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Re: [BKARTS] BOOK_ARTS-L Digest - 3 Jan 2006 to 4 Jan 2006 (#2006-5)

Mr. Eaton,

Cat's Paw decoration was simply done with the appropriate colored calf - light, yellow or red-based tan - a cut out sponge (sea sponge), and copperas (ferrous sulfate). The sponge is loaded with copperas, and then simply applied in some sort of symmetrical pattern.

The calf -originally colored with a slow build up of color with salts - would have been prepared in a similar manner to marbling (see Zaensdorf) less the second paste wash and coat of glair, I think. One paste wash has been sufficient for me in the past. One doesn't want the copperas to 'flow' and to resist penetration as in tree- calf marbling or random marbling - you want the copperas on the sponge to stay where you put it!

You don't want to color fair calfskin with salts anymore. Hewit's color #15 is a very good base color for marbling in the last quarter or so of the 18th and first quarter or so of the 19th-centuries. Buy a lot. Marbling takes loads of practice, and it's still never a sure thing.

The conservators will go nuts over the mention of copperas and salts, but until they come up with a slate-gray black which will match in color and 'bite' as copperas, there's no other way to match the look of the period - whether that be a rebinding or repair. If you're careful and use very little copperas in your cat's paw, avoiding the outside joints, you'll be okay.

All the best,

Wes Baker

Wesley D. Baker 325 Crestview Road Anniston, Alabama 36207

Studio:  256.235.2627
Mobile:  256.282.3450


On Jan 4, 2006, at 11:00 PM, BOOK_ARTS-L automatic digest system wrote:

Date:    Wed, 4 Jan 2006 10:29:34 -0000
From:    James Eaton <j.a.eaton@xxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Catspaw Calf Bindings

Have been searching for a while for information and pictures on the =
production of catspaw calf and wondered whether anyone has come across =


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