Sunday, May 28, 2017

the mechanics of head gear...

Wear the conformateur to measure your head.
 For your steampunk card designs, personal use only folks. Read the Terms of Use.
This is for an exact fit, so your hat won't be too tight or too loose.

An electric adjustable hat cleaning machine.

The perfect end product.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

antique flag frame

Send a charming, nostalgic letter home this fourth of July. What parent or grandparent wouldn't love to receive a handwritten sentiment inside the restored frame below? You could possibly take a picture of a child in a parade or a patriotic poem written in calligraphy. Use your imagination.
This patriotic frame includes American flags, shields with stars and stripes, a gold eagle, and striped banners.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

tree peonies for card crafts

Tree peony is the vernacular name for the section Moutan of the plant genus Paeonia, or one of the species or cultivars belonging to this section. It consists of shrubs that have perennial aereal woody stems. Other peonies do not have perennial woody stems, but their stems die back after the growing season, to emerge again from buds just below the surface early in the following year. Tree peonies have been in culture in China for millennia, and it is likely that hybrids came into being in gardens, where different wild tree peony species were planted closely together. They are used in China both for medicine and as an ornamental, particularly the hybrids called Paeonia suffruticosa. These hybrids in particular, but other tree peonies too are called 牡丹 (mu dan) in China.

There are two images below of tree peonies thus far. One in color the other in black and white. Read the Terms of Use before including them in your card crafts.



flourish designs of ladies

A gentlewoman's profile, bust flourish.

A young lady's profile, flourish, head and shoulders only.

country road staionary

Write a letter home using this charming country road that
leads to mountains, pastures, woodlands and farms.
It's for personal use only folks. Read the Terms of Use.


"Country Roads" by John Denver 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

botany book pages for crafting

This digital paper is free for visitors to use in their personal crafts only. These two pages are from an antique botany book (1578). The text is in German. Click directly on the papers to download the largest available sizes.



Sunday, May 7, 2017

rittenhousetown historic district

Buildings at RittenhouseTown historic district.
       The RittenhouseTown Historic District encompasses the remains of an early industrial community which was the site of the first paper mill in British North America. The mill was built in 1690 by William Rittenhouse and his son Nicholas on the north bank of Paper Mill Run (Monoshone Creek) near (and now within) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The district, off Lincoln Drive near Wissahickon Avenue in Fairmount Park, includes six of up to forty-five original buildings. RittenhouseTown was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark District on April 27, 1992.
       Flax was woven into linen in nearby Germantown. When the linen fabrics wore out, the rags were brought to RittenhouseTown to be made into paper. Paper produced at the Rittenhouse mill was sold to printers in Germantown, Philadelphia, and New York City. The Rittenhouse paper works operated until about the 1850s, by which time the family was leasing its facilities out to other types of manufacturing.
       Between the years 1890 and 1917, the site was acquired through donations and purchases by the City of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park Commission. A nonprofit organization called Historic RittenhouseTown, Inc. was founded in 1984 to preserve, restore, and historically interpret RittenhouseTown. The organization maintains offices within RittenhouseTown and offers historic tours, paper making workshops and special events.

RittenhouseTown includes six historic buildings maintained by Historic RittenhouseTown: 
  1. Abraham Rittenhouse Home (c. 1720)
  2. Rittenhouse Homestead (1707)
  3. Rittenhouse Bake House (c. 1730)
  4. Enoch Rittenhouse Home (1845)
  5. Jacob Rittenhouse Home (1810) and another unnamed 18th century Rittenhouse Home.
  6. The Rittenhouse Bake House is used for cooking demonstrations. 
 Making paper on RittenhouseTown's campus.

       Most of RittenhouseTown's buildings are built of stone and finished in stucco, and generally exhibit colonial building methods. They are all that are left of a much larger industrial complex and worker village, of which more than thirty-five buildings have been demolished. The area also includes archaeological industrial remains of some of the mill buildings.

the love of the craft in japan

Plant sources for pulp used in making paper in Japan.
        Japanese paper making represents to the highest degree the oriental attitude towards this ancient craft. The very choice of ingredients for pulp takes on something more than the mere raw materials required to make a sheet of paper. Soetu Yanagi, the eminent Japanese folk craft scholar,in speaking of the three major sources for pulp in Japan, says: "Gampi, Kozo, and Mitsumata ‚ these build a tried of paper making materials, with the various kinds of Japanese papers taking their seats somewhere in this triad; Gampi-paper sitting at the top, Kozo-paper on the right, and  Mitsumata-paper on the left. In its dignity and lustrousness the beauty of Gampi is peerless, and its life endless. No paper under the sun can be nobler than this. Soft and hard, negative and active, go hand-in-hand herein. Kozo is the sterner sex who keeps guard over the land of paper. Its sinewy, tough fibers can bear any rough work. To this does Japanese paper owe its strength even now. Were it not for Kozo, how effeminate the world of paper would be! Beside Kozo, Mitsumata is the gentle sex which softens the realm of paper. No paper can be more graceful than this. It is of fine texture, smooth skin, and sweet temper. Without Mitsumata, paper would decrease in tasteful delicacy. In concert with Kozo, it has kept on protecting the life of Japanese paper... "
A Japanese papermaker removing wet sheet from flexible bam-
boo mold covering. The wet sheet is simply pulled off the
covering and neatly stacked. Use of Tororo-aoi mucilage pre-
vents sticking.
       These three - Kozo, Gampi, and Mitsumata - are the deciduous plants which are used in Japan for papermaking more than any other vegetable fibers. The best of the three variants of Kozo is scientifically called Broussonetia Kazi-noki, popularly known as the "paper mulberry." Before theadvent of paper into Japan, the people were said to have woven cloth from its bark and offered the cloth to the gods during festivals. Paper made from Kozo is resistant to water and is used in the manufacture of Slioji and Kappa (paper raincoat). Mitsumata (belonging to the Daphne Odora family) is so named because of its distinctive appearance‚Äîthree branches issuing from an upright stem.Hence its name, "three forks." Gampi, referred to as the "king of papers," is a plant which resists cultivation and as a consequence is scarce. This naturally increases the cost of manufacturing Gampi-paper above the others.

 Traditional techniques for making Washi.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

paper's journey from china to america

  1. 105 A.D.--Paper invented by Ts'al Lun in Lei-yang. 610--Paper introduced into Japan via Korea. 770--The Million Prayers of Empress Shotoku, first text printing on paper.
  2. 751--Paper made in Samarkand, presumed to have been learned from Chinese prisoners of war.
  3. 793--Baghdad: paper introduced by Harun-al-Rashid, learned from Chinese in Samarkand.
  4. 900--Paper made in Egypt, employing Chinese methods of manufacture.
  5. 1100--First papermaking in Moracco--from Egypt.
  6. 1151--World's first stamping mill at Xativa, Spain; motivated by water power until invention of "Hollander."
  7. 1276--establishment of paper mill at Fabriano (oldest continuously operating paper mill). 1282--First known watermark of Europe, at Fabriano.
  8. 1348--First paper mill in France, at Troyes. 1719--Rene Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur suggests use of wood for pulp. 1777--"Wove" (papier velin) exhibited in Paris by Benjamin Franklin. 1798--Nicholas-Louis Robert invents continuous web paper-making machine. Called to this day the Fourdrinier because it was developed in England by two brothers of that name.
  9. 1390--Mill established at Nurnberg by Ulman Stromer (famous "S" watermark); first known paper-maker's strike at this mill. 1450-5--Gutenberg's 42-line Bible published. 1540--Glazing hammer, supplanting hand burnishing of paper, invented 1595--First "paste-papers."
  10. 1322--First use of paper in Holland. 1680--invention of the "Hollander," a machine supplanting primitive beaters motivated by wind or water.
  11. English mill established in Hertfordshire by John Tate. 1757--Introduction of "wove" paper, made by Turkey Mill for John Baskerville. 1848--Chiaroscuro watermarks invented by William Henry Smith.
  12. 1690--Founding of first American mill in Germantown, PA.
Germantown History in Philadelphia, 
the first place for an American paper mill.

the paper mold--simplicity and ingenuity

       This tool, the paper mold, is profoundly important to mankind. It was created in response to a particular need and, because of its basic design, has not changed appreciably in nearly twenty centuries. There have, of course, been a number of innovations, the most interesting of which was --in answer to the nineteenth century's demand for more and more paper--the Fourdrinier, or continuous web, paper-making machine. But it is the story of hand papermaking--the tool and the process--that concerns us here.
       Before describing the paper mold in detail, it may interest the student of etymology that some paper scholars claim that a term widely used today had its origin in the paper mold; namely, that "format," so bandied about these days in fields as far removed from papermaking as television and advertising, is derived from the French name for the tool--forme. Format, in the sense in which it was first used and is still used in France, refers to the size of a sheet of paper as formed in the paper mold.
       Handmade paper is formed in two ways. In the primitive manner, which is still practiced in some of the remote areas of the Orient, the pulp is poured upon a cloth of woven grass stretched taut by a frame of bamboo. This grass cloth is firmly affixed to its frame. The- wet sheet of paper thus formed remains on the surface of the mold and is left to dry. The second and more highly developed manner of forming paper is as disarmingly simple as the first process. In this, the mold is dipped into a vat filled with pulp, lifted, and rhythmically shaken to ensure even distribution of the pulp. The sheet is then dried.
A sketch of the most primitive type of mold of the Orient. The
 surface of the mold is mad of grass, giving it a "wove" formation. The
 four edges of the mold are constructed of the handiest material
available: bamboo. In this mold pulp is poured upon the surface.
       However, because the newly formed sheet of paper remained in the mold until dried, a mold was needed for each sheet. For a thousand sheets a thousand molds were required. As a result, a flexible, removable bamboo covering, which could be rolled off its frame, was developed. This simple, ingenious device enabled the early oriental papermakers to simply roll off the mold covering upon which lay the newly-formed sheet of paper, place the sheet in the sun to dry, return the mold covering to the frame, and repeat the process. The simple beauty of this tool, sometimes referred to as the "transfer" mold, is an excellent example of technology in its simplest form.
Chinese character for silk forms.
       The split bamboo covering of the transfer mold was held in place during the dipping process by loose sticks the same length as the short ends of the rectangular frame. These were grasped by the right and left hands of the papermaker, completing the right and left side of the deckle. The early Chinese papermakers followed a policy of using readily available material to make paper, and therefore used silk in both its raw or woven state before discovering the use of mulberry bark, bamboo hemp, and a wide variety of materials for the basic ingredient-pulp. It should not be surprising, then, that the Chinese character for silk forms part of their character for paper. 
       It should be mentioned here that we owe a very great debt to the Chinese for their contributions to the art of papermaking. Unfortunately, present strained relations do not permit correspondence with these people and make it difficult, if not impossible, to procure illustrative material and specimens from China. Since the variations between papermaking in Japan and China are slight, we take Japanese processes and tools as our model.

" Tutorial & instructions for making a mold and deckle
 for hand papermaking. The cheap, quick, and easy way
 - make handmade paper at home today!" by Paperslurry

paper by quentin fiore

       The manufacture of paper by hand enjoys a long and fascinating history--the unbroken tradition of an esthetic craft and a practical art. The art of papermaking gives us our most basic material for written communication: the silent tongue frequently more eloquent than our speaking tongue. In the papered world in which we live, a world of bank notes, billboards, and belles letters, we tend to forget the tool which first made possible this handsome material: the paper mold--simple and ingenious-- which is the central figure of this article. by Quentin Fiore

"Quentin Fiore, graphic designer, calligrapher, typographer, and paper enthusiast, became interested in the neglected study of handmade paper some years ago. Mr. Fiore regards paper as not merely a surface but an integral part of any graphic presentation. The hand-decorated paste-paper at right was made under his direct supervision. In dedication to the late Harrison Elliott, friend and paper scholar--a modest tribute to his kind encouragement and expert guidance in the study of the "white art."

       Handmade paper is a jewel, sought after by those whose tastes crave something that has been touched by human hands ; something nurtured by tradition and with a personality all its own. Paper as we know it today is far removed from the delicate craft of the papermaker whose traditions stretch back nearly two thousand years and across the world. It took handmade paper a millenium (105 A.D. to 1151 A.D.) to make its remarkable journey from China, through the Middle East and Africa, and then to Europe through Spain, where the Pillars of Hercules were just an invasion away from Moorish Africa.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead on papyrus - a laminated substance made from the inner
 bark of a tall sedge found along the banks of the Nile river. Read more about it.
       But eons before man produced paper, it was being made in the great coal forests of the carboniferous era, when among the lords of the earth were some of the insects of today. Among these was the Hymenopterous of the family of Vespidae, known simply as the "paper wasp." Millions of years ago, this lowly insect, which we have good reason to shy away from, developed the first true paper. We have had to learn to imitate the natural process of this winged papermaker who, without benefit of vats, molds, beaters and all the other appointments of the papermaker's trade, nibbles away at any source of dry wood, masticates it, and then exudes a paste -like substance which serves as a binder for her miraculous product. With this paper, she constructs a form of habitation that is, apart from the material used, a marvel of technology to which architects are returning as a source for creative inspiration.
Above, A letter "O" from the 
Berthold manuscript (German)
written and illuminated on vellum, an
exquisite medieval writing material
from skins of calves.  Also referred
to as a sacramentary (hymnal)
       Many materials were used for the purpose of communication before man learned to imitate this first papermaker. Thoughts, in the form of words and images, were carved upon stone ; scratched into clay tablets ; cut into brass, copper, bronze, lead, and wood; painted upon the walls of caves, leaves, and barks of trees, upon laminated surfaces such as Amatl, Huun, Tapa, and Papyrus, on cloth such as silk, and also upon animal skins‚Äî vellum and parchment. Before speaking of paper, it might not be amiss to clear away two common misconceptions of paper on the part of some. One of the materials used as a writing surface before the development of paper is particularly important because it has mistakenly come down to the present day as the first form of paper. The word for it, familiar to every schoolboy, is "papyrus." The mistaken notion is perhaps due to the etymology of "paper": the Latin word "papyrus," from which our word "paper" derives. Thus papyrus is often confused with paper, or at best, thought of as its earliest form. It is in no sense either of these things, for papyrus was made from the pith of a tall sedge found in great quantities along the banks of the Nile and was used as a writing substance in Egypt and by the neighboring Mediterranean people. The basic difference between paper and papyrus lies in their manufacture: papyrus is a laminated surface of 'strips of the sedge pith while paper is made by macerating fibers to produce an aqueous solution of pulp.
       Another substance which is often confused with paper is so-called "rice paper." Much prized by some as the most typical product of oriental papermakers, this elegant, very white thin substance is not paper at all. In reality, it is the pith of a plant that grows in Formosa, which is cut spirally into strips, and is usually used to make charming artificial flowers. Unfortunately, and inaccurately, the term "rice paper" has come to mean all oriental papers. Although rice is the universal staple of the Orient, it cannot be used to make paper.
       Before the advent of paper, and for several hundreds of years after its appearance in Spain, Europeans derived an exquisite writing surface from the prepared skins of lambs and calves. These skins were made into vellum and parchment and were used by the scribes and illuminators of medieval Europe in place of papyrus, since the papyrus sedge could not be practically raised on the continent. Man's ability to "make do" with the materials available to him accounts for the many differences in paper throughout the world. For instance, the Arabs of Samarkand (751 A.D.), although they had probably come into contact with oriental papermaking through wars, had no mulberry tree from which to form paper; linen rags, plentiful in the land at the time, were therefore used as a substitute pulp material. Apart from various substitutes proposed from time to time, there are, broadly speaking, two basic categories in which hand papermaking materials fall: vegetable fibers in their natural state, and cotton and/or linen rags. Vegetable fibers are used in the Orient, while rags form the basis from which pulp is made in the West.
A Russian birch bark letter (14th century) See also an example
from Native Americans here called, "Wiigwaasabak"
       If there is one man in all history who deserves credit for conceiving the process by which handmade paper is made, he is a Chinese eunuch named Ts'ai Lun, a privy councilor to the Eoyal Court of Ho Ti. An ancient Chinese scholar wrote: "Under the reign of Ho Ti (89-105 A.D.), Ts'ai Lun, of Lei-yang, conceived the idea of making paper from the bark of trees, discarded cloth, and hemp well-prepared; the paper was then in use in the entire universe." Perhaps Ts'ai Lun, denied the pleasurable pursuits that often distract other men, found time to gaze at the paper wasp and wonder why man too could not make paper. But Ts'ai Lun did find time to become involved in a court intrigue as an inventor of slanders against a member of the Imperial family and his end was worthy of the most confirmed stoics of another culture: having given himself up to the minister of Justice, Ts'ai Lun experienced such deep feelings of remorse and shame that he ended his life by bathing and dressing himself in his most elaborate robes and quaffing poison. Ts'ai Lun left behind him a legacy far greater and of far more import than that of many a conqueror. History, full of Tamerlanes and Caesars, records only one Ts'ai Lun. Ts'ai Lun saw, with unusual insight, the possibilities of manufacturing a writing substance from strips of silk which remained after newly mounted scroll manuscripts had been trimmed. Waste of this sort would naturally concern a man with the type of mind with which Ts'ai Lun was endowed. It was clear to him that after beating these silk left-overs until they were reduced to a fibrous pulp, some contrivance was needed upon which this aqueous substance could be poured and, after drying, formed into a writing material of very economical manufacture. What was required was a screen which would retain the matted fibers on its surface and at the same time allow the excess water to drain through. Thus was born the paper mold, and it is to this simple device that this article pays homage.
More About Paper History:

Monday, May 1, 2017

the violet

The Violet 
by William Wetmore Story

O Faint, delicious, spring-time violet!
Thine odor, like a key,
Turns noiselessly in memory's wards to let
A thought of sorrow free

The breath of distant fields upon my brow
Blows through that open door,
The sound of wind-borne bells, more sweet and low
And sadder than of yore.

It comes afar from that beloved place.
And that beloved hour,
When life hung ripening in love's golden grace,
Like grapes above a bower.

A spring goes singing through its reedy grass,
The lark sings o'er my head,
Drowned in the sky--O pass, ye visions, pass!
I would that I were dead!

Why hast thou opened that forbidden door,
From which I ever flee?
O vanished door! O love, that art no more!
Let my vexed spirit be!

O violet! thy odor, through my brain
Hath searched, and stung to grief
This sunny day, as if a curse did stain
Thy velvet leaf.