Our next seminar will be taken by Louise Garner on 20th November 2017. As usual tea and biscuits will be served at 17:40 with the seminar starting at 18:00. Below we talked to Louise about living abroad, medieval manuscripts, and working between Chemistry and History. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from? […]
So today I have spent a rare old time levigating azurite.
My ultimate mission, which I have already chosen to accept, is to create a model manuscript on parchment, complete with iron gall ink lettering and pigment and dye based illustrations, possibly with gold illumination. Each pigment or dye used will be as close as possible to that used in medieval scriptoria. When complete, we’ll be able to use the manuscript to further test our non-invasive pigment identification equipment.
No model manuscript would be complete without
Over the last two years, parchment has proven to be a contentious issue in the UK Parliament. This blog post reconstructs a debate about parchment in the UK House of Commons in April 2016.
Last month I took a ferry to the Western Isles. There is much to say about the wild, bleak beauty of the islands, and their resilient inhabitants, but this is about Harris Tweed and natural dyes. A well-timed tweet from @HTAarchive advised me not to miss a display at the old Drinishader schoolhouse, on Harris. […]
Where did the medieval painters find materials for their beautiful artworks? From nature, of course! In contrast to modern artists, who have available thousands of different preparations derived from petroleum, medieval artists had at their disposal only resources from Mother Nature. They therefore needed to rely on their deep knowledge of how to transform this […]
My MA dissertation has been sitting unread since the day it was handed in. My PhD is in a completely different area, so it hasn’t been revisited. It’s certainly not my magnum opus, or the best dissertation ever written, but it took me a lot of work so I felt that I should do SoMeThInG with it.
The dissertation is roughly 15,000 words written about conception, miscarriage and abortion Continue reading “Dust Down That Dissertation! (Closer to the apothecary than to God…)”
I started my PhD when my daughter was 4 months old. This isn’t the ideal time to start a PhD (which is full time, campus based) but for various reasons which I will blog about another time, that was how it was to be. It’s a Leverhulme funded PhD so I am asked to, and do, treat it like a full time job as far as I can.
One commitment I made to myself and my daughter was that despite work she would continue Continue reading “Breastfeeding, arsenic and my PhD”
Online shopping! Exciting? Well yes, I do like a good online shop but this morning’s online shop was more interesting than usual, and more tricky, and took a few hours longer than I thought.
As I’m investigating pigments on parchment I needed to order some extra pigments that we don’t have already. We have lots of Lapis Lazuli (3 types! Plus ultramarine ash which is the residue left after the colour is extracted from the lapis rock. So 4 types!). We have plenty Egyptian Blue, Azurite, lots of malachite and other blues and greens. Some greens are organic – spirulina (blue/green algae) makes a great paint to work with. Lots of orpiment (arsenic based) and other yellows and reds.
However, this morning I ordered bone black (the black char made from roasted bones Continue reading “Bone Black and Madder Root”