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Re: parchment


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 08:30:10 PDT

Donald Peters wrote:
> Ok. It's been a while ago, but I distinctly remember a lesson plan on making
> pseudo parchment from paper towels and shellac. I've searched the archives,
> but can't seem to find it. Does anybody else remember this? I would like to
> do this now if I can find the directions.


That may have been my lesson on illuminated letters, which I've
presented at NAEA. This is something I learned how to make when I was
about 14 and starting calligraphy. Here goes:

white paper towels (the cheapest you can find, preferably without a
distinct pattern; the best I found were at the Price Club/Costco; they
had a bumpy texture like plucked skin)
1 quart amber shellac (not white shellac)
cheapo brush
lots of newspaper
ammonia for clean up

Arrange for excellent ventilation! Lay out thick layers of newspaper in
the shellacking area, and a single layer inn the drying area. Place
individual towels on the thick newspaper and brush shellac on them,
checking for areas that need touching up. Let dry 'til slightly tacky
(in AZ, that's about 15 minutes) and turn them over so they don't stick
to the newspaper. Touch up areas on the back where the shellac didn't
soak through. Remove the towels to the drying area; throw out the dirty
newspaper in the shellacking area and repeat the process. We can use
them in about 45 minutes, but I usually wait 'til the next day.

The results are remarkably like real parchment. Dip pens work better
than felt tips, especially if the paper is textured. We also use
markers and the gold calligraphy markers--they look great!