# Re: VMs: How translucent is vellum? - Drawing circles

```Did you try it? Try it with a pencil. You'll see that it's virtually
impossible to keep the same angle with the paper and, therefore, the circle
won't close exactly. To keep the same angle, you'll need two strings, each
one fastened to different locations of the pencil or to keep the pencil
exactly at the same angle (which means that the page has to rotate).

This is not the same as doing a circle or an ellipse in a garden, where the
procedure that you indicate would work well because the angle doesn't matter
much, given that it's close to the ground. A drawing in a page is different
because small changes in the slope of the pencil (quill) will change the
radius of the circle. If you want to do the same with a quill the string has
to be secured to the bottom of the quill, which might interfere with the
release of the ink. Therefore, it has to be higher than that, but if you put
it higher, the amplification of the errors produced by the movements of the
hand will also be higher.

Besides, how do you propose to 'hold the other end of the string tightly'?
The rotation has to be done on a point. If you hold it with your finger the
radius will change as you move. Actually, you should let it rotate loosely
using a tack or similar. This will solve the problem on one end (the center)
but you'll still have a changing slope on the other if you hold it with your
hand and a single string.

If instead of using a pencil you now do it with an instrument that has a
very limited amount of ink, the procedure is even more difficult,
particularly for the outer circles, and you should see the places where the
ink becomes lighter.

Cheers,

Claudio

----- Original Message -----
From: "DANA SCOTT" <dscott520@xxxxxxx>
To: <vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2003 9:27 PM
Subject: Re: VMs: How translucent is vellum?

> I should think that a quill tied to the end of a string would work nicely.
> Just hold the other end of the string tightly at the center of the circle
> and draw. The same could be done with a strip of wood I would imagine
(poke
> a nail through one end and attach the quill at the other end, voilà!).
>
> Regards,
> Dana Scott
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "GC" <glenclaston@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2003 3:11 PM
> Subject: RE: VMs: How translucent is vellum?
>
>
> > Ken wrote:
> >
> >
> > 1. I'm not versed in 15th century drafting and writing implements. I'm
> > simply working from experience.
> >
> >
> > My lay understanding of the circinus, the standard compass of this
period,
> > was that it was widely used as a scribe tool, and I don't know of any
> > examples that were "inkable".  Metal nibs were not in use then, and a
> > writing stilus could have been attached to a circinus, but it's unlikely
> > one
> > was made to hold a quill.  There is some indication that lead plummet
was
> > used in some of these devices, but whether lead plummet or scribe, each
> > would require that the ink be applied by hand over the scribed circle.
> > Depending on the steadiness of the hand, the circle would appear traced
> > instead of mechanically drawn.  This means that the circle was indeed
hand
> > traced, no matter the initial method of drawing the circle as a guide
for
> > the ink.
> >
> > FWIW
> >
> > GC
> >
> > ______________________________________________________________________
> > To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx with a body saying:
> > unsubscribe vms-list
> >
> ______________________________________________________________________
> To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx with a body saying:
> unsubscribe vms-list
>
______________________________________________________________________
To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx with a body saying:
unsubscribe vms-list

```