miranda (maandusa) wrote in blood_art,

blood preservation?

hi ladies (and gents?)!

i'm interested in menstrual art, but two projects i would like to do aren't paintings, and i need some advice from those of you used to working with blood as a medium...

first of all -- and please don't judge, i know it seems cheesy -- i want to create a blood vial necklace containing a little of my blood and a little of my husband's. i have some vials to work with, and i plan to seal them permanently with adhesive and decoratively with wax possibly. anyway, i have no idea how to go about preserving the blood so that it doesn't evaporate, rot, clot, change color, etc... i don't mind a little darkening, of course, but i still want it to be obviously our blood. i don't even mind if it's just a couple drops from each of us -- doesn't have to be a full vial... so i'm wondering if using alcohol, oil, or some other "carrier" would work? actually, it would be quite interesting visually if it was a few drops "floating" in a clear solution such as alcohol/oil.

secondly, i have a glass bottle in the shape of a female torso that is currently filled with a red-tinted liquid and silk flowers, which i use as one of my Goddess statues. i would like to empty it, and refill it using my mentstrual blood and some herbs that represent the Goddess. again, i would be happy to include a carrier liquid and the amount of blood doesn't have to fill the bottle (it's about 4 - 5 inches tall -- that's a lot of blood!). this will then be sealed with cork and wax most likely (as it currently is), but i can also include a permanent sealant if necessary.

so, i am looking to this community for suggestions of how i can accomplish this -- preserving the blood in liquid form to prevent rancidity, clotting, etc.

i appreciate any suggestions!
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I work in a lab where we use human samples of blood from time to time, and it's not necessarily dangerous, but there are all sorts of things we have to do just in case. I really don't want to rain on any parade, but you'll have to be really careful, human blood is a biohazard substance, so if your glass vials should break someplace in public, unless you fix the blood somehow it could be a problem. We fix tissue here in formalin (like formaldehyde but not quite as nasty a chemical) by putting it (mouse tissue, so a very small piece of something) in about 10 mL of formalin and keeping it rocking at 4C for a day, but I don't know anything about "fixing" blood. Your best bet (unless someone has a better idea) might be to seal it up as well as possible and then let it do what it will. Blood will keep if you freeze it, but I have a feeling this isn't something you want to hide in a freezer!
thanks for the info! :) i won't really need to worry about exposure in case of breakage in public, these will be kept at home ... i'm more likely to cut myself at work (i'm a hairstylist) and expose blood that way! LOL! (sadly, i've done that a couple times... including slinging blood across the floor when i jerked my sliced-open finger up to my mouth to stifle the bleeding LOL!)

i suppose i could just experiment with an alcohol/oil mixture and a few drops of my own blood and once i find a good ratio, just plan to do new vials once a year or so... it could actually be a nice ritual to plan for each year, sort of a private recommitment ceremony.

hmm... i'm still curious to see if anyone else has suggetions!
I like the idea of a yearly ceremony! If you first mixed blood with alcohol and then put it in the oil, it might stay in separate layers if you're lucky too. You could also see what happens to it over a year, if it stays inert and sealed up, you could probably keep it for longer too. Good luck, I'm interested to see how it turns out and what other people come up with!
i'll try to remember to take pictures :) it would be really great if i could get a few drops of blood to "float" between layers of alcohol and a very clear oil, so that the vial looks clear except for the blood droplet. i doubt that'll happen, but i can hope!

btw, i've been reading your journal... you seem pretty awesome :) unfortunately, i don't use my LJ much anymore, just so i can still participate in communities :( i use facebook more for ... well, the everyday stuff.