Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

a question: bellows XII sec.

Expand Messages
  • pierborga
    Hello, All you (medieval leather experts and fans..), probably, know the instruction to create a bellows in the third book of On divers arts of Theophilus
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 10, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello,
      All you (medieval leather experts and fans..), probably, know the instruction to create a bellows in the third book of "On divers arts" of Theophilus Presbyter (dated around 1150): what do you think about?
      what kind of leather (?) object one could obtain, in your opinion, it could be durable in its work (a bellows for a jewellery forge)?
      thank for every answers
    • Henry Plouse
      Well, I don t know what kind of leather the good Master Presbyter used - or would recommend - but I have a wonderful, decorative bellows (which works great)
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 10, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Well, I don't know what kind of leather the good Master Presbyter used - or would recommend - but I have a wonderful, decorative bellows (which works great) which I picked up in Morocco (as the price of getting a persistent street vendor to leave me alone - cost all of $5.00) about 10 years ago.  It uses what appears to be a veg-tanned leather of about 5 or 6 oz. thickness and reasonably supple finish (uncolored).  It did start to dry out a bit but revived quite nicely with an application of "Touch of Oranges" beeswax and orange oil.
         
        You might give that a try (in fact, I have some nice, uncolored, veg-tanned leather, which is almost exactly like that used in this item which I believe I got from the "Remnants Bin" at "Oregon Leather").
         
        Or, you could go to Morocco and stand on the street looking like you might have money... 
         
        V/R Alric

        --- On Tue, 4/10/12, pierborga <pierborga@...> wrote:


        From: pierborga <pierborga@...>
        Subject: [medieval-leather] a question: bellows XII sec.
        To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 10:51 AM



         



        Hello,
        All you (medieval leather experts and fans..), probably, know the instruction to create a bellows in the third book of "On divers arts" of Theophilus Presbyter (dated around 1150): what do you think about?
        what kind of leather (?) object one could obtain, in your opinion, it could be durable in its work (a bellows for a jewellery forge)?
        thank for every answers






        W

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Michael Hurley
        ... For those not well-versed in Theophilus De diversis artibus, here is the relevant chapter, in Latin and English. Please note that this is not my
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 10, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          On Apr 10, 2012, at 12:51 PM, pierborga wrote:

          > Hello,
          > All you (medieval leather experts and fans..), probably, know the
          > instruction to create a bellows in the third book of "On divers
          > arts" of Theophilus Presbyter (dated around 1150): what do you think
          > about?
          > what kind of leather (?) object one could obtain, in your opinion,
          > it could be durable in its work (a bellows for a jewellery forge)?
          > thank for every answers

          For those not well-versed in Theophilus' De diversis artibus, here is
          the relevant chapter, in Latin and English. Please note that this is
          not my translation. I took both texts verbatim from the 1847
          publication (side-by-side in Latin and English) by Robert Hendrie. I
          have not modernized or regularized the punctuation or spelling except
          to make the text more suitable to email encoding. Any typographical
          errors are surely my own.





          Liber Tertius.
          Caput IV.
          De Follibus.

          Deinde fac tibi folles de pellibus arietum ita. Cum occiduntur
          arietes, non incidantur peles sub ventre, sed in posterioribus
          aperiantur, et ita eversentur ut integrae extrahantur, et impletae
          stramine modice exsiccentur. Postea jaceant in confectione faecis et
          salis una die et duabus noctibus, tertia vero die trahantur in retorta
          in longitudine, sed plus in latitudine. Deinde ungantur et iterum
          trahantur. Posthaec fiat folli caput ligneum, quod transeat per
          collum ejus et ibi ligetur, et in capite foramen per quod transeat
          fistula ferrea. Retro vero in latitudine follis ponantur quatuor
          ligna, quorum duo sibi conjungantur et colligentur in medio, et duo
          sibi deinde suantur in folle ita, ut juncturae in medio sint superius
          et inferius, ubi etiam duae ansae ex eadem pelle consuantur, una
          superius minor, in qua pollex imponatur, altera major inferius, ubi
          reliqui quatuor digiti immattantur. His completis pone fistulam
          ferream in foramen fornacis, et retro et ante fornacem carbones et
          ignem, et suffla ut fornax exsiccetur. Utensiliorum autem et
          ferramentorum nomina in fabrili opere sunt haec.


          Third Book.
          Chapter IV.
          Of the Bellows.

          Then make bellows from the skins of rams, thus :--When the rams are
          killed, the skins must not be cut under the belly, but they are opened
          behind, and are so turned over that they may be stripped off whole,
          and being filled with straw, they are moderately dried. Afterwards
          they are thrown into a preparation of lye and salt for a day and two
          nights, the third day they are stretched lengthwise, but more in
          breadth. Then they are anointed and again stretched. After this
          the wooden head to the bellows is made, which passes through its neck
          and is there bound, and in this head a perforation through which an
          iron tube may pass. But behind, in the width of the bellows, four
          pieces of wood are placed, of which two are joined together and fixed
          in the middle ; and two are sewed upon the bellows together, so that
          the joinings in the middle may be above and below ; where also two
          loops of the same skin are sewed on, the one above smaller, in which
          the thumb is placed, the other larger below, where the other four
          fingers are put. These things finished, place the iron tube in the
          hole of the furnace, and fire and charcoal at the back and front of
          the furnace, and blow, that the furnace may become dry. The names of
          utensils and iron instruments, in work of fusion, are these.




          From this description, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone
          producing goat skins in this manner today. Depending on where you live
          goatskin may be reasonably easy to come by (Tandy Leather carries it
          fairly often I know), but it would be a modern, chrome-tanned skin cut
          open at the belly as normal. You could probably use it fine, but it
          wouldn't be strictly speaking as described by Theophilus. I'm afraid I
          don't know Latin, so I don't know if the translation above is good or
          not. Frankly, after the insertion of the wooden head, it loses me. I
          think it's describing creating a pivot across the middle of the
          bellows (rather than at the neck) to which a top and bottom plate are
          attached that see-saw opposite to each other, but I'm not sure on
          that. And there doesn't seem to be a description of a valve mechanism
          at all. Anybody's Latin good enough to have a go and see if there's a
          clearer translation possible?
          --
          Yours in Service,

          Owein ap Cai, Grey Niche, Gleann Abhann
        • Boyd Chester-Freeman
          Could it be a tube bellows? Rather than the wedge shaped bellows we re used to? ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 10, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            Could it be a tube bellows? Rather than the wedge shaped bellows we're used
            to?
            On 11/04/2012 3:34 PM, "Michael Hurley" <mephit@...> wrote:

            > **
            >
            >
            > On Apr 10, 2012, at 12:51 PM, pierborga wrote:
            >
            > > Hello,
            > > All you (medieval leather experts and fans..), probably, know the
            > > instruction to create a bellows in the third book of "On divers
            > > arts" of Theophilus Presbyter (dated around 1150): what do you think
            > > about?
            > > what kind of leather (?) object one could obtain, in your opinion,
            > > it could be durable in its work (a bellows for a jewellery forge)?
            > > thank for every answers
            >
            > For those not well-versed in Theophilus' De diversis artibus, here is
            > the relevant chapter, in Latin and English. Please note that this is
            > not my translation. I took both texts verbatim from the 1847
            > publication (side-by-side in Latin and English) by Robert Hendrie. I
            > have not modernized or regularized the punctuation or spelling except
            > to make the text more suitable to email encoding. Any typographical
            > errors are surely my own.
            >
            > Liber Tertius.
            > Caput IV.
            > De Follibus.
            >
            > Deinde fac tibi folles de pellibus arietum ita. Cum occiduntur
            > arietes, non incidantur peles sub ventre, sed in posterioribus
            > aperiantur, et ita eversentur ut integrae extrahantur, et impletae
            > stramine modice exsiccentur. Postea jaceant in confectione faecis et
            > salis una die et duabus noctibus, tertia vero die trahantur in retorta
            > in longitudine, sed plus in latitudine. Deinde ungantur et iterum
            > trahantur. Posthaec fiat folli caput ligneum, quod transeat per
            > collum ejus et ibi ligetur, et in capite foramen per quod transeat
            > fistula ferrea. Retro vero in latitudine follis ponantur quatuor
            > ligna, quorum duo sibi conjungantur et colligentur in medio, et duo
            > sibi deinde suantur in folle ita, ut juncturae in medio sint superius
            > et inferius, ubi etiam duae ansae ex eadem pelle consuantur, una
            > superius minor, in qua pollex imponatur, altera major inferius, ubi
            > reliqui quatuor digiti immattantur. His completis pone fistulam
            > ferream in foramen fornacis, et retro et ante fornacem carbones et
            > ignem, et suffla ut fornax exsiccetur. Utensiliorum autem et
            > ferramentorum nomina in fabrili opere sunt haec.
            >
            > Third Book.
            > Chapter IV.
            > Of the Bellows.
            >
            > Then make bellows from the skins of rams, thus :--When the rams are
            > killed, the skins must not be cut under the belly, but they are opened
            > behind, and are so turned over that they may be stripped off whole,
            > and being filled with straw, they are moderately dried. Afterwards
            > they are thrown into a preparation of lye and salt for a day and two
            > nights, the third day they are stretched lengthwise, but more in
            > breadth. Then they are anointed and again stretched. After this
            > the wooden head to the bellows is made, which passes through its neck
            > and is there bound, and in this head a perforation through which an
            > iron tube may pass. But behind, in the width of the bellows, four
            > pieces of wood are placed, of which two are joined together and fixed
            > in the middle ; and two are sewed upon the bellows together, so that
            > the joinings in the middle may be above and below ; where also two
            > loops of the same skin are sewed on, the one above smaller, in which
            > the thumb is placed, the other larger below, where the other four
            > fingers are put. These things finished, place the iron tube in the
            > hole of the furnace, and fire and charcoal at the back and front of
            > the furnace, and blow, that the furnace may become dry. The names of
            > utensils and iron instruments, in work of fusion, are these.
            >
            > From this description, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone
            > producing goat skins in this manner today. Depending on where you live
            > goatskin may be reasonably easy to come by (Tandy Leather carries it
            > fairly often I know), but it would be a modern, chrome-tanned skin cut
            > open at the belly as normal. You could probably use it fine, but it
            > wouldn't be strictly speaking as described by Theophilus. I'm afraid I
            > don't know Latin, so I don't know if the translation above is good or
            > not. Frankly, after the insertion of the wooden head, it loses me. I
            > think it's describing creating a pivot across the middle of the
            > bellows (rather than at the neck) to which a top and bottom plate are
            > attached that see-saw opposite to each other, but I'm not sure on
            > that. And there doesn't seem to be a description of a valve mechanism
            > at all. Anybody's Latin good enough to have a go and see if there's a
            > clearer translation possible?
            > --
            > Yours in Service,
            >
            > Owein ap Cai, Grey Niche, Gleann Abhann
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • outremerknight
            This sounds like a bag bellows, a larger version of the type used on bagpipes. Bag bellows were still in use at a local [to me] farrier s until he died in the
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 11, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              This sounds like a bag bellows, a larger version of the type used on bagpipes.
              Bag bellows were still in use at a local [to me] farrier's until he died in the late 1990s. He used to 'walk' the bellows as he heated the iron.

              I do happen to know that goat skins are prepared in a similar way here. Old nans that have had plenty of kids are prefered.
              The belly skins are used to make drum skins on a traditional large drum. Last I knew the prepared belly skin cost about £500 [$750 - $800] and then you still had to make it into the drum skin.

              For what its worth,
            • Michael Hurley
              ... If that s the case, what would be the purpose of the fingerloops described in the text? The way they re described seems to imply to me using one hand
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 12, 2012
              • 0 Attachment
                On Apr 11, 2012, at 2:47 AM, outremerknight wrote:

                > This sounds like a bag bellows, a larger version of the type used on bagpipes.
                > Bag bellows were still in use at a local [to me] farrier's until he died in the late 1990s. He used to 'walk' the bellows as he heated the iron.

                If that's the case, what would be the purpose of the fingerloops described in the text? The way they're described seems to imply to me using one hand (thumb on top and fingers on bottom) to squeeze and open the bellows. That wouldn't work with a bag as big as an entire goat. You wouldn't get any air flow.

                Re-reading the text, it seem to me describing a common bellows with wooden plates. "But behind, in the width of the bellows" could simply be meaning "behind the head, mounted crosswise" rather than my initial interpretation of "across the middle of the bellows". If that reading is correct, it starts sounding like how the neck of a common bellows is constructed. But I could be wrong.

                > I do happen to know that goat skins are prepared in a similar way here. Old nans that have had plenty of kids are prefered.
                > The belly skins are used to make drum skins on a traditional large drum. Last I knew the prepared belly skin cost about £500 [$750 - $800] and then you still had to make it into the drum skin.
                >
                > For what its worth,

                Interesting to know. Are they pulling the entire goat-skin off in a one-piece tube or, say, cutting along the spine rather than the belly?
              • outremerknight
                Its not a subject I have great knowledge on - but as I understand: the goat skin is taken off in one piece. Sealed, having been filled with a conncoction of
                Message 7 of 9 , Apr 13, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  Its not a subject I have great knowledge on -
                  but as I understand: the goat skin is taken off in one piece.
                  Sealed, having been filled with a conncoction of solutions that both tan and soften the skin. The mixture gives off a gas which causes the skin to blow up like a balloon. After a period the skin is slit along the backbone and stretched some more.
                  The aim is to get one piece of useable skin that will be greater than 4.5ft diameter and thinner than vellum. The drum is about 4ft diameter.
                  Those who do this keep the 'how' rather a secret - passed to family members only. The mix and contents of the solution that goes into the skin is supposed to be, at least, from the early 17th century.
                  I have heard that only about 1 in 10 goat skins turn out. And only a certain breed of goat will do. Here we have goat descendants of Norse goats and they are rather huge compared to the mediterreanian area goat.

                  F.
                  --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, Michael Hurley <mephit@...> wrote:

                  > > I do happen to know that goat skins are prepared in a similar way here. Old nans that have had plenty of kids are prefered.
                  > > The belly skins are used to make drum skins on a traditional large drum. Last I knew the prepared belly skin cost about £500 [$750 - $800] and then you still had to make it into the drum skin.
                  > >
                  > > For what its worth,
                  >
                  > Interesting to know. Are they pulling the entire goat-skin off in a one-piece tube or, say, cutting along the spine rather than the belly?
                  >
                • pierborga
                  AVE ATQUE VALE. Look at the photo i put in the album (theophilus 1) I had found this reconstruction in Theophilus, The various arts, New Jork (1963) traduced
                  Message 8 of 9 , Apr 14, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment
                    AVE ATQUE VALE.
                    Look at the photo i put in the album (theophilus 1)
                    I had found this reconstruction in Theophilus, The various arts, New Jork (1963) traduced and revised by Hawthorne and Smith 1979; the colours are mine: I've used it for a lecture about medieval jewellery. From the latin text, it seems to me the object would be a little bellows for a single hand ("ubi etiam duae ansae ex eadem pelle consuantur, una superius minor, in qua pollex imponatur, altera major inferius, ubi reliqui quatuor digiti immattantur.") SO the picture isn't right. But the text says using a whole ram! You can't pump air with a single hand on a bellow of these dimension (or not?).
                    someone have an hipotesis?
                  • Michael Hurley
                    ... This would be my issue as well. Perhaps the four pieces of wood are meant to be some kind of scissor or lever? But behind, in the width of the bellows,
                    Message 9 of 9 , Apr 15, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      On Apr 14, 2012, at 7:30 AM, pierborga wrote:

                      > AVE ATQUE VALE.
                      > Look at the photo i put in the album (theophilus 1)
                      > I had found this reconstruction in Theophilus, The various arts, New Jork (1963) traduced and revised by Hawthorne and Smith 1979; the colours are mine: I've used it for a lecture about medieval jewellery. From the latin text, it seems to me the object would be a little bellows for a single hand ("ubi etiam duae ansae ex eadem pelle consuantur, una superius minor, in qua pollex imponatur, altera major inferius, ubi reliqui quatuor digiti immattantur.") SO the picture isn't right. But the text says using a whole ram! You can't pump air with a single hand on a bellow of these dimension (or not?).
                      > someone have an hipotesis?

                      This would be my issue as well. Perhaps the four pieces of wood are meant to be some kind of scissor or lever?

                      "But behind, in the width of the bellows, four pieces of wood are placed, of which two are joined together and fixed in the middle; and two are sewed upon the bellows together, so that the joinings in the middle may be above and below;"

                      The bit about being joined together and fixed in the middle could be describing a scissor mechanism.
                      --
                      Yours in Service,

                      Owein ap Cai, Grey Niche, Gleann Abhann
                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.