174-A Believing Athiest-Connecticut Yankee


Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

4 Responses

  1. Hannah says:

    I’m reading 1984 at the moment and the word palimpsest just came up.  I would have no idea what that meant if you hadn’t told me only a couple of weeks ago.  Don’t you just love when things work out like that?

  2. Host says:

    From Ianuk on Ravelry:
    Heather, I’m re-posting a post I made on the Ravelry group about
    parchment and scribes.
    As a medieval reenactor I am very involved in the scribal arts. I
    wanted to put some information out there to help with some of the
    “misconceptions” about parchment, vellum and their uses in the time
    First parchment and vellum are used pretty interchangeable to treated
    animal skin used for a writing/painting medium. Specifically, parchment
    is from sheep or goat skin; while, vellum is calf skin. Paper is made
    from vegetable fibers and shouldn’t be confused with vellum and
    To make vellum/parchment, the skins were first defatted and dehaired by
    scrapping and then stretch taught on frames and further scraped to
    consistent thickness. There is a really interesting company here in the
    US called Pergamena (site here)1 which was featured on Dirty Jobs.
    The episode showed the process really, really well and having seen
    their product its a very good one for scribal arts. I’ve used their
    product as well as some from other manufactures in Europe and some home
    made using re-purposed drum heads.
    and vellum are not stiff as Heather stated. They can range from average
    paper feel and flop to very supple, almost fabric like quality.
    Remember they had to be sewn into books and if they were too stiff this
    would have been more difficult.
    Now, one of the really cool things about using vellum or parchment is
    that the ink and paints do not sink into the surface like they do in
    paper. They really do sit on the surface and only sink it just a tiny
    bit. This property makes it very, very easy to “erase” mistakes. If you
    get an ink blob or painting good you take a sharp knife and scrape the
    issue away. You then have to burnish the surface with a smooth rock (I
    use an agate burnisher) to get the area smooth and to allow the
    paint/ink to be applied again. Now you can see that you scraped a
    mistake depending on how thick or dark the parts you scraped off where
    but to the average eye its indistinguishable.
    I have not used the milk and oat bran to take stuff off of the pages,
    as Heather described but I imagine its rehydrating and burnishing the
    surface. You would have to let the pages dry before they could be used
    again. I would worry about the fat in the milk though. Grease from you
    hand can affect the page and not allow it to take ink/paint. Cennini, a
    late 14th century
    artist whose treatise, Il Libro dell’Arte is still in use today tells
    us how to get rid of the grease but it only sometimes works. You can
    read the book as translated by Yale at http://www.noteaccess.com/Texts/Cennini/ .

  3. Deb says:

    I loved the discussion regarding Joan of Arc.  I read MT’s book probably 25 year’s ago even though I’ve never read Huck Finn (but I have read various other things by Twain).  His respect for the saint was deep, and it’s something I’ve wanted to go back to for years.  Many of the scenes have stuck with me for all this time.  I know that Julie at Forgotten Classics mentioned possibly reading it.  That would be terrific.

  4. Barb says:


    How great that you got your grandfather’s desk!  I inherited my father’s desk, a lovely teak modern design, which has become my “paper” desk as well.  I write in my journal sitting there and I have about 15 fountain pens that I use (and none of them too expensive) for that and taking notes on readings and such.

    In fact, I would recommend that for your special desk you begin looking into items offered by Levenger (online or by catalog).  That have wonderful tools for writers and readers.  Their True Writer fountain pens are nice and not expensive and their ruled pads are simply glorious to write on.  Great note-taking items, highlighters (dry) and leather desk items.