hour before it started to drop in temperature. This will give me plenty of time to apply several layers of gesso to a panel. I can monitor the temperature and change the dial settings as needed to keep the glue at the proper temperature.
You can see in the photo that I added a piece of scrap plywood to shield the pot from getting any drips of glue or gesso on it. I cut a whole in the plywood large enough to sit on top of the pot and for the can to slide through. I may paint a few coats of acrylic medium on the plywood to make clean up easier.