The Making and Knowing Project Sandbox
Site and Projects Under Development
The “Sandbox” makes available a number of resources that utilize and explore the data underlying Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France. A Digital Critical Edition and English Translation of BnF Ms. Fr. 640 created by the Making and Knowing Project at Columbia University.
The Sandbox presents experimental, provisional, and in-progress work that expands upon the engagement and analyses with the data, topics, and content of Secrets of Craft and Nature and with the manuscript, BnF Ms. Fr. 640.
The Making and Knowing Project hopes to create an online environment for students, scholars, and others to explore and experiment with the Project’s data using a variety of digital tools, where others can add and create their own tools, case studies, and resources presented here. This is also a space for sharing teaching resources, exploring methods and processes across disciplines and levels of expertise, and engaging in knowledge exchange wherever possible.
Editors: Pamela Smith, Naomi Rosenkranz, Terry Catapano, Caroline Surman, Gregory Schare, and Sophia Qureshi.
In preparation and development of Secrets of Craft and Nature in Renaissance France. A Digital Critical Edition and English Translation of BnF Ms. Fr. 640, M&K explored and created various wireframes, mockups, and prototypes.
ENGL84031 / HISTGU4031 / COMS4495: Transforming Texts (Spring 2019)
The Spring 2019 course Transforming Texts: Textual Analysis, Literary Modeling, and Visualization built upon M&K’s previous Digital and Lab Seminars. Geared towards students from the humanities and computer science, the course encouraged the disciplines to work together to analyze, explore, and understand historical texts.
Spring 2019 Final Student Projects (2021-05-06) [Syllabus]
GU4962: Hands-on History (2021- )
The Final Project in the undergraduate/graduate lab seminar Making and Knowing in Early Modern Europe: Hands-on History are intended to serve as companion pieces to the Digital Critical Edition, Secrets of Craft and Nature, or form a part of the Making and Knowing Project’s Research and Teaching Companion to Secrets of Craft and Nature. These exploratory and experimental projects are meant to help brainstorm, design, and implement alternative paths by which to access the material in the Edition and/or provide other forms of disseminating and engaging with the themes.
Summer 2021 Final Student Projects (2021-07-08) [Syllabus]
Fall 2021 Final Student Projects (2022-01-27) [Syllabus]
Course descriptions and syllabi are listed in Syllabi.
Presentations and Reference Materials
- Presentation: Introduction to Pigments & Paints - an introduction to the concepts and methods of making pigments and paints, the classification of different types of colorants (organic, mineral, and earth), and historical recipe examples (2022-06-14)
- Presentation: Cochineal Lake: History, Chemistry, and Preparation - an overview of historical natural colorants and dyes, details about common red colorants, a deep-dive into the history of cochineal insects as a dye and pigment source, the preparation of “lake” pigments, and explanation of the chemistry of these natural colorants (2022-06-14)
- Presentations on Natural Dyes - different variations of presentations given by the Making and Knowing Project on dyeing with natural colorants with a particular focus on red. While most of these presentations pay particular attention to cochineal, the chemistry and preparation of dyes is more widely applicable to most natural colorants used in the early modern period. The following presentations contain some of the same slides, but each has additional information or a different focus based on the context in which it was given. Given the close connection dyes have to lake pigments, see also the presentation above on Cochineal Lake.
- Presentation: Cochineal Dye: History, Chemistry, and Preparation - an overview of historical natural colorants and dyes, details about common red colorants, a deep-dive into the history of cochineal insects as a dye and pigment source, the preparation of mordant dyes, and explanation of the chemistry of these natural colorants (2022-06-17)
- Presentation: Reconstruction Exchange: Case Study in 16th Century Red Dyes - created as part of a reconstruction exchange workshop with Refashioning the Renaissance in March 2019 on dyes. The Making and Knowing Project and Refashioning the Renaissance experimented with materials commonly used in the early modern period for dyeing red, including the widespread madder, the expensive kermes, and the potent cochineal. This presentation provides an overview of natural dyes as well as discusses the materials, chemistry, recipes, and processes for dyeing in early modern Europe. (2022-06-17)
- Presentation: Dyeing: Step-by-Step Instructions with information about sourcing materials (2022-06-17)
Activity Sheets, Assignments, and Reconstruction Protocols
- Activity Sheet: Reconstruction of a 16th-century Burn Salve Recipe - teaching tools and resources for reconstructing a historical recipe (2021-07-08)
- Activity Sheet: Breadmolding Reconstruction - assignment sheet for reconstructing a casting technique that uses bread as the mold (2021-09-21)
- Activity Sheet: “Growing” Verdigris Pigment Reconstruction - assignment sheet for producing verdigris, a blue-green pigment, using historical techniques (2021-09-22)
- Activity Sheet: Making Paints from Pigments and Painting Them Out - assignment sheet for making paints by combining historical pigments and binding media (2021-09-22)
- Activity Sheet: Stucco for Molding - assignment sheet for creating molded stucco object from rye flour or chalk (2021-09-24)
- Making Lake Pigments from Natural Colorants:
- Dyeing with Natural Colorants - resources for dyeing textiles with natural colorants( including cochineal, madder, weld, and redwoods) following historical dye recipes. Recipes and procedure adapted from Jo Kirby et al, Natural Colorants for Dyeing and Lake Pigments: Practical Recipes and their Historical Sources (Archetype, London, 2014) (2022-06-17)
- Presentation: Cochineal Dye: History, Chemistry, and Preparation - an overview of historical natural colorants and dyes, details about common red colorants, a deep-dive into the history of cochineal insects as a dye and pigment source, the preparation of mordant dyes, and explanation of the chemistry of these natural colorants
- Presentation: Dyeing: Step-by-Step Instructions with information about sourcing materials
- Activity Sheet: Mordant Dyeing General Procedure - procedure and instructions that can be adapted for any number of mordants and dye sources
- Activity Sheet: Mordant Dyeing with Cochineal - instructions for mordanting textiles with alum and dyeing with cochineal (and/or cochineal with potash as an additive)
- Activity Sheet: Calculating ratios and amount of material needed - created as part of a reconstruction exchange workshop with Refashioning the Renaissance in March 2019 on dyes (presentation above). Application of parts of the template provided below
- Template and recipes: natural dyes - a spreadsheet pre-populated with recipes for natural colorants, information about sourcing materials, as well as templates and examples for calculating ingredient amounts based on the amount of textile to be dyed
- Pictures: dye sample book (Naomi Rosenkranz) - an incomplete sample of various dye experiments from the Making and Knowing Lab (and home kitchens!) with different combinations of textiles, natural colorants, mordants, and additives.