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Re: [BKARTS] Vellum making on Prime Time TV

I'm a little surprised that this is perceived as a 'Dirty Job.'

Granted that a medieval regulation in France stipulated that tanneries
must be located out-of-town and downstream, the collection of a skin
here-and-there, at hunting camp, for instance, should not be the cause
for comment.

It does take some time to convert a freshly killed animal into meat
and other useful parts.

There is fresh liver, onions, and white wine at camp; sinew collected
for the conservation of medieval manuscripts; a hide to be converted
into parchment, alum-tawed skin, or a tanned hide to be used in covering
a restored manuscript.

After the hide is soaked in a lime bath to help slip the hair (which
goes into the compost pile to provide nitrogen) the material taken from
the flesh-side feeds the squirrels, cats, dogs, and the odd racoon in
the neighborhood.

And the hooves can be cooked down to recover 'neatsfoot' oil which can
later be used to treat dried-out leather.

But it does take some time, and time is money.



>Hi Bill,
>Just watched the vellum episode of Dirty Jobs.  Now I don't feel so bad
>about the price I paid for a vellum skin at the GBW event in Toronto.
>Thanks for the heads-up on this wonderful show. All binders should watch it!
>John MacKrell
>(734) 604-0992

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



"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer  _Parlement of Foules_  1386

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