Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fun With Cuniform!

In school right now she is studying ancient Mesopotamia & Sumer, so tonight the kid had a fun homework assignment: Write her name in cuniform on a sheet of paper, and the kids were told they could stain, mutilate and otherwise abuse the paper to 'age' it.

So she and I talked about how worn paper gets it's look, and I had an old envelope I'd been using for scratch paper on my desk anyway--written on in several colors, folded messily, worn, torn & stained, etc. So she did the same to her paper--folded & refolded it, dogeared the edges & tore the folded creases a bit--she really had fun crumpling it up and defacing a homework assignment for a change.

So after she wrote her name in ink, we soaked the paper in vinegar (makes the paper crisp up in the oven) & a bit of soy sauce, then rubbed it down with a wet teabag leaving clumps of loose tea here and there for nice dark spots. Then she stained it with red food color in spots, spotted it with ketchup for darker stains and after coating the bottom of a coffee cup with more soy sauce, left it resting on the paper to simulate a good ol' fashioned coffee cup ring. After leaving the entire mess to sit for about 20 minutes, we blotted it dry with paper towels and baked it in the oven at 200 degrees for about 6 minutes, which dried it out nicely--and it didn't stick to the cookie sheet, thank God.

After it cooled, I used a BBQ lighter to scorch the edges of the paper, which turned out to be a cool trick to brown & curl the paper. It DID catch fire once, but she was dying for a burned corner anyway so she loved it.

It came out looking pretty good. I think the best part was the extra 'note' we wrote in the upper right hand corner in cuniform...

...it said, 'Call Mummy'.

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