Saint's "Matusale" Journal

Lawrence Saint kept a journal of his experiments while making a copy of the Methuselah window from Canterbury Cathedral. You can read the introduction to the project and view the scans of the individual pages here:
The following is a transcription of Lawrence Saint's handwritten notebook of his experimentation relating to the creation of his copy of the Methuselah window of Canterbury Cathedral now on display at Glencairn Museum:

<book cover, cloth cover, leather upper and lower right corners, middle word printed on cover, other two handwritten above and below>



<end of cover>

<inside front cover, printed maker’s label, rectangular, double border with apron lower inner border.  Within upper border, an eagle holding a banner with the brand name, “NATIONAL” in bold.  Text below duplicates text of label>

“The Right Books to Write In”

National No. 793

Made in the following rulings
                                       Day Books
                                      D.E. Ledgers, with Index
                                      S.E. Ledgers, with Index
                                      Records, Margin Line

Order No. 793
State Ruling indicated by arrow
Give Thickness wanted
Made in 150, and
300 pages

<below label, “MADE IN U.S.A.” - end of inner cover>


<Text hand written, in various fonts, all seem to be in same hand.  Possible initials of JVS ascending from end of first line to top of page.>

This Book Started December 13, 1927.
It has mainly to do with receipts for the Matusale window

Before page 51 is a record of experiments for the sample panel of the MATUSALE

The Record of what I actually did on the Matusale begins on page 51.

<page break, page 2 blank, text resumes on page 3>

<upper right corner note, “see page 53 for notes”>

<text continues with figures indicated by fig #>

Matusale - Sample panel at bottom of window.

Filming - Result - extra fine

<fig 1 series of 3 round arches dated “Dec 13 1927">

<text below fig 1> White border and leaves

Put halfstone on first composed of

<at left three parallel lines, halftone film between upper two lines, “LEAD” to right of lines, large right parenthesis with handwritten note “changed this” running into right margin text>

1 part Medieval Black
1 part Modelling Clay Backing

<back to margin left> Modelling Clay Backing pounced with nail polisher on both sides using a good deal of 10 day oxidized turpentine, i.e. turpentine exposed to air and stirred every day for 10 days – Some places I made an almost flat tone by pressing hard on the nail polisher <fig 2 hand drawn nail polisher labeled as such on image>
Nail polisher covered with kidskin – undressed I believe <artist’s note to “over”>

MATUSALE <p.4 blank, text continues on p.5 >

December 12 1927 continued 3

ON THE BACK in some places I put texture spots on by pouncing a mixture of

brown          <large bracket - { with 2 lines of text to right>
TEXTURE                                12 parts Jet of April 19, 1927.
                                                 1 Burnt Modelling Clay

This receipt gives the best texture gotten to date – it given an effect with depth–shimmering and sparkling.

Date when first used Sep 30 1927

<end p.5, author’s 3, p.6 blank, p.7 with fig 3 upper left corner, labeled rubbing of painted head early 12th centtury>

Primitive Glass Paint
 copied from Data dated August 4 1927
 recorded here Dec 13 1927

This head is at the style as the very earliest stained glass - it is almost exactly at the same character as the painting on the Ascension Window at LeMans and the painting on the St. Lawrence window, I think it is at the east end of the Cathedrat at Poitiers France

This paint contains a high glass content is piled on thick, is not ground real perfectly fine – and it is executed in a highly conventionalized fashion.  It is practically in a perfect state of preservation, withstanding the ravages of time better than 13th Century work

The glass is almost a natural flesh tone and the paint looked blackish brown on the surface when wet and about black when looking through it.

I produced practically the same paint
see following receipt called PRIMITIVE GLASS PAINT

<p.8 blank, text continues p.9>

copied from record of August 4 1927             Dec 13, 1927

          Take 16 grains Warm Black Tracing Color

Smash up hard flesh colored glass until it is smashed fairly fine but not real fine and add

8 grains to the 16 of WARM BLACK mix with oxidized turpentine already described – apply quite a good deal of body with an ordinary brush

          Flesh colored glass No 42 comes near to matching the old head


          The surface color is slightly redder than the old color

<text continues p.11> <upper right corner date “Dec. 13 1927">

MATUSALE Tracing medium
 copied from record of Sep 28 1927



<p.13 title “MATUSALE” crossed out with a single line, over which title “Canterbury Panel” is written, and then the words, “Extra fine”

<hand-drawn five-pointed star beneath above text followed by the text below>
                                                                   copied from record of Oct 1, 1927
                                                                             Dec 14, 1927
<fig.4 tracing of glass cut, somewhat liver shaped>

          <crossed out - ARE> A RED BROWN TRACING
          COLOR USED Composed of     2 parts Mediaeval Red
                                                          1 part Mediaeval Black
                                                          1 ½ green white glass                       
          green - white glass later discarded

The paint was mixed with the heavier oxidized turpentine until the mass was well saturated but it has only a dull gloss

Then it was diluted with thin turpentine and in working the brush was dipped in – 10 day stirred three times a day in warm weather oxidized turpentine
                                                                   continued <bottom of 13>

<p. 15>
          Everything accomplished in one fire continued

The surface began to look dnj <sic?> a little while after the pain was put on

I mixed the same paint for a film over the delicate lines.  I simply used more of the thicker oil and some of the thinner.  The delicate lines did not come off.

The above apparently dried from Saturday morning until Monday morning.
note “WORKED FINELY” <sp?>

<p. 17>
MATUSALE everything accomplished in one fire continued

Filming on top of unfired tracing color filmed with Modelling Clay Backing on both sides – this was mixed with oxidized turpentine

<p.18 - first back side of page used>

Modelling Clay Backing

26 grammes pontied <sp?> Burnt i.e. heated to redness Modelling Clay
40 pulverized white sand
48 Callet 1 sand 4 red ground very finely
160 Red Lead
10 Carbonate of potash
 4 Potassium Nitrate

Mixed and smashed material together on glass slap 1½ hours mostly with a poiece of glass.  It would not hurt to mix the material with an iron knife as that would make the tone warmer

The above amount fills Coors Porcelain crucible No5
I put a wire over the crucible and put the lid on

<fig 5 in three vertical sections
- drawing of crucible, at bottom of page, side view of kiln with door ajar, “hole open in door” and text below kiln “wires on to let air in”
          - vertical view of kiln interior crucible with wire extending to door, bottom
                   of image labeled “EMPTY”
          - text by crucible in kiln interior “cast iron plate on bottom of furnace”
text by bottom image, lower right corner “FRONT EMPTY CRUCIBLE”>

Put material in about 10 o’clock - within a few minutes raised the Rheostat to 8 points there it is to remain until 1660EF is reached
Reached 1660EF at 12:15 P.M.

Front crucible removed    lid removed
wire removed

Material poured out at 12:15 into an iron pan with a little water in it.  Smashed in an iron pot, but this should not be as the iron coming off would make the color a little blackish

The best way is to smash up material in porcelain mortar with porcelain pestle

<p.19 continued>

Modelling Clay Backing <large left bracket “{“ with 3 lines of test to right of bracket>
                   481 grammes Modelling Clay flux described above
                   43.700 grammes puntied <sp?> Burnt Modelling Clay

I added to this for grainding 262 grammes of water for grinding in the pebble mill

<p.20 again blank, p.21 continues>


Sample for flesh paint and film

Glass marked 46   Don’t know whether glass
was intended to be 146 or not Glass made July 21 1927
copied from July 22 1927 receipt

Paint used - “Warm Rich Brown” Apr 28 1927 mixc.
Mixed with thin turpentine exposed to air and stirred day after day until somewhat thickened but not real thick in other words oxidized turpentine which is sticky and slow drying

For film on back and on light part of face

<p.22> continued from page 21 <author’s hand>

          Backing of Feb 17th - 18th 1927

          10 parts
           1 part jet of April 19 1927
           1 part burnt modelling clay

For over hair and beard and under eyebrows

          200 parts of the above
           30 warm rich brown tracing color

<p.22 continues in written script, not printed>

After the films were somewhat dry I scratched cross-hatched lines <small sample of cross-hatching> where the light part of face was - I did the same on the back making cross hatching lines larger and more irregular

The film in the back was put on in a broken way with a little flat Japanese water color brush.  The same was mixed with turpentine as above described and mixed with a little thin turpentine

<p. 23>

                                      copied from record of Oct 22 1927

<fig 6 illustration of text below>

Take a porcelain crucible. <punctuation per scribe> Arch two pieces of lead on top of it.  Put thin turpentine in – cover with a rag to keep dust and dirt out but letting the air in.  Stir thoroughly three times a day – It took 19 days, stirred 42 times

Color in jar pale greenish
The above produces a sticky medium which is slow drying

<p. 24 blank, p.25 continues>


Method of making drawings
First make a drawing on regular drawing paper - in charcoal and fixitize it with shellac dissolved in alcohol.

This I colored with Binney & Smith wax pencils “Rubens” No 24
These are the best

2nd I put shiny transparent tracing color over the colored drawing <sic “and”> refined the drawing

3rd I took a piece of the same shiny tracing paper and rubbed lead pencil over it (Faber 2B)

                   see next page

<p.26> continued from page 25 MAKING DRAWINGS

4th I took Strathmore Drawing Board, very white smooth and fine and transferred the details of the drawing trough onto the Strathmore Board.

5th Then I took an egg-separated the yolk from the white

6th Then I took dried stems of the Portulaca flower put them in water and warmed them on the stove.  The resulting juice was a


dark brown color – with this I dissolved the white and yolk of egg, dropping it into them and stirring.  I smashed the white with my finger somewhat and strained it.

7th I coated both sides of the drawing board with white of egg and Portulaca.

8th I mixed tempera color in tubes with plenty of yolk of egg and portulaca using a watercolor brush with long hairs

(p.28 blank, p.29 continues>

MATUSALE           Goldentone on white border

White border between iron-work and yellow beaded border

I took a mixture of {12 parts April 19 1927 Jet ground in pebble mill and 1 burnt modelling clay

And added to it oxidized turpentine - 10 day stirred three times a day – The color was in quite a we state – This I pounced on both sides leaving some clear spaces – then on the front I pounced the same material again in a thicker and stickier state – This made larger and more pronounced pit marks – I pounced the same material on the back here and there

<p.30> continued from page 29

on the front I pounced over top of what was already on olive pit-mart tone

This is composed of

<large “{“ bracket> 1 part {12 April 19th Jet, 1 burnt modelling clay
                                      1 part Mediaeval Black
                                                ground finely
This enriches the tone - I rubbed it together here and there with my finger
This is a beautiful tone


MANGANESE FLUX the basis of Mediaeval Black

          250 grammes 1 sand pulverized 4 red lead
                   Cullet 1-4
           12½ grammes burnt modelling clay
           12½ Manganes Dioxide ground finely

The above bubbled up a lot and when it reached <left blank>EF was removed by putting a poker into it and bringing it out in gobs

8 of the above Manganese flux ground in pebble mill
1 black copper oxide then ground on glass slab
This makes Mediaeval Black – a slightly warm Black

<p. 32>
Grisaille Panel                          Paint
                                                 2 Mediaeval Black
                                                 1 Mediaeval Red
Filming Olive Texture both sides
with some Golden Texture
<left margin – “Both sides.”> Shatter chalk myixed with Dennisons blue coat
over top of that coat with Japanese water color brush with olive texture mixed with oxidized turpentine - the thinner kind.

Green White No 53-59.

Put a little golden texture around the edge. Result fine.

<p. 32 note at bottom of page>
Mr. Pitcairn approves of this method

<note with 2 letters or figures, might be Mr. Pitcairn’s initials, but uncertain>

Take chalk and mix with a little Dennison’s glue, and water spatter this on the back and front of the glass putting more on where the white is to show strongest – or where the glass is to look the clearest – let this dry –
now take Backing, Olive texture and Golden Texture and coat irregularly on front and back, mixing this with the thinner oxidized turpentine – while this is wet put a little Golden Texture and Olive texture around edges on front and Backing around edges on back – after fired rub off the chalk

where the chalk is thickest I put more of the Olive texture so the marks would be more snappy.


Treatment for Radagonde Panel
          Feb 27 1928

          Mix Backing with some Golden texture added with a little gum arabic.

          Put on the piece of glass some water, rather a good deal – here and there, spatter with a toothbrush, where the spattered stuff dries lay on a blotter or piece of soft paper to lift off the water which has not dried.

On the front

          Paint Feb 28 4 Parts Med Red
          5 Parts Med Black
Textures for Radagonde Panel

Front           3 parts by weight Modelling Clay Backing
          3 parts by weight Golden Texture
          1 part by weight Olive Texture
as near a perfect
match as it is
possible to get I

<p.35 continued>

Back            4 parts Modelling Clay Backing
          4 parts Golden Texture
          1 part Olive Texture

Rub an almost invisible film mixed with the thicker oxidized turpentine with your finger on the back and front of glass – it would be best to let this get pretty dry – now spatter water on with part of a hair brush, putting lots of water on – especially where you want the light places to be – now spatter the above color using a part of a small tooth brush to make very fine pit marks – this to be mixed with the thinnest oxidized turpentine – if there are not enough light places – spatter water over the top – hold up to the light to see if you have enough on.
          The tiny specks spread onto the water and these films break
          apart leaving the desired light spaces between the texture marks
after the water has been spattered on the paint, give it a circular shake.
<two lines squeezed in bottom of page, hard to decipher - blank, blank “border – water put on with brush first, then color with a lot of turpentine” two crossed out words “touched to the water making a thin film”>

<p.36> March 1st 1928 same paint as on page 35
Note: Mix paint with glass mallet – gather with wooden knife

Spatter water on book – putting on extra large amount on here and there, and possibly around edges – spatter water on again in a little while – knock the glass against table a couple of times. <cross outs> Coat a film (the film should leave some glass clean go over this afterward with a very fine film) of paint for front described on page 35 mix it with the thinnest oxidized turpentine – but keeping the paint in a thickish state – make tone deeper around edges.  Now using this same paint in a thickish stage, spatter here and there on front. 

The Blues were spattered with water then spattered with the paint in a thickish state.  This was O.K. – it wasn’t necessary to spatter water again.
<continue on p.37>

after paint is spattered on front let it dry – then mix the paint with a good deal of the thinnest oxidized turpentine and coat a substantial film on the front – using a good deal of oil and putting the film on irregularly – Doing this lifts the <2 words scribe could not make out> but works tiny pit marks off and the larger ones absorb the paint and I think the effect will look pretty well.

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