[Cynnabar] Has anyone got this?

Randy Asplund randyasplund at comcast.net
Wed Mar 16 15:35:59 UTC 2011

As some of you know, I am trying to write a book about how books were  
made in the middle ages, and that means learning how they made  
parchment for the pages and colors to paint the illustrations. I need  
to improve upon some earlier experiments, and I need your help.

First, Arin and I are looking for a bit of Hedera Helix ivy (common  
English ivy somewhere not to far from where we live (N.W. Ann Arbor).  
We need to tap it and collect some of the sap for making color. Looks  
like about now is the good time to be doing it.

If you have a sizable ivy in your yard, would you please contact us?  
No ivy will be damaged. We just make a little hole in the larger stem.

Second, I am looking for a source for two animal things. I need a few  
skins fresh off the animal. It can be sheep, goat or calf. The goal  
being to make some parchment. The other animal thing I need is the  
gall from a cow. "Ox gall" s a yellow fluid that can be made into  

These materials are for experiments in making materials for historic  
book arts. I'm looking for places that would waste these things at the  
time of slaughter.

If you know of anyplace that I might contact for these animal parts,  
or you know someone who may know, would you please help us connect?  
The source should not be too far from Ann Arbor, if possible.

Thank you,


Randy Asplund
Maker of Medieval books and
Illustrator of Science Fiction & Fantasy
(734) 663-0954
2101 S. Circle Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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