Author Topic: Writing Small  (Read 9385 times)

Offline Bianca M

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2019, 04:24:14 PM »
The seal on the back was called a wafer. The early ones were created out of a "batter of fine wheaten flour, the gluten of which is of an adhesive nature, mixed with white of egg, isinglass, and coloring agents..." (from Western Writing Implements by Michael Finlay)  This mixture was heated and pressed into a sheet, which, when dry, was cut into circles, and other shapes. It was licked and helped hold the paper together. They were sold in boxes in various colors, and shapes.

Wafers fell out of favor around 1840 when the gummed envelop came into fashion, about the same time as postage stamps. Some less complex wafers, which were really just gummed pieces of paper and which imitated earlier wax seals were still sold. That may be what you have, but it could be an earlier form, it's hard to tell from the photo.

@AAAndrew this is fascinating - thank you for sharing.  My first thought was that it'd be neat to try to make a wafer, but then I read about isinglass.  Hmm.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2019, 12:00:40 PM »
This arrived yesterday! I giggle every time I look at it. I am just marveling over how tiny you wrote @AnasaziWrites ! It's incredible. Even my 14 year old was impressed!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2019, 02:46:01 PM »
Quote
  My first thought was that it'd be neat to try to make a wafer, but then I read about isinglass.  Hmm.
@Bianca M
Not a fan of isinglass either, but I've run across a modern recipe without it if you're (or anyone else) interested. The article also includes the evolving etiquette of using them in olden days. Sounds like fun to me.
https://herreputationforaccomplishment.wordpress.com/category/letter-writing/wafers/

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2019, 02:49:55 PM »
The last of the small envelopes has arrived and received most rude treatment. But it did get there, so there's that. They felt the need to draw a box around the address in order to, I guess, draw attention to it.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 02:53:56 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #34 on: November 20, 2019, 10:55:21 AM »
I suppose we should give them props for getting it there. Such a shame though. But I suspect what happened was it went through the machine first, the machine processed it but then it was kicked out and someone had to write the address in the corner. But Ö since it was upside down, they had to cancel it again by hand.

Bravo to you Mike. They were gorgeous and a delight to see!  :D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Bianca M

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #35 on: November 20, 2019, 11:48:36 AM »
Not a fan of isinglass either, but I've run across a modern recipe without it if you're (or anyone else) interested. The article also includes the evolving etiquette of using them in olden days. Sounds like fun to me.
https://herreputationforaccomplishment.wordpress.com/category/letter-writing/wafers/

Thank you for sending this!  I especially enjoyed reading the section on the etiquette of their usage.

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2019, 02:00:17 PM »
I can never approach Anasazi's wonderful writing. I can, though, have fun with small writing.

This is fun! Now I need to find some of my really fine nibs.

Check out my steel pen history blog
https://thesteelpen.com/

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2019, 02:58:32 PM »
I can never approach Anasazi's wonderful writing. I can, though, have fun with small writing.

This is fun! Now I need to find some of my really fine nibs.
This is good.What nib were you using for these words? A gillott 170 (vintage) works well.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2019, 03:06:46 PM »
I suppose we should give them props for getting it there. Such a shame though. But I suspect what happened was it went through the machine first, the machine processed it but then it was kicked out and someone had to write the address in the corner. But Ö since it was upside down, they had to cancel it again by hand.

Bravo to you Mike. They were gorgeous and a delight to see!  :D
Actually, the red cancel on the stamp was first--by hand at my local PO. I suspect, when they ran it through the machine upside down, it obscured the address and they then needed to write it (larger) for the delivery person.
Impressed a 14 year old? Wow. Didn't think that could be done by anyone over 30.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2019, 03:25:30 PM »
@jeanwilson
Hi Jean,
I tried writing on rice--very doable. I ended up holding the grain by pushing it into a glue stick and holding the stick. Worked great. The thing is, though, only short words were possible (perhaps I should get long grained rice), and monoline letters were fine, but getting the shades for Spencerian were quite difficult on the curved, uneven surface.
So why not try other food stuffs?
Here's a piece of #81 Rotini. One can get the whole alphabet plus numbers on this baby. I bet one could get a novella on a box of spaghetti--the form is like built in guidelines, too.

Better get back to the desk and write something useful now. My wife is getting suspicious when I keep returning to the kitchen with pen in hand.

Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2019, 03:50:31 PM »
Wonderful ----
can't wait to see what else you come up with.

Do you know about edible book teas?
Big April Fool's Day events
 

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2019, 05:49:10 PM »
I can never approach Anasazi's wonderful writing. I can, though, have fun with small writing.

This is fun! Now I need to find some of my really fine nibs.
This is good.What nib were you using for these words? A gillott 170 (vintage) works well.

I just rooted around through the small piles of nibs on my desk. Itís a rather obscure George Hughes #500 Public Pen. It looked like it might work and so tried it upside down. I know I have finer. Thereís a Massag around here somewhere thatís super sharp.
Check out my steel pen history blog
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Offline RD5

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2019, 02:50:53 AM »
What fun!!! And they are so elegant and beautiful! We *must* do a tiny exchange next year.

And I agree - someone at the post office was a bit passive aggressive with that cancellation. Kind of like, "I'll show you how much I liked having to hand cancel this envelope and ruin your beautiful mail."  >:( :(

I would avoid reading too much into it. Employees at the Postal Service have a lot to do and a lot of pressure to do things right. I doubt they would expend the extra time and energy to express anger. In fact, I think that the only reason that their would be dislike of art mail, is the extra time it takes.


Offline jeanwilson

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2019, 07:17:39 AM »
What fun!!! And they are so elegant and beautiful! We *must* do a tiny exchange next year.

And I agree - someone at the post office was a bit passive aggressive with that cancellation. Kind of like, "I'll show you how much I liked having to hand cancel this envelope and ruin your beautiful mail."  >:( :(

I would avoid reading too much into it. Employees at the Postal Service have a lot to do and a lot of pressure to do things right. I doubt they would expend the extra time and energy to express anger. In fact, I think that the only reason that their would be dislike of art mail, is the extra time it takes.

@RD5 - you are very kind to give every hardworking postal worker the benefit of the doubt. However, I had an experience where a clerk at the counter did the hand cancelling and then took a different - un-necessary rubber stamp -- and added three unsightly impressions on each envelope. I didn't say anything - I just let it go. A few weeks later, a friend of mine ran into the same clerk and this time, the clerk took a bold marker and circled the address on her very pretty envelope - for no reason. There were some decorative elements on the envelope, but the address was very clear. My friend was sad about it, but did not say anything. She told me about it and based on some identifying features, we know it was the same person. Because I have several friends who work for the PO, I was able to get the first names of all the clerks that work at that branch. I am going to send each of them a pretty envelope - thanking them for the good job they are doing. Hopefully, the person who has been annoyed with the decorated mail will lighten up once they have their own piece of mail art. Hopefully, out of the 947,000 PO employees, there is only one who goes out of their way to ruin mail art.

Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Writing Small
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2019, 01:59:22 PM »
Because I have several friends who work for the PO, I was able to get the first names of all the clerks that work at that branch. I am going to send each of them a pretty envelope - thanking them for the good job they are doing. Hopefully, the person who has been annoyed with the decorated mail will lighten up once they have their own piece of mail art. Hopefully, out of the 947,000 PO employees, there is only one who goes out of their way to ruin mail art.
It pays big time to have friends in the PO, particularly the clerks who take in the mail. This is a wonderful approach to making them friends, or at least more tolerant of items in any way outside the recommended guidelines. Very generous of you.