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Re: sorta OT - working with bone?

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  • dona_violante
    ... Any horn, or just cow? Cheers, Violante
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 10, 2004
      > Horn, however, can be flattened in the manner you describe.

      Any horn, or just cow?

      Cheers,
      Violante
    • Marc Carlson
      ... Just a note - here is a potential problem here with jargon. Horn is generally used to refer to any projection sticking out of the head of various
      Message 2 of 25 , Mar 10, 2004
        --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "dona_violante"
        <dona_violante@y...> wrote:
        >> Horn, however, can be flattened in the manner you describe.
        > Any horn, or just cow?

        Just a note - here is a potential problem here with jargon. "Horn" is
        generally used to refer to any projection sticking out of the head of
        various animals. Cow horn is made of the same stuff as fingernails
        and hair is made from, while, say, deer horn is technically "antler",
        and is made from the same stuff bone is. Be sure you are distinct as
        to which you mean since they aren't the same thing.

        As for how they did the whole bone plaques thing in the middle ages, I
        think they tended to assemble small flat pieces into larger flat
        pieces and carved those.

        Marc
      • Alan Andrist
        I agree with Marc. The evidence from York is the use of strips of bone that are made flat on the backside, and then riveted to a backing piece, such as wood.
        Message 3 of 25 , Mar 10, 2004
          I agree with Marc. The evidence from York is the use of strips of bone that
          are made flat on the backside, and then riveted to a backing piece, such as
          wood. To get large pieces of flat bone try to get a hold of shoulder blades.
          You will likely have to cut off the scapular spine and file it smooth to get
          a large piece of flat bone. Shoulder blades (scapulae) are largely cancelous
          bone that is formed of thin plates with bone fibers separating them. If the
          scapula is too thick they can be sliced in to two thin layers. I would
          suggest using the side next to the animal's ribs and discarding the side
          with the scapular spine. The resulting plates should be somewhat moldable or
          flatten able.

          -- Alan

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Marc Carlson [mailto:marccarlson20@...]
          Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 1:26 PM
          To: medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [medieval-leather] Re: sorta OT - working with bone?


          --- In medieval-leather@yahoogroups.com, "dona_violante"
          <dona_violante@y...> wrote:
          >> Horn, however, can be flattened in the manner you describe.
          > Any horn, or just cow?

          Just a note - here is a potential problem here with jargon. "Horn" is
          generally used to refer to any projection sticking out of the head of
          various animals. Cow horn is made of the same stuff as fingernails
          and hair is made from, while, say, deer horn is technically "antler",
          and is made from the same stuff bone is. Be sure you are distinct as
          to which you mean since they aren't the same thing.

          As for how they did the whole bone plaques thing in the middle ages, I
          think they tended to assemble small flat pieces into larger flat
          pieces and carved those.

          Marc





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        • Ron Charlotte
          ... Most of the surviving examples were done in ivory. The few bone ones were in things like whale bone. There were mirror cases, which are of similar size
          Message 4 of 25 , Mar 10, 2004
            At 09:03 PM 3/10/04 +0000, Violante wrote:

            > > Why do you want to 'flatten' the bone?
            >
            >To carve it, of course! :)
            >
            >I'm thinking of making a wax tablet out of bone, and haven't been
            >able to find a suitably flat, large piece for both leaves of the
            >tablet. If I could *make* the bone flat, that would solve my
            >problem.
            >

            Most of the surviving examples were done in ivory. The few bone ones were
            in things like whale bone. There were mirror cases, which are of similar
            size to what you are talking about that looked to have been done like the
            bone boxes, with strips of bone assembled into a panel, then treated as a
            single piece for the carving work.


            Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
            ronch2@... OR afn03234@...

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Alasdair Muckart
            On Thursday 11 March 2004 10:03, dona_violante wrote: Greetings, ... Do you have evidence for wax tablets made from bone rather than wood? I m not saying you
            Message 5 of 25 , Mar 10, 2004
              On Thursday 11 March 2004 10:03, dona_violante wrote:

              Greetings,

              > I'm thinking of making a wax tablet out of bone, and haven't been
              > able to find a suitably flat, large piece for both leaves of the
              > tablet. If I could *make* the bone flat, that would solve my
              > problem.

              Do you have evidence for wax tablets made from bone rather than wood? I'm not
              saying you shouldn't build one if you don't, but if you do I'd love to see
              references since my knight is quite keen on wax tablets.

              Thanks.
              --
              Al.
              Send lawyers, guns, and money. Dad get me out of this
              Warren Zevon "Lawyers Guns and Money"
            • Ron Charlotte
              ... Most bovine, and a lot of the goat breeds. Deer/elk, etc, can be softened and bent, but tends to _really_ want to return to its native shape. Ron
              Message 6 of 25 , Mar 10, 2004
                At 09:08 PM 3/10/04 +0000, Violante wrote:

                > > Horn, however, can be flattened in the manner you describe.
                >
                >Any horn, or just cow?

                Most bovine, and a lot of the goat breeds. Deer/elk, etc, can be softened
                and bent, but tends to _really_ want to return to its native shape.



                Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
                ronch2@... OR afn03234@...

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • dona_violante
                ... wood? I m not ... to see ... No, all the ones I know of were ivory. But I m a lot more likely to be able to find bone, and work it, than to find a
                Message 7 of 25 , Mar 11, 2004
                  > Do you have evidence for wax tablets made from bone rather than
                  wood? I'm not
                  > saying you shouldn't build one if you don't, but if you do I'd love
                  to see
                  > references since my knight is quite keen on wax tablets.

                  No, all the ones I know of were ivory. But I'm a lot more likely to
                  be able to find bone, and work it, than to find a suitable piece of
                  ivory!

                  OTOH...if the more period approach would have been to affix strips of
                  bone onto a wood backing, then you *could* do the same thing with
                  ivory: piano keys. But I would imagine those would be too thin to
                  carve designs into.

                  Cheers,
                  Violante
                • dona_violante
                  ... bone that ... such as ... Oh, hey - that might work. Could you point me to a book or website that has more information? ... would ... side ... moldable or
                  Message 8 of 25 , Mar 11, 2004
                    > I agree with Marc. The evidence from York is the use of strips of
                    bone that
                    > are made flat on the backside, and then riveted to a backing piece,
                    such as
                    > wood.

                    Oh, hey - that might work. Could you point me to a book or website
                    that has more information?

                    > If the
                    > scapula is too thick they can be sliced in to two thin layers. I
                    would
                    > suggest using the side next to the animal's ribs and discarding the
                    side
                    > with the scapular spine. The resulting plates should be somewhat
                    moldable or
                    > flatten able.

                    But would they be thick enough to carve?

                    Cheers,
                    Violante
                  • Neil Carr
                    ... Reach behind you, and feel the edges of your own scapula - then realise that a cow scapula is at least double that, or larger. Yes, it s thick enough to
                    Message 9 of 25 , Mar 11, 2004
                      dona_violante wrote:

                      >
                      > > with the scapular spine. The resulting plates should be somewhat
                      > moldable or
                      > > flatten able.
                      >
                      > But would they be thick enough to carve?
                      >

                      Reach behind you, and feel the edges of your own scapula - then realise
                      that a cow scapula is at least double that, or larger. Yes, it's thick
                      enough to carve.

                      --
                      Neil Carr

                      (WebFoundry cc : CK99/27408/23)



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Ron Charlotte
                      ... _The_ book on the subject is _Bone, Antler, Ivory, and Horn: The Technology of Skeletal Materials since the Roman Era_ by Arthur MacGregor. He has also
                      Message 10 of 25 , Mar 11, 2004
                        At 01:44 PM 3/11/04 +0000, Violante wrote:

                        > > I agree with Marc. The evidence from York is the use of strips of
                        >bone that
                        > > are made flat on the backside, and then riveted to a backing piece,
                        >such as
                        > > wood.
                        >
                        >Oh, hey - that might work. Could you point me to a book or website
                        >that has more information?

                        _The_ book on the subject is _Bone, Antler, Ivory, and Horn: The Technology
                        of Skeletal Materials since the Roman Era_ by Arthur MacGregor. He has
                        also done a newer one on the York finds with essentially the same title and
                        a different subtitle. The original (ISBN 0-389-20531-1) is long out of
                        print, but a lot of libraries have it. I think that the new one is
                        currently in print.


                        > > If the
                        > > scapula is too thick they can be sliced in to two thin layers. I
                        >would
                        > > suggest using the side next to the animal's ribs and discarding the
                        >side
                        > > with the scapular spine. The resulting plates should be somewhat
                        >moldable or
                        > > flatten able.
                        >
                        >But would they be thick enough to carve?

                        Yes, they aren't hugely thick, but the jawbone and scapula plate sections I
                        use a lot are about 4-5mm thick, and sometimes thicker. You won't get high
                        relief, but you can do decent carving on it.


                        Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
                        ronch2@... OR afn03234@...

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • dona_violante
                        ... Technology ... has ... title and ... out of ... Excellent, thank you so much! And for the person who was asking about bone wax tablets - my husband, Lord
                        Message 11 of 25 , Mar 12, 2004
                          > _The_ book on the subject is _Bone, Antler, Ivory, and Horn: The
                          Technology
                          > of Skeletal Materials since the Roman Era_ by Arthur MacGregor. He
                          has
                          > also done a newer one on the York finds with essentially the same
                          title and
                          > a different subtitle. The original (ISBN 0-389-20531-1) is long
                          out of
                          > print, but a lot of libraries have it. I think that the new one is
                          > currently in print.

                          Excellent, thank you so much!

                          And for the person who was asking about bone wax tablets - my
                          husband, Lord Miguel, *swears* he's seen a reference to a wax tablet
                          that was made out of bone. He's been wracking his brain the past
                          couple of days to remember where he saw it. If he does remember at
                          some point, I will definitely pass that info along!

                          Cheers,
                          Violante
                        • Susan Fox-Davis
                          ... Here is one web citation about bone wax tablets as such: Wood was not the only material available for use as a waxed tablet. On page 31 of Janet
                          Message 12 of 25 , Mar 12, 2004
                            >
                            >
                            >Dona Violante wrote:
                            >
                            >And for the person who was asking about bone wax tablets - my
                            >husband, Lord Miguel, *swears* he's seen a reference to a wax tablet
                            >that was made out of bone. He's been wracking his brain the past
                            >couple of days to remember where he saw it. If he does remember at
                            >some point, I will definitely pass that info along!
                            >
                            Here is one web citation about bone wax tablets as such:

                            Wood was not the only material available for use as a waxed tablet. On
                            page 31 of Janet Backhouse's book about THE LINDISFARNE GOSPELS (Phaidon
                            Press Ltd. 1981.) there is a photograph showing a tablet made of bone.
                            This tablet is an end tablet for a multiple panel set and includes two
                            holes for fastening. Like the bronze age example, it is small enough to
                            fit in the palm of a hand."

                            The Waxed Tablet Page of Randy Asplund, read on Google's cached version
                            of the page which seems to be unresponsive at the moment:
                            www.randyasplund.com/browse/scribepg/tablets.html

                            -=-=-=-=-

                            I find several citations about IVORY tablets, [and since ivory is a
                            forbidden substance nowadays, bone is the next best thing]

                            Royal Library of Belgium
                            Ivory tablets in their original holster. France, end 14th century

                            http://www.kbr.be/coll/manu/nouveautes/iv1278/iv1278_eng.html

                            -=-=-=-=-

                            From the fourteenth century comes the passage from the Somonour's Tale
                            in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:

                            His felawe hadde a staf tipped with horn,
                            A peyre of tables al of yvory,
                            And a poyntel polysshed fetisly,
                            And wroot the names alwey, as he stood,
                            Of alle folk that yaf hem any good,....
                            And whan that he was out atte dore, anon
                            He planed awey the names everichon
                            That he biforn had writen in his tables....
                            (Lines 1740-1759: Pratt 297f)


                            This article also notes a whalebone tablet.

                            http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/tablets.html

                            -=-=-=-=-

                            Waxed tablet links
                            http://geocities.com/karen_larsdatter/tablets.htm

                            -=-=-=-=-

                            Yours in service,
                            Selene Colfox





                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Ron Charlotte
                            ... There is, but it s of whalebone. There is a photo of it in the MacGregor book. As far as I know, it s the only surviving bone tablet. Ron Charlotte --
                            Message 13 of 25 , Mar 12, 2004
                              At 01:34 PM 3/12/04 +0000, Violante wrote:

                              > > _The_ book on the subject is _Bone, Antler, Ivory, and Horn: The
                              >Technology
                              > > of Skeletal Materials since the Roman Era_ by Arthur MacGregor. He
                              >has
                              > > also done a newer one on the York finds with essentially the same
                              >title and
                              > > a different subtitle. The original (ISBN 0-389-20531-1) is long
                              >out of
                              > > print, but a lot of libraries have it. I think that the new one is
                              > > currently in print.
                              >
                              >Excellent, thank you so much!
                              >
                              >And for the person who was asking about bone wax tablets - my
                              >husband, Lord Miguel, *swears* he's seen a reference to a wax tablet
                              >that was made out of bone. He's been wracking his brain the past
                              >couple of days to remember where he saw it. If he does remember at
                              >some point, I will definitely pass that info along!

                              There is, but it's of whalebone. There is a photo of it in the MacGregor
                              book. As far as I know, it's the only surviving bone tablet.


                              Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL
                              ronch2@... OR afn03234@...

                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Helen Leaf
                              Hi, the York book is still in print - here s the website for it from York Archaeological Trust.. http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk/pubs/pubs.php look under
                              Message 14 of 25 , Mar 13, 2004
                                Hi,

                                the York book is still in print - here's the website for it from York
                                Archaeological Trust..
                                http://www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk/pubs/pubs.php
                                look under 'small finds' number 17/12
                                There are quite a few pages there about bone strip casket mounts.
                                I have the book, and it's excellent - as is the new leather and
                                leatherworking one further down the list [thoroughly suggest people get it -
                                absolutely brilliant...]

                                It would be good to read that, and the 1985 MacGregor book, just to make
                                sure you're accurate to the time period you want to fit in to. If I've got
                                it right, worked bone happened mainly in the Anglo-Saxon periods, the Anglo
                                Scandinavian and early Norman periods. Some happened into the medieval
                                period, but checking up on bookwork would ensure that you get it right for
                                what you want to do.
                                There are quite a few references in the 2 MacGregor texts that you could
                                chase up - either other books or excavation reports. I've always found that
                                if I look there, I get a feel for the bone objects that were produced at
                                that time, just by looking through the pictures.

                                Hope that helps,
                                Helen

                                > Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 19:20:37 -0500
                                > From: Ron Charlotte <ronch2@...>
                                >Subject: Re: Re: sorta OT - working with bone?
                                >
                                >At 01:44 PM 3/11/04 +0000, Violante wrote:
                                >
                                > > > I agree with Marc. The evidence from York is the use of strips of
                                > >bone that
                                > > > are made flat on the backside, and then riveted to a backing piece,
                                > >such as
                                > > > wood.
                                > >
                                > >Oh, hey - that might work. Could you point me to a book or website
                                > >that has more information?
                                >
                                >_The_ book on the subject is _Bone, Antler, Ivory, and Horn: The Technology
                                >of Skeletal Materials since the Roman Era_ by Arthur MacGregor. He has
                                >also done a newer one on the York finds with essentially the same title and
                                >a different subtitle. The original (ISBN 0-389-20531-1) is long out of
                                >print, but a lot of libraries have it. I think that the new one is
                                >currently in print.

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                              • Helen Leaf
                                Hi, I ve just found another reference for you - an 8th century bone wax tablet (called here a writing tablet) from Blythburgh, Suffolk, England. 9.4cm x 6.3
                                Message 15 of 25 , Mar 14, 2004
                                  Hi,

                                  I've just found another reference for you - an 8th century bone wax tablet
                                  (called here a writing tablet) from Blythburgh, Suffolk, England. 9.4cm x
                                  6.3 cm. There's a picture and write-up (which includes some other refs) on
                                  p.81 of:

                                  Main Author: Webster, Leslie
                                  Title Details: The Making of England : Anglo-Saxon art and culture, AD
                                  600-900 / edited by Leslie Webster and Janet Backhouse ; with contributions
                                  by Marion Archibald ... [et al.]
                                  Publisher: Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, 1991
                                  Physical desc.: 312 p : ill. (some col.) ; 28 cm
                                  ISBN/ISSN: 0802077218
                                  0714105554 (PBK)
                                  Note: Catalogue of an exhibition held at the British Museum from Nov. 8,
                                  1991
                                  Includes bibliographical references (p. 293-304)

                                  Helen



                                  > >And for the person who was asking about bone wax tablets - my
                                  > >husband, Lord Miguel, *swears* he's seen a reference to a wax tablet
                                  > >that was made out of bone. He's been wracking his brain the past
                                  > >couple of days to remember where he saw it. If he does remember at
                                  > >some point, I will definitely pass that info along!
                                  > >
                                  >Here is one web citation about bone wax tablets as such:
                                  >
                                  >Wood was not the only material available for use as a waxed tablet. On
                                  >page 31 of Janet Backhouse's book about THE LINDISFARNE GOSPELS (Phaidon
                                  >Press Ltd. 1981.) there is a photograph showing a tablet made of bone.
                                  >This tablet is an end tablet for a multiple panel set and includes two
                                  >holes for fastening. Like the bronze age example, it is small enough to
                                  >fit in the palm of a hand."

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