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De Wain Valentine and polyester resin

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- He was a real innovator, willing to take risks with a new material. Most of these resins were designed to be poured in very thin layers. This is why De Wain had to develop his own resin. - In terms of the chemistry he did he was quite an artist as well. It's useful to know what the words mean. So what does it mean to be unsaturated? What is an ester and what's a polyester? This is the set of molecules the artist is working with. These are examples of ester linkages. If you put many of them, poly, it's a polyester. They have the potential to link to other molecules. That's what the term unsaturated refers to. So you have molecules that are small and look alike and at the moment that you want to create the solid you can add a catalyst in and it steals one of their electrons. So all of a sudden it puts them in kind of an excited unstable state. So they attack their neighbor and they're stuck together but that one now is unhappy so it attacks the next one. And then the neighbor says, "I'm going to steal one from my neighbor." And boom boom boom, it runs through the whole system and connects it all together, stitching together the material. Causing them not only to become longer but also to link with each other. It's a very highly cross linked material and it ultimately gives you this strong clear resin. - There was a gentleman called Ed Revay. He got Pittsburgh Plate Glass' resins division working with me to formulate the RS 50112. - De Wain is like a craftsman, very special, very professional, very deliberate, don't give up. - He was one of those people who would rapidly try new materials as they'd come available and then not be limited by them. - The fact that any of them came out as well as they did was something of a miracle. If a little tiny piece of dirt or something fell in, it was ruined. - My first large piece I tried to pour, it went wacky and started to crack. - There was a strong panic mode, the whole thing was going to blow open. - It wasn't just about using new materials that a lot of these artists were doing. It was really about creating something that wasn't there. So this intersection between technique and science and art, it just seems to be encapsulated by this particular piece and this particular artist.