As many of you know, I do medieval and Tudor re-enactment, where I demonstrate a variety of historical technologies and knowledge. One being alchemy. I have done all sorts of things:
Comparing various salts and how they react to heat as described in a medieval alchemical text
Making nitric and sulphuric acids
Trying to make various quintessences
Turning copper into silver
Burning stuff, such as sulphur
Making salt of urine
Making a candidate for George Ripley’s philosopher’s stone (http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/media/magazine/articles/30-3-trial-by-fire.aspx?page=1)
Making caustic waters
Making the Divine water
And some other things which I can’t remember. During these procedures various other things have happened, such as a potash glass vessel breaking due to the heat being too strong on it, flooding the furnace with water and putting it out. Or discovering that the fumes of the divine water turn copper silver.
Actually I haven’t done any alchemical demos for nearly 2 years now, because of the hassle of setting up and taking down and the preparations necessary. I am not sure I’ll manage any this year, it depends on what events I attend.
Now, here are some photos of stuff: Continue reading