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Ink sanders


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#1 Wildoaklane

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 00:59

Dear new friends,

I'm new to the whole fountain/dip pen art. I'm curious about ink sanders...where can they be purchased? How are they used? How do they compare to use of blotter paper? And, speaking of blotter paper, what's the trick to using it effectively? I'm really interested in the historical perspective of "penning" and am trying to learn as much as I can. I'd like to also know things like what kind of paper was used before envelopes when letters were just folded and sealed with wax? And, why does it seem like red was the color of choice in the use of wax? Forgive my ignorance, but any offers of enlightenment will be greatly appreciated! I see glimpses of these things in period movies and read about them in novels. It piques my curiosity and makes me wonder as to historical accuracy.

Yours gratefully,
Wildoaklane
Think only of the past as its remembrance brings you pleasure. J. Austen

#2 Judybug

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 02:07

I'm curious about this business of sanding ink, too. After doing a bit of looking around, I discovered that the "sand" used was also referred to as "pounce." (BTW, you can see interesting "pounce pots" on various antique websites.) Here is a definition from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:


Main Entry: 6pounce Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: "
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: French ponce pumice, from Late Latin pomic-, pomex, from Latin pumic-, pumex -- more at FOAM
1 : a fine powder (as of sandarac with pumice or cuttlefish bone) formerly used to prevent ink from spreading on unsized paper or over an erasure and also to prepare parchment to take writing
2 [French ponce pounce bag, from (assumed) Middle French ponce, from Middle French ponce pumice] a : a fine powder (as pulverized chalk or charcoal) for use with a perforated pattern in transferring a design b : a perforated pattern c or pounce bag : a small cloth bag filled with powder for pouncing


And here's what Wikipedia has to say:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pounce_pot

I'm confused about when this pounce was used. The Merriam-Webster definition gives the impression that the paper is treated with the pounce before the paper is written on, but the Wikipedia article says it was "sprinkled over wet ink to hasten drying." I've been watching Jane Austen movies lately, and in one of them (I think it was "Persuasion") one of the characters did sprinkle the pounce over a letter after he had written it.

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#3 Phthalo

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 06:07

In my drafting / cartography work, we used pounce to prepare (abrade) the paper (remove oils etc) and then brushed it away - the surface was now ready for ink.
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#4 Paddler

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 13:52

You use blotter paper by just pressing it onto the wet ink. It should just wick the excess ink away fast enough that the ink won't mash out and spread. Many desk sets had a rocker blotter. The round bottom of the rocker was covered with a piece of blotter paper. You just rocked the device over your writing and it wicked away the excess ink.

I think pounce (or sand) was used when quill pens were the tool of choice. In my limited experience with quill pens, I found that, unless you are a real quill-cutting master (or really lucky), your nibs tend to be very wet writers. Sand would soak up the excess ink so you could handle the paper sooner without smearing the writing. Sand was also probably cheaper than paper for the purpose.

I think red was the natural color of the sealing wax. I remember when canning jars were sealed with it. You dipped a cloth in the hot wax and laid it over the mouth of a jar and then put the glass lid over that and snapped the wire bail over it. The sealing wax was sold in hardware stores in bricks about 1.5" square and perhaps 6" long. These bricks were always red.

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#5 Nolan613

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 17:39

I remember using a pounce bag when I studied drafting, as Pathalo noted. Take into account this wsa more than 40 years ago but I remember the bag contained a very finely ground chaulk like powder and you pounced (lightly beating) your paper after doing your layout lines with a pencil. This prepared the paper for the drawing which was done with pen and ink. Miss that at times but won't trade my CAD software any time soon. thumbup.gif

Never heard of using sand but, never a day goes by without learning something new.

Edited by Nolan613, 29 June 2008 - 17:41.

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#6 jbb

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 17:51

Pen, Ink, & Evidence: A Study of Writing and Writing Materials for the Penman, Collector, and Document Detective by Joe Nickell is a great all around book for this sort of pen history. I played around with sprinkling fine white sand on my letters when I was first using dip pens because my ink was taking forever to dry on the paper I was using and it made me feel like I was living in the 18th century. Anyway, the sand absorbs some of the excess ink... but it made a sandy mess in my office.




#7 Wildoaklane

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 21:17

QUOTE(Judybug @ Jun 28 2008, 10:07 PM) View Post
I'm curious about this business of sanding ink, too. After doing a bit of looking around, I discovered that the "sand" used was also referred to as "pounce." (BTW, you can see interesting "pounce pots" on various antique websites.) Here is a definition from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:


Main Entry: 6pounce Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: "
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: French ponce pumice, from Late Latin pomic-, pomex, from Latin pumic-, pumex -- more at FOAM
1 : a fine powder (as of sandarac with pumice or cuttlefish bone) formerly used to prevent ink from spreading on unsized paper or over an erasure and also to prepare parchment to take writing
2 [French ponce pounce bag, from (assumed) Middle French ponce, from Middle French ponce pumice] a : a fine powder (as pulverized chalk or charcoal) for use with a perforated pattern in transferring a design b : a perforated pattern c or pounce bag : a small cloth bag filled with powder for pouncing


And here's what Wikipedia has to say:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pounce_pot

I'm confused about when this pounce was used. The Merriam-Webster definition gives the impression that the paper is treated with the pounce before the paper is written on, but the Wikipedia article says it was "sprinkled over wet ink to hasten drying." I've been watching Jane Austen movies lately, and in one of them (I think it was "Persuasion") one of the characters did sprinkle the pounce over a letter after he had written it.

Judybug


Think only of the past as its remembrance brings you pleasure. J. Austen

#8 Wildoaklane

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 21:25

QUOTE(Wildoaklane @ Jun 29 2008, 05:17 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Judybug @ Jun 28 2008, 10:07 PM) View Post
I'm curious about this business of sanding ink, too. After doing a bit of looking around, I discovered that the "sand" used was also referred to as "pounce." (BTW, you can see interesting "pounce pots" on various antique websites.) Here is a definition from Merriam-Webster's online dictionary:


Main Entry: 6pounce Pronunciation Guide
Pronunciation: "
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): -s
Etymology: French ponce pumice, from Late Latin pomic-, pomex, from Latin pumic-, pumex -- more at FOAM
1 : a fine powder (as of sandarac with pumice or cuttlefish bone) formerly used to prevent ink from spreading on unsized paper or over an erasure and also to prepare parchment to take writing
2 [French ponce pounce bag, from (assumed) Middle French ponce, from Middle French ponce pumice] a : a fine powder (as pulverized chalk or charcoal) for use with a perforated pattern in transferring a design b : a perforated pattern c or pounce bag : a small cloth bag filled with powder for pouncing


And here's what Wikipedia has to say:

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Pounce_pot

I'm confused about when this pounce was used. The Merriam-Webster definition gives the impression that the paper is treated with the pounce before the paper is written on, but the Wikipedia article says it was "sprinkled over wet ink to hasten drying." I've been watching Jane Austen movies lately, and in one of them (I think it was "Persuasion") one of the characters did sprinkle the pounce over a letter after he had written it.

Judybug


I must admit that I have fallen under the influence of all things Jane Austen. I think it was in the movie, "Becoming Jane" where I saw the sander/pounce pot being used. Thanks for your information. It was really helpful to learn about the pounce terminology. I will continue in my quest to learn more about these things. If I discover anything useful, I will share it with this group.
Think only of the past as its remembrance brings you pleasure. J. Austen