Parchment Workshop


Parchment Workshop


Join us at the Richard E. Meyer and Sons tannery where we will spend two days producing vellum.

Parchment, also called vellum, is one of the oldest and most durable materials for bookbinding, both as a covering material and as a text support. It was the principle "plastic" material of the Middle Ages and remains one of the strongest, most durable, most archival natural materials available to bookbinders and calligraphers. Parchment's alkalinity makes it an ideal component for conservation purposes.

The first day of the workshop involves "wet work"; taking the fresh skins through the dehairing stage to the point of stretching and scraping them on the frame.  Attendees also get to choose a color to dye their own goat skin parchment.  Day two will be spent on the "dry work," with the majority of the day spent on the finishing processes of the skins, including sanding, scraping, and trimming.

Both days begin around 9 or 10 am and go until 5 or 6 pm. We provide snacks for breakfast and will have coffee and juice available throughout the day. Lunches are usually left to the individual, and are given about an hour. We also like to invite anyone who can attend to a nice dinner at a really good local restaurant on one of the nights, just to chum it up a bit.

During the workshop we will also give a tour of the complete tannery facilities, which produces vegetable tanned goat and calfskin leather; another perfect material for bookbinding. The Meyer family has been in the leather tanning business for 450 years, dating back to the 1500's in Germany. They began tanning leather in the United States in the early 1800's and continue the venerable craft today in the Hudson Valley, NY. Jesse brought his lineage and expertise into the craft of parchment making and developed Pergamena, Richard E. Meyer and Sons' subsidiary company.  Today, Pergamena is the leading parchment and vellum manufacturer in the Unites States.

This event is both a unique opportunity and a rare bargain. Every participant will come away with two vellum skins; one dyed goatskin and one fair calf. While you're here, you'll also have the chance to browse our inventory of binding leather, calligraphy parchment, and all of the rest of our offerings firsthand.

Spaces in the workshop are limited, so we will be taking people on a first come, first serve basis. You can reserve your spot here or call us at 845.457.3834. You can also email us with any questions. Register now. Dates TBD.


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