Paper

Words on Paper

I got several books on the history of paper now and on paper making.  Of course Dard Hunter’s book is in there and I will devour them all as soon as I may.

But I finally had some thoughts on why I want to chase this rabbit.

Paper is central to my professional life.  There is not a single workday that I am not deciding what paper something should be printed on, figuring out what the paper market is doing, exploring paper options, etc.  I am pretty good at feeling a sheet of paper and knowing what it is.  I have looked at this idea before but didn’t pursue it.  So why now?

One, I do like looking at how the medieval process was and trying to see what we can do it get close.  Unfortunately, most of my other “hobbies” aren’t very medieval.  I make cordials.  But since I can’t distill, and cordials, as we know them, as actually pretty late in period.  I use modern liquors in modern mason jars.  I make vinegars.  The process is probably similar to how it would be insofar that it a natural process.  It is going to happen.  I don’t have the ability to properly set up the Orleans process and it would be great to grow my own grapes, make my own wine, and make my own vinegars from them.  No sulfides to fight. I make glass.  This process is deciding modern.  If I was doing hot glass, it would be closer to classical style glass.

But the process for hand-making paper has been largely unchanged for the nearly 2000 years.  Machine made paper is very different but handmade paper is the same basic processes and the few machines used even harken back to period.  The Hollander beater, now electric, but water driven back then, was developed just at the end of period.  Things like a screw jack are period.

But more importantly, paper is a chance to do something I think has been missing in the SCA.  We have merchants who sell items.  Some are medievally made (for a given value) and some are modernly made but look medieval.  That is awesome!  But we are missing the industry.  We are missing the “town” feel.  If I can make a good paper and make a reasonable amount, then I can make an industry.  The paper supplier supplies to the scribes, supplies to the bookbinders, supplies to the card makers, etc.

We could be doing this with fiber arts and I think I have seen a small amount of these.  The spinners supply the weavers, who supply the tailors and seamstresses, who supply the milliners, etc. I think that would be so cool.

For those not in the Middle Kingdom, we give handmade scrolls for awards.  Imagine the next level.  Instead of Bristol board, the paper is handmade too.  One step closer to where we were 1000 years ago.

That is why I want to do this.  I know papermaking isn’t hard.  I just have to find the time to do it.

Uncategorized

Gaming at its finest

It has been a while since I wrote anything.  I have been sewing and weaving.  Those are activities that I do out of necessity.  If I want nice garb, I got to make it (or at least help make it).  Still have some vinegars going but those are kind of boring.  Glass is on the horizon but it is the only way I can make these other things happen is to NOT to glass.

What I haven’t done is talk about one of my other hobbies, roleplaying.

Since I was a teenager, I played rpg’s.  Mostly Dungeons & Dragons but a lot of the White Wolf system when it came out.  Some of my best memories and best friends were made over gaming.

Currently, I am involved in three games.  I run two of them.  One is a straight up D&D 5E game.  One is an Adventures in Middle Earth games.  I play in a straight up D&D 5E game.

This weekend, my players did something pretty amazing.  They totally bypassed combat and made a very memorable situation happen.  The campaign is a mashup of the Tyranny of the Dragons, Storm King’s Thunder, and Princes of the Apocalpyse.  The hill giants attacked Goldenfields and the party pursued the fleeing giants.  The encountered Moog at the Old Tower before going to Grund Haug.

They empathized with Moog and made her into a bard.  They then gave her a potion of growth that temporarily made her the “biggest” giant and she then drove Gug out of Grund Haug.  It was actually pretty glorious.  I was well prepared for them to slaughter hill giants left and right but that isn’t what happened.

I think the only time that it was more magical was when we were playing Exalted: Dragonblooded and not only was there no combat, we didn’t even roll any dice!

Not long ago, in my AME campaign, a player willingly sacrificed their character’s life to destroy the Black Cauldron.  Again, a magical moment.

I see RPG as cooperative storytelling.  The players control what happens just as much as I do.  It is moments like these that are gaming at its finest.