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Sand As Blotter


watchinginkdry
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Has anyone tried using sand as a blotter, or know if a specific kind of sand was used? I'm curious to try this (entirely as an entertaining experiment, without any expectations of efficiency or tidiness).

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I would think sand itself would be too course to absorb wet ink on a piece of paper since the grains are just tiny pieces of stone that aren't absorptive in and of themselves. Sand absorbs liquids simply by providing a large surface area around and between all the particles for the liquid to be suspended.

For your task, you would want something much finer than sand, like talcum powder. It will be messy, as would any loose material, and will likely leave a fine course residue that will harm your pen nibs.

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Has anyone tried using sand as a blotter, or know if a specific kind of sand was used? I'm curious to try this (entirely as an entertaining experiment, without any expectations of efficiency or tidiness).

Pounce made from powdered cuttlefish bone......For your consideration an old thread "Sand Used Instead Of Blotting Paper" May 2010

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/156685-sand-used-instead-of-blotting-paper/

 

And "Pounce and pounce pots" August 2008

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/73623-pounce-and-pounce-pots/

 

Fred..

having never used sand as a blotter.................

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Well, there's another bit of information to be filed away in my ''dustbin-mind''. All those times I've watched historical scenes of someone shaking powder over a quill-written page, it was ground cuttlefish! The things you learn here at FPN,

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So you could theoretically buy a cuttlebone from the pet store and grind it up in the food processor, if the DIY thing interests you.

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or hunt fish and get a meal bonus.

Hell yeah...Go fishin' for tilefish off Nantucket Island by the Andrea Doria wreck..........Yummy!

Fred

 

"Smith Barney..they make money the old-fashioned way. They earn it."

~ John Houseman

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Lessee...equipment, license, boat charter, flights to Nantucket...the practical choice.

From Brooklyn Heights to Sheepshead Bay and or Montauk get on a party boat and go fishing or sometimes divin' the wreck.....

A long time ago...........................................Good night...............

Fred..

last scene of all, that ends this strange eventful history..Is second childishness and mere oblivion; sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.....

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In my early drafting days we used pounce to repair the surface tooth of the mylar drawing film if it had been burnished too much with an eraser or knife removing ink text or lines. It used to come in a cardboard cylinder with a felt ring on the bottom, and you would shake out a bit, like talcum powder, and the use the felt to rub it into the surface so you would be able to draw over it again.

There was also a product called Scum-X (I kid you not) which was a little pillow of ground eraser crumbs that you could gently wipe across a sheet to take up excess graphite from pencils and keep it from smearing.

The good old days of hand drafting!

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Sand if and when it was used was to keep the ink from smearing the next sheet of paper laid on top of it.

I think somewhere in antique days, the pounce shaker was miss labeled the sand shaker.

 

Back when your writing set of ink well and 'sand' shaker was normal, your quill was stripped of feather up to a small fluff on top to brush sand/pounce off the piece of paper.

.In one lived in a drafty room, house, having a full feather would subject your writing to draft air movement.......but Hollywood is so wrong about so many things.

The wing chairs were invented to protect you from major house draft....one did have a world of hot warming air roaring up a chimney drawing a storm of air from all the cracks in the window casement or other draft origins.

 

By the 1880's (where one of my books I'm scribbling takes place, the inks or papers must have gotten better, in I see double inkwells in my research not inkwell and sand shaker.

 

What you need or could need is an Ink Blotter. Herbin makes one, DDe Atramentis sells one, Goulet(sp) in the US may sell one.

I have a whole lot of them that I never use, in mostly the ink drys fast enough...5-10-20 second max. Only a couple of my ink blotters actually has blotting paper on them. (Except Noodlers Golden Brown which takes a full page of further writing before the ink on the front dries to be able to use the back of the page...........there are a couple notorious that either take for ever to dry or never do.....don't have them in head, in I Avoided the Hell out of them.

 

1st is Bauhaus style marble (@1922-30). Second is fire gilded brass & crystal ink wells and black glass (including blotter) (@ '25-30, third is birds eye maple vernier, French @ 1925....Have three or four more marble full writing sets, that I never got around to taking a pictures of.

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Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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I’m a big fan of the rocker-blotter. Not as excruciatingly exquisite as pounce, but I don’t get the stuff all over the floor, either.

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:lticaptd:

There was that. ;)

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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Pounce shaker

fpn_1572206513__stamps.jpg

"It's funny; in this era of email and voice mail and all those things that I did not even grow up with, a plain old paper letter takes on amazing intimacy."  Elizabeth Kostova

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ponce was generally made with cuttlefish bone (calcium carbonate) and gum sandarac, a tree resin. This was ground and sold as cakes. you would pound it into powder to add it to the "Sander" which was named not for sand, but for the gum sandarac. Here's a tiny one from my personal collection turned on a lathe in the late 18th-century, early 19th from a whale tooth. It was from the whaling areas up in Massachusetts. It even came with its own tiny hammer. The perforated top screws off, another example of the turner's skill. I've also included a photo of it, along with a quill cutter and a standard sized Falcon dip nib to give it scale.

 

fpn_1573332460__ponce_pot_01small.jpg

 

fpn_1573332470__ponce_pot_02_small.jpg

 

fpn_1573332482__ponce_pot_05_unscrewed_s

 

fpn_1573332499__complete_set01.jpg

 

 

 

 

Originally, ponce was used like BDArchitect mentioned, but for paper. You used it to give a better surface on rough or crude paper BEFORE you wrote. They were used mostly before the early 19th-century. By 1820 almost all commercially-made paper was coated with a sizing which gave it a much better surface for writing, so ponce quickly disappeared. By the middle of the century, most people did not know what these quaint old things were used for and the "sander" was assumed to hold sand. So, these were already misunderstood by mid-19th-century, and the "sand" idea has persisted ever since.

 

I highly doubt that it was originally used for blotting wet ink. If you poured ponce on a page of wet ink, it would stick to the ink, and if it didn't make an unholy mess, when it dried, it would make your page rough where you had dried ink and ponce mixed together. Some of it might absorb some ink, though gum sandarac tends to be hydrophobic, which is why it doesn't absorb the ink into the page, and thus works as a sizing. It might work to some degree as a blotter, but it was really for preparation of the paper ahead of time. It's also unlikely that it was used for blotting as blotting paper was known from very early (seem to remember 16th century? Maybe earlier?)

 

Here's a ledger from 1853 that still had a piece of blotter paper in it they were using as a pen wipe.

 

fpn_1573332552__1853_ledger01.jpg

 

 

So, I wouldn't recommend sand for your blotting purposes. Get a nice rocker blotter if you need to. It works soooo much better.

 

“When the historians of education do equal and exact justice to all who have contributed toward educational progress, they will devote several pages to those revolutionists who invented steel pens and blackboards.” V.T. Thayer, 1928

Check out my Steel Pen Blog

"No one is exempt from talking nonsense; the mistake is to do it solemnly."

-Montaigne

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Thank you Andrew....it's real good to know that the 'sand' mistake started 1850, instead of more modern times like 1880-1900.

Didn't know you had to pound, grind your own pounce....and that is a very, very great pounce and gum sandarac.shaker. :notworthy1: :thumbup: :puddle:

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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