Is for rupography
I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard that word before. I don’t actually even remember how I stumbled upon it. It’s certainly obscure. I think in fact when I first discovered it, it was declared a dead word. I found that an interesting concept in itself. Who declares words dead? Are there word cemeteries? I bet Edward Gorey would have had a delightful time illustrating that!
But back to rupography… it’s the art of taking impressions of coins or medals in sealing wax.
I love sealing wax. Perhaps I was first intrigued by the reference in Through the Looking-Glass:
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings— And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”
But when my sister gifted me when I was a teenager with a stick of turquoise sealing was and a seal I was delighted and hooked. I’ve sent out many a piece of correspondence over the years sealed with a blob of wax. While the post office becomes increasingly intolerant of anything that might interfere with their increasingly sophisticated sorting machines, I still use sealing wax for personal messages. Because it’s awesome and I won’t be deterred!
The mere scent of melting wax and I find it totally impossible not to be catapulted back into the past. How many missives were sealed that way? As far as I’m concerned the two best ways to send messages involve 1) secret courier delivering a wax-sealed note in cipher 2) pneumatic tubes.
I’ve often thought how marvelous it would be to have a signet ring to press into the wax, and that leads me down the path of trying to decide exactly what symbols my personal seal would contain. I delight in the imagining, but I could never decide on something simple so my designs tend to be knuckleduster in size.
In a somewhat related aside it’s become fashionable to create jewelry using seals to make impressions in precious metal clay and then kiln fire them into emerging into metal. For example that’s how these lovely bee earrings I adore were created by Tundra Dear.
For today’s index card for the ICAD challenge, I’ve done a little bee piece using a bee seal. But the thing I most love is the paper. I’m not sure you can tell from the photograph, but it has beeswax drippings on it. The translucency of paper that’s been waxed gives me shivers of delight, and the subtle scent is delicious. Once again – thank you bees for all the magic you bring into this world!
I’ve also done a bee-related journal page for this week’s Artsyville’s Glue It Tuesday as several bee-related things crossed my path this week. Let me say the honeysuckle bath salts were lovely – I thought of bees dizzy with delight as I was soaking. The Basho quote was sent to me by a friend who knows I love me peonies. And I love the soap label asking “Can I Bee Me at 6 Again?”
So there we have it. I feel like I’ve flitted around like a bee in the garden with this post. What about you? Are you feeling focused or flighty? Use sealing wax? Have any obscure words you want to share? Do tell – you know I love to hear.