Caren Sullivan–Oct. 14th, 2015

Throughout the past week, I accomplished several goals with my research project, but also encountered a few new problems. First, I took the four types of iron gall ink I’m fermenting (distilled water, rain water, distilled white vinegar, and a 1:1 ratio rain water: distilled white vinegar) and broke each bottle up into 3 smaller bottles of equal volume (ultimately yielding 12 bottles of 4 types of ink). The first of the three smaller bottles stayed the same, the second was combined with gum arabic (the ink binder), and the third was combined with gum arabic and sugar. The inks are now ready to be tested, and I will begin characterization this week. Also, I would like to show that this experiment is repeatable, so I plan to take each control ink (first bottle that stayed the same), and break it up into four more bottles: again, keeping the first the same, but this time adding the same amount of gum arabic to each of the other three. I want to show, through characterization processes such as UV-Vis, IR, and Raman, that this experiment is repeatable. In addition to synthesizing my ink, I contacted the people at Pergamena (the parchment store), and am waiting to hear back regarding their thoughts on which parchment would be best to order. Finally, over the past weekend, I was fortunate enough to share my latest research poster at the Blue & White Donor Gala. I was able to discuss my work with Lawrence board members and donors. It was a great opportunity and experience to share my work with the Lawrence and Appleton community! This upcoming week, I plan to finish my ink synthesis, characterize my inks, and order my parchment such that I can try to recreate a 15th c. ink/parchment combination to compare to the manuscript itself.

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