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Thread: A Roll of Parchment

  1. #1

    Post A Roll of Parchment

    There are plenty of graphics for "scrolls" that you can find, but most of them seem little more than loose sheets of paper or parchment. Before the invention of book binding, large documents weren't just big-ass pieces of paper, they were long scrolls wound around tubes for easier handling. Instead of turning pages, one would roll the tubes on both ends to read further into the document. I find this classical form of scrolls appealing, but couldn't find any free graphics for it. So I decided to do it myself, and came up with a method to create pictures of these rolls in GIMP. Here's one, which I offer for the free use of fellow cartographers.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm also planning on writing a tutorial with instructions for making your own parchment roll graphics like this one. Hopefully I can get around to posting it soon.

  2. #2
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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  3. #3


    That's exactly what I meant. Most of those scrolls don't have their ends rolled on tubes, and are from commercial sites asking money for them.

  4. #4
    Professional Artist Nomadic's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    The great northwest


    Very awesome scroll. Just a note though. While large documents were wound around tubes in the form of scrolls, smaller ones were often loose pieces of paper. Instead of being rolled around tubes they were often rolled up by themselves and stuffed into tubes (which were often capped with ornate ends). Sometimes these were combined and smaller scrolls could be placed in these cases as well.
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  5. #5


    My image of scrolls where completely shattered from the small paper wrapped around a dowel when I attended a Simchat Torah celebration a few years back. It is when the last reading in the Torah is read followed quickly by the first. The only way to get from the last passage of a 20+ lb. scroll to the beginning is unwinding from one dowel and winding it back onto another. The whole process took almost an hour.

    One of the things I noticed is that the winding wasn't even. It ended up being wound tighter or looser almost randomly. Also the edges weren't flush with the edges above or below. They would stick out from or disappear under the wrap above it.

  6. #6
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Jun 2008


    Thanks for making that scroll Ghostman. We can always use more custom stuff.
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