Mishegas, Religion

A Problem caused by an Excess of Liquid

Blobby letter ayin in torah
(Click image for bigger version)

Ink deciding to be blobby, and turning letters from agreeably three-dimensional into excessively three-dimensional. Photographed whilst still wet.
This image amuses me for three reasons. First, just because it’s amusingly blobby. Second, because the letter on the right is letter ayin, which is a fountain kind of word, obviously the best letter to display excess liquid. Third, because it’s in the story of the Flood, which of course was the archetypal problem caused by excess liquid.

Technical notes:
This sort of blobbing can be caused by variations in ink, pen, pen technique, klaf, atmosphere. Today the problem was the ink being rather too sticky – I’d left the lid loose on the inkwell over Pesach, so it had dried out a little bit and gone just sludgy enough that it behaved like this. Once I’d diluted it with a couple of drops of alcohol, it was fine. Barometer 30ins and rising slightly, temp mid-70s fahrenheit, humidity low 60%s. Leaving these as is may make them more prone to flaking decades in the future. You can sometimes sort it by blotting up the excess with blotting paper, but if the problem is sticky ink it won’t blot well and you’ll have to sort it later when it’s dried by knifing off the excess. You should not do this in divine names.

5 thoughts on “A Problem caused by an Excess of Liquid

  1. a beautiful image and a beautiful peek into your work. thanks for sharing! i like how the light (from the flash?) reflects off the blobs, making little polka dots.

  2. great pic!
    in my opinion this is the most difficult part of writing – making sure the ink consistency is just right, not to thin and not too thick.
    In fact i added a little ink to pale letters in most of my first Megilla, a very annoying process.
    I kindly ask for permission to repost it in my safrut blog. Tks, YK

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