This is a photo of a jar of gum elemi, mixed with gum spirits of turpentine, and one can observe the clear material at the top, and the sediment that forms on the bottom.
This is the gum elemi mixed with gum spitits of turpentine. It is starting to get cloudy as the elemi dissolves in the solvent.
A little while later, and a little more cloudy. This will dissolve down to its saturation point. That is where no more resin can be accepted by the solvent, and then the remainder will stay in an undissolved form. I like to go by the saturation point as a reference point.
The resin is a component of the entire material. I dissolve the raw material in gum spirits of turpentine, thus liberating the resin from the waxy material and debris, which remains at the bottom of the jar. The resin in the turp is clear as water. At that point, I add a little more raw elemi, and watch it over a day. It will continue to dissolve, and when no more of the lump goes down, it is at a saturation point. I wait till fully settled, and clear, then remove carefully, with eye dropper. I then combine 50/50 with hard copal medium. Very little will alter the properties of paint.
This material will remain cloudy for several days, and then will clear. The turpentine will solve the resin, and a waxy sediment will form, on the bottom of the jar. The debris will remain with the sediment. This sediment can still retain some unsolved resin, and I won't go into detail about my exact process, but the material that is on top is absolutely clear, and to my eye refracts light to a greater extent than water, as it magnifies images through the glass, moreso than other materials. I would further add that the material is as liquid as gum spirits of turpentine.
I remove this material very carefully with an eye dropper, to avoid stirring up the sediment.
This is a picture of the elemi that has been removed from the jar. It is very clear, and thin, in its nature.
Another picture of the elemi. I store this material in 30 ml. bottles, and have found these quite useful.
In this state, the material can faciliate the manufacture of copal mediums, as it acts as a thinner, yet jacks up the resin content, all the while, acting as a plasticizer, and permitting effects that copal alone does not. It also seems to speed up the drying of oil paint.
Although very thin, once the turpentine evaporates off, a highly sticky residue remains. This residue provides the benefit to paint, in my opinion.