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Re: Off the wall question from a newbie. preserving the blooms

  • Subject: Re: Off the wall question from a newbie. preserving the blooms
  • From: "Elizabeth Campbell" <desinadora@mail2designer.com>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 07:38:42 -0800

Walter - the heat generated by the curing of the epoxy or other resin normally kills off whatever enzymes would be working to break down the bloom inside its casting. Also, if you do this correctly you end up with an anaerobic environment inside the casting, and no oxygen = no deterioration. However, if you mess up and there is one tiny hole, you will eventually be left with a casting full of spores and whatnot. Which is why I say things like "practise makes perfect." I normally use the process to preserve orchids, and have never tried to preserve an Aroid inflorescence in this manner, but the process and science of it is sound. I'll be interested to hear how Chris does with it, and will also experiment on my own now that the idea has been raised. It seems a better way to deal with the preservation of inflorescences and other plant matter vis a vis herbarium specimens, since the process preserves the natural colour and shape of the plant. For orchids, I have ones prese rved in this manner that my grandmother made in the 1960s that still look fresh today.

I tend to sell these as soon as they cure, and I don't have any photos at the moment; I lost the lot in a large computer crash, much to my chagrin. The next time I do a set I will definitely post photos to the group; certainly if I can successfully preserve an inflorescence I will publish the method here.



Message: 5
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2009 21:48:22 +0100
From: "Walter Turner" <wvturner@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] Off the wall question from a newbie. preserving
the blooms
To: "Discussion of aroids" <aroid-l@gizmoworks.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Beth, since you obviously have experience in doing this with epoxy resin, I
have to admit it can work. Something bothers me, though.

The inflorescences are still fresh and full of water/plasma. Once sealed,
they can't dry out. Or can they? Don't the enzymes keep on working, the
bacteria keep on eating? Or are the bacteria killed by the epoxy? How long
can the inflorescence keep its appearance?

Do you have any photos of things you've done?

I hope Chris will give us a running account of how his attempts are

Walter Turner

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