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Rabbit Skin Glue Information & Instructions


Rabbit Skin Glue

Rabbit Skin Glue (RSG) is a prime element in water gilding.  It can be added to whiting to make Gesso, and is the adhesive in clay bole. 


This RSG is a fine granular material which dissolves easily in water.  It has a bloom strength of 400, which makes it stronger than hide glue.


One pound of RSG is approximately three cups by volume.



Soak 1 part granular RSG, by volume, to 5 parts of distilled water in clean metal container.  A soup or coffee can works well.  Let the mixture sit until the RSG has absorbed most of the water, at which point it will have turned into a thick gelatinous mass.


Add an additional 5 parts of distilled water to the mixture in the container and stir.


Let it set for an hour, and then place the metal container in a saucepan with water for heating.  The container should not touch the bottom of the saucepan.  A double boiler works well, but if one is not available, marbles, small rocks, or any solid object will help prevent contact with the saucepan.


Slowly heat the mixture until it is completely dissolved. DO NOT BOIL!  Boiling will reduce the adhesive properties of the glue, and introduce air bubbles into the mixture.


Before using, make sure there are no lumps.


When it gets cold, the RSG will start to gel.  Reheat as needed. 


Transfer leftover RSG into a container that can be sealed for storage.



Always store mixed RSG in a refrigerator.  Depending on conditions, it can have a refrigerated shelf life of up to several weeks.  An unpleasant odor will indicate that is has spoiled and can no longer be used.


When RSG is removed from the refrigerator it may have a film on top.  Remove and dispose of the film, and reheat the mixture as needed.  DO NOT BOIL. 


Dry, unmixed rabbit skin glue should be stored in a dry place, and does not need to be refrigerated.