Making and Knowing
A minimal edition of BnF Ms Fr 640 in English Translation

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Imitation coral

+ One must first make the branches from wood or take a fantastical thorn branch, then melt a pound of the best possible clear pine resin and add one ounce of finely ground vermilion together with walnut oil, and if you add a little Venice lake the color will be all the more vivid, and stir all together into the resin, molten over a charcoal fire, not over an open flame, lest it catch fire. Then dip in your branches with a swirling motion. And should there remain any filaments, turn the branch over the heat of the charcoal.

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Colophony is nothing other than resin that has been cooked again. To do it well, you take a leaded pot and melt the resin, boiling it over the brazier for a good hour until it appears not thick but clear and liquid like water and it easily runs as a thread off the end of a stick, which you use to crush and test it. Then pour it through a coarse canvas or tammy cloth so that it falls into the strongest vinegar you can find, because the vinegar makes it strong and makes it less brittle. Repeat this two or three times and it will be fine and well purified. To imitate your coral, you can mix a fourth part of mastic with your purified resin to make it more solid and finer, and if you should use just one drop of mastic, it would be all the better, but it would take too long.

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Coral made of red enamel withstands filing and polishing.

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It is made like cement, which is stronger when mixed with crushed glass rather than with brick. In the same way, together with the vermilion, one mixes in opaque red enamel, finely ground. It is the same way with all enamel colors.

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Sulfur and vermilion have the same effect.