Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming the New England Society of Botanical Artists to our shop. Coming straight from the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the bus arrived delivering 33 botanical painters to our showroom for the purpose of talking, learning, and purchasing their own vellums & parchments.

People often question the distinction between vellum & parchment. The answer, unfortunately, is not so clear cut. Parchment is the broader term referring to all hides (calf, sheep, and goat). Vellum is a more specific term originally derived from the French word “veux” meaning calf. That being said, calf is pretty much universally considered a vellum – however, depending on the manufacturer, other animal hides may also be considered “vellums”.

In the picture to the top right, Jill, describes some of the different characteristics of the parchments we stock at TALAS.
Below, some of the ladies hand select their own South American goatskins (left) & Cowley skins (right).

While everyone seemed intrigued by the full parchments, others were drawn to our cut pieces of parchment (right) , which are great for those who are just beginning to experiment with the material. In the image to the left, Will shows a a small selection of our very large variety of decorative papers and materials to those interested.

Back to the parchments, Jill, helps these two ladies decide on full hides.
This crowd definitely seemed more drawn to more dynamic skins like Veiny Cowley’s Calfskins & S.A. Natural Goatskins, as opposed to the more traditional Classic & Kelmscott Cowley’s Calfskins.
Although strong in their character, and not always right for everyone, these skins can add a truly gorgeous component to the right subject matter.
I look forward to seeing how you two ladies tackle works on each of your skins!

To the right, Aaron was the only one brave enough to take a knife down the center of this skin to be split between two painters! Talk about a tense moment.

All in all, it was a great visit, as we are always delighted to introduce & share our knowledge to those interested in the the world of parchments, and vellums! It was great to have the opportunity to show our large variety of skins side-by-side to such a warm, receptive audience.


Thanks to all 33 of you for visiting!
And a special thanks to Joyce for sharing her photographs.
All of us at TALAS look forward to seeing the final pieces in the near future!

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