An Irish woman in search of rain…

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It must be a sign of the End of Days, right?

My experiment with logwood yielded much darker results than I was expecting. I ended up with mostly very dark purple – approaching black – fading to grey. I think the fact that I had to use tap water made the difference, the water here is very hard, so I’m repeating with soft water to see what happens. Ireland is having hot, dry weather (I know! We’re all in shock too to be honest) and all my rainwater reservoirs are dry.   I ended up resorting to bottled water.  Logwood need to be soaked in boiling water overnight, I’ll post the rest of the instructions when I get a result I’m happy with.

In the mean time I cooked up the Weld. I’ve gone with about 40 grams of dried weld to 5 litres of water. I soaked the weld for 2 days and then heated it (not boiled) for about an hour. At first I had my doubts about the liquid, it looked very pale and insipid, but there was a decent yellow foam towards the end and the wooden skewer I was using to stir it from time to time took a definite yellow colour. I’ve strained it through muslin and left it to cool outside, and I’ll leave the wool to soak in that tomorrow for about a day.  I’m given to understand that hard water actually helps weld, so I’ve just used tap water.  Chalk is often added to weld in the preliminary soak to help the colour.

strained weld and soaking logwood
strained weld and soaking logwood

That done I went to have a look at the cuttlefish that was delivered on Friday.  It came in a polystyrene box so first impressions on opening after it sitting in a hot car for ages were not 100% positive.  I realised they were a little clammy so I left them to dry in the sun.  I’m going to try casting with them, so dry is important, water in a mould causes exciting things to happen with hot molten metal, the sort of exciting I’m happy to avoid.

Cuttlefish drying in the sun
Cuttlefish drying in the sun

The last time I tried the candied peel recipe in Le Menagier de Paris, previously  written about here https://pontagedue.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/candied-peel-and-almonds/ I had only used a single orange which I promptly forgot about.  I’ve been much better this time and after changing the sweet water ever day for the past 9 days I brought them just to the boil in sugar and water today and laid them out on muslin to dry.   Tomorrow is the boil in honey stage.

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I finished off the evening doing a few more ink drawings. I started doing small ones and got fed up and scaled up. I based these images from stuff I found on eCodices, I’ll link them up properly tomorrow.  I experimented with outlining in red and brown which I read recently was more common than the black I’ve been using, but I totally messed up using black on the large picture when I was unhappy with the brown highlighted folds and creases.  A classic example of not knowing when to stop.
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