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Thursday 24 November 2022

Traditional ink from natural substances

 To go along with the quills and Reed pens that we made recently we've also been trying out various traditional recipes for natural ink, or rather ink that can be made from nature. Some of these recipes are from the middle ages, some are more recent but as the experiments continue it'll be interesting to see how they develop.

We will keep you updated as we progress with our project. 

Saturday 5 November 2022

How to make a feather writing quill

 These writing quills have been used for centuries and they're not too difficult to make. Gather a few different size diameter quills, in this instance we used goose quills.

Strip them of their vanes

At this stage they are too soft to write with so they'll need to be tempered in hot sand

Keep them on a low heat for just a few minutes, you'll know when they're ready as they turn hard and slightly translucent, a bit like a finger nail.

Once you have them at the correct temper carve them into the shape you prefer for writing, this is a very personal thing and you might need to experiment to get the right nib shape for you. Luckily you can re-carve the quill quite a few times before you need to make a new one. 

Flatbow fun in the Forest

 I haven't had my American longbow/flatbow out in a while so I recently decided to let fly a few feathers and see how my form was.

20 yards and for a first round it's ok, though definitely not where I want to put my arrows

50 or so arrows later and the groups are a little tighter. One or two arrows seem to be renegades so I'll drop them, 2 or 3 others fly like a lazer.

And another dozen or so and the groups are getting nice and tight. This is what I want shooting instinctive barebow at 20 yards

There's no alternative to practice and I really need to do it more, there is something beautiful about the flight of an arrow.