Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ink Batches

Amazingly, I have been able to post twice in one month! I need to restrain myself lest expectations rise to unattainable heights.

A new batch of ink is completed and is awaiting the completion of the slow dehydration process in the oven. Unlike batch numbered 3, this ink has a very dark, stout character with a bit of shine. Batch 2 as you will recall seemed a bit timid and not quite as permanently impressed upon the paper fiber as I would have liked, though still quite usable.

So, I should have a completely adequate supply of period correct 18th century ink ready for sale come Spring.

Packaging is set set, with instructions in both period and (inside) modern day wording.

Now, I await the return of Spring, the budding oaks, the busy wasps, and nascent galls ready to be turned into more ink . . .

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Putting electronic quill to electronic laid paper

I find myself apparently as constant a correspondent by this means as I was consistent with letter and thank-you writing in my youth. In other words, not so much. I beg your pardon for my lack, though with the steady stream of postings from others I doubt my missives have been sorely missed.

Still, the purpose of this setting seems to be to generate a persistent flow of communication about the subjects of interest to the originator. And to this task I have not stayed true. I could plead that "life intrudes" as it has with work, family, and other commitments. I could as well plead that I had nothing of note, at least to me, that seemed worthy of your ear.

This is not to say your correspondent has not been busy with attention to those things pertaining to the Clerk.

Indeed, since my last missive in November regarding NAVC's Fall Gathering, I have, amongst other endeavors, spent a good deal of time reading a pile of books and journal articles (I won't bore you with a list, you can send me a message if you want a "reading list") regarding 18th century shipping, trade, merchant activity, insurance, and other subjects relevant to 18th century economics. I hope that I can, at a not too future date, put together an article or presentation regarding the understanding I have gained in this area as regards the economic workings of the fur trade. With, I hope, a practical application, such as my workshop "And Take a Receipt", which examines the fairly dry topic of: "the type and use of fur trade documents to figure out the cost and profit on a 2 1/2 point blanket and its comparative value both to trader and Native in the context of 18th century price structure" and presents the information in concrete terms applicable to the interpreter.

That said, I've taken up mixing the latest potion of ink, using the last of my oak galls. I hope these are a better batch than the last one which did not produce a colorfast a liquid as previous concoctions. I will also be using a dried gum Arabic rather than the liquid form more readily available in art stores. I will chronicle that venture in the next "chapter" in our continuing serial. With, it is to be hoped, not such a long gap.