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Subject: Workshop on technology of the medieval book

Workshop on technology of the medieval book

From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Monday, March 11, 1996
Technology of the Medieval Book IX
8-12 & 15-19 July, 1996
Santa, Idaho

Our purpose in presenting these seminars on the technology of the
medieval book is to provide the participants with an opportunity to
experience and understand elements of those technologies which have
been central to the production and dissemination of knowledge in
Western culture.

Toward that end, in the first week the participants will learn how
flax and other fibers were harvested and processed to make thread,
cord, and paper.

During the second week, participants  will learn to make thread,
parchment, alum tawed leather, wooden boards and fore edge clasps.

Each participant will be given a quantity of handmade paper on the
first morning.  During week one, these sheets will be folded and
sewn with a link stitch and be given a paper wrap to form a
notebook. During week two, the sheets will be sewn on supports of
cords, or split thongs,  bound in wooden boards, and closed with
fore edge clasps.

I will be making paper for the workshop over the next few months, so
that it will be ready for use by July.  Wood for the boards has been
split out and dressed down from quarter-split air dried oak.  During
the second week everyone will split boards out and learn to dress
them down with hand tools, but the boards used for binding the books
will be selected from those which have been dressed down to a proper
thickness over the past few years, for reasons which will be
explained during the workshop.

The seminar will be conducted on property owned by Jim and Melody
Croft, craftspeople dedicated, as I am, to preserving traditional
handcrafts.  Santa is located in the mountains of northern Idaho,
less than two hour's drive from Spokane.  Roundtrip transportation
will be available for those who will be flying in to the Spokane

Week One:
Fiber Preparation through Papermaking & Sizing

Monday:  Make drop spindle and spin thread from line flax; learn to
thread hog bristle needle; sew unsupported text block and bind in
limp paper cover (for use as a notebook for the course); discuss
production and harvesting of flax and other fibers used for making
thread and paper; set harvested and dried flax to ret.

Tuesday:  Examine flax stalks in retting pond, discuss chemistry of
retting; take previously retted and dried flax stalks and scutch and
hackle them; spin thread from fresh line flax; cut up old cotton

Wednesday:  Set stamping  mill for first beating (breaking
fabric/fiber); make glue from parchment and hide trimmings; make
western-style paper from prepared pulp.

Thursday:  Set stamping  mill for second beating; pull paper from
drying boards; cook glue size and starch size, and size paper.

Friday:  Set stamping  mill for third and last beating; make
eastern-style paper and dry on heated plaster slab, and drying

Week Two:
Bookbinding with Oak Boards and Fore Edge Clasps

Monday:  Fold and sew textblock on raised cords or split thongs;
quarter-split oak for boards and begin shaping them with single
bevel tools [broad hatchet; draw knife; spoke shave] and scrapers;
set skin to soak in lime bath.

Tuesday:  Continue working boards and fit them to textblocks.

Wednesday:  De-hair skin, stretch it in frame and and scrape it for
making parchment; work tawed skin until supple, apply egg emulsion
and continue working skin until it is dry and soft.

Thursday:  Make iron needles to be used in sewing endbands; sew
endbands; cover book; begin manufacturing fore edge clasps.

Friday:  Finish fore edge clasps and fit them to the book; paste
down end sheets.

Tuition, room & board for both weeks is $900.00; for those wishing
to participate in either week one (papermaking), or week two
(bookbinding), tuition, room & board is $550/wk.  Family members are
welcome, but there will be a slight additional charge for food. For
further information, or to register for the course(s), contact:

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Laboratory
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:62
                 Distributed: Thursday, March 14, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-9-62-014
Received on Monday, 11 March, 1996

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