Mandatory Downloading

The York Archaeological Trust have produced some excellent works over the years and have lately taken to publishing on-line as well as paper. In a move that’s making the fatted calves look somewhat nervous, they’ve now made some of their out-of-print fascules available as PDF files. The third one in the list is The Archaeology of York 17/16 Leather and Leatherworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York by Quita Mould, Ian Carlisle and Esther Cameron.

Grab some of the others while you’re at it, there’s horn and bone projects in them for you to try.

I’m busily downloading my copy, the server is a little slow, running only a few K per second, so be patient. I’m getting a faster download using IE8 than I did with Chrome, so try a different browser if it seems too slow or unreliable.

My thanks to Glenda and Jenny for pointing this page out to me.

Testing plans

Sorry things have been a bit quite here, real life has a habit of getting in the way. However I now have a haircut, a new job, just about everything destroyed by the lightning strike have been replaced or scheduled for repair and we now appear to have a fight with a state government about sword ownership building in the wings.

I’ve decided on the testing plan and how I’ll make the test pieces. All will be from the same part of the same hide, dyed, painted both on the surface as I do on my jacks and flooding a stamped area as I’ve done on the quivers just in case compressing the leather changes the paint retention properties. Each sample will have one coat of varnish and then be waxed front and back. The first sample will be tempera over modern black dye as a control, the second will be tempera over a traditional iron black dye, third will be oil paint on modern waterbased dye and fourth will be oil paint on traditional black.

The oil paints will be synthetic versions of flake white and vermilion with the temperas as close as I can get to those pigments. I’m using the substitutes because I’m highly sensitive to heavy metals. Two coats of each colour will be applied.

The dye I’m making is steel wool in cider vinegar, the recipe came from William De Wyk’s blog. It reacts with the tannin in the leather and forms ferric tannate, not unlike the oak gall ink used in the medieval and early modern period.

I’ll put some photos up once I get going properly.