Making Glair

Glair is a fixative for both paints and gilding, which is relatively easy to do, and can be done from simple, store bought, completely non-toxic ingredients.

So, there's what you need for Glair.

So, gather up your tools and ingredients, and let's get going.

Glair calls for the white of an egg, with no yolk included. If you want to buy a specialty tool, there are special spoon like objects that can be had at Lechter's of other housewares emporia, but I tend to like the old fashioned, get your fingers sticky method my Mom taught me, so here we go...

First you crack the egg gently along the middle. Don't break it totally, just give it a good crack all the way round, being careful not to get any of the shell in the bowl.

Then, holding it upright over the bowl, open the egg along the crack. Do this gently, as you want to preserve both halves of the shell reasonably intact. Some of the white will pour off into the bowl as soon as you open the shell. That's the start of the sticky fingers bit.

You now have half an egg shell, and some dripping egg white. Take the empty half of the egg shell, and slowly pour off the white, catching the yolk with the empty shell. Repeat this process until all you have left in the shells is yolk, being careful not to get any of the yolk into the white.

Save the yolk. They have other uses, making paint, hangover cures, all sorts of things... You're done with the messy part for now, go wash the egg off your hands.

OK, so you know how to make a meringue, right? Well, this is just like that, without the sugar. If you don't know, instructions are below...
Take the whisk (or the fork) and beat the egg. A lot. Really really a lot... The whole point here is to introduce air into the egg whites, so don't just stir vigorously, get the white into the air inside the bowl so that it gets all bubbly, and keep doing that until it gets quite stiff.

Again, I like doing this by hand. It's satisfying to me, and more period to boot, plus frothing one egg in a mixer is, in my opinion anyway, more trouble than it's worth. However if pressed for time or you don't particularly care, you can whip the egg to froth in/with an electric mixer.

My lovely assistant Mr. Magnuspants demonstrates the point where we've reached 'stiff enough'. It should remain in the bowl when inverted, basically. Be careful about this test, roll the bowl over carefully and slowly, don't just flip it over 'cause you could end up with egg all over the floor physically, and all over your face, metaphorically...

Cover and let sit overnight. Don't put it in the fridge, that sort of defeats the purpose.

Then it's time to take a break... and the 'prentice decides to make nachos... which get rather overdone...

Which leads to a sad 'prentice...

That's all for today. Tune in tomorrow for.....

Making Glair... Part II

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