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Workshop: Tech. of the Medieval Book

Technology of the Medieval Book  X
14 - 18  & 21 - 25 July, 1997

To be held near 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
        The seminar will be conducted on property owned by Jim & 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 S.E. from Spokane, Washington.  Roundtrip transportation
is available for those who will be flying in to the Spokane airport.    The
days are warm but the evenings can be chilly, so dress accordingly; laundry
and showers are available.  Meals are prepared and served family style.
There are cabins to sleep in, but please provide your own sleeping bags.
Tent space is available if you prefer.
        Since much of the material must be prepared well in advance, I
would like to know as soon as possible how many people plan to participate.

The tuition, $900.00 ($550.00 for either week), (which includes room and
board) is payable by 1 June.

        Cancellations received before 15 June are subject to a $75.00
cancellation fee; refunds for cancellations received between 15 June and 5
July will be subject to a $250.00 cancellation fee; no refunds will be made
for cancellations received after 5 July, 1997, unless the circumstances are

The schedule which follows is the one which Jim and I attempt to
follow; the actual schedule is determined by the students.  More or less.

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 previously
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 rags.

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

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

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

Week Two: Bookbinding with Oak Boards and Fore Edge Clasps

MONDAY:  Fold and sew bookblock 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 scrape it for making
parchment; work previously tawed skin until supple, apply egg yolk emulsion
and continue working skin until it is dry and flexible.

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.  Attend annual party (optional...).

For additional information, or to register for the workshop contact:

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

(503) 735-3942 (voice/fax)

internet:  tcl@xxxxxxxxxxxx

Check out the web page for reviews of the workshop.

Jack C. Thompson

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)      "The lyf so short; the craft so long to learn."
                                                               Chaucer,  1386

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