Jesse Meyer, Parchment Maker

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About ten years ago, at a Society of Scribes calligraphy event in New York City, I picked up a brochure about “Jesse Meyer, Parchment Maker.”  I have always been fascinated by hide or parchment as a writing surface–the Plains Indians depictions of battles and legends on buffalo hide; and the beautiful illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells.

His family’s workshop is based in Montgomery, NY, about an hour and a half outside the city. The parchment and leather goods made at the Meyer family tannery is from an almost 500-year family tradition of leather working experience beginning in Eisenberg, Germany.  The family came to the United States in 1846.

They offer calfksin, goatskin and deerskin parchment, which can be used in book binding, calligraphy, manuscripts, awards and even journals.

Their online store advertises blank and handmade papers as journal pages. I have had bad experiences writing with handmade paper, but perhaps this is because as a leftie I tend to use fountain pens with fine or extra fine nibs.

After exploring their site, I would like to participate in one of their parchment workshops, and see the transformation from hide to vellum.   sanding-vellum

Has anyone used parchment for calligraphy or artwork?

You can see a short video clip featuring Jesse Meyer, “Middlebury College Students Learn Ancient Craft of Parchment Making.”

For more information about the crafting process, parchment, workshops and more, please visit his website, Pergamenta.

2 thoughts on “Jesse Meyer, Parchment Maker

  1. …and suddenly I know where Doctor Who writers got the idea for Cassandra.

    Seriously, this is fascinating. I love seeing these ancient crafts and trades still alive.

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