Threads that connect have always been my preference over ties that bind. However, my relationship with glue, paste, and their tacky, odoriferous mate – rubber cement – has rolled and twisted through the years.
This might seem disgusting, but the paste we used in the early 1960s was made out of horse bones, it tasted like mint, and all of us grade schoolers used to eat it. Mucilage, on the other hand, was just continuously distasteful. Poor performance and an annoying word to boot.
Elmer’s Carpenter’s Interior Wood Glue is no doubt the best, despite the awkward name. Not only does it leave a lustrous but not-too-shiny sheen over paper and canvas, as far as I can tell, it lasts forever. Things that aren’t glued properly fall apart. This used to drive me crazy until I noticed the caramel-colored traces left behind. Four new scans of this effect are shown here.
Did I mention pouring a thin layer of Elmer’s on your arm, waiting for it to dry, and slowly peeling it off? We kids did that, too.