Saturday, August 1, 2009

What is a Vermilion Star?

What is a Vermilion Star? Is it Mars? (That's the red planet right? ) Hmm...
Something to do with sailors predicting the weather? Umm, no?
Well then? What is Vermilion to start with?

sometimes spelled vermillion, when found naturally occurring, is an opaque orangish red pigment, used since antiquity, originally derived from the powdered mineral cinnabar. Chemically, the pigment is mercuric sulfide, HgS, and like all mercury compounds it is toxic. Its name is derived from the French vermeil which was used to mean any red dye, and which itself comes from vermiculum, a red dye made from the insect Kermes vermilio.[1] The word for the color red in Portuguese (vermelho) derives from this term.
Today, vermilion is most commonly artificially produced by reacting
mercury with molten sulfur. Most naturally produced vermilion comes from cinnabar mined in China, giving rise to its alternative name of China red.

That's what wikipedia says, but orangish red is not the color I get when I open a tube of vermilion red paint...Usually it's more of a deep purplish red color...
What ever the case, my wonderful husband listened to me spout of press names for about two weeks. Some of them were interesting but all were missing something: nomadic press, sleepless press, penniless press...
We had the dictionary out, we thought of our favorite movies...
And then he brought out Vermilion- oooh!!! I love red.

And Stars...

A star was born. Okay- pretty cheesy. But come on, it's fun and it fits. Not too girly, but enough. And it has imagery attached to it.

Vermilion Star Press.

But Wait! There's more!!!

While looking through an old printing manual- old as in 1880- we found more. (Here, I would like to interject that letterpress isn't an easy subject to get stuff on. You can't walk into the local bookstore and get a letterpress manual. If you do find a book it's most likely a manual from decades past when it was still in vocational schools. (THAT IS A LONG TIME AGO)
See I told you it was an old book.

So as it turns out vermilion was the official color used in those old books for the very first letter. Pretty neat huh?

We think so, and if not it keeps people wondering at any event.

One other point, I am taking the artistic liberty and using all shades of red- including pink. And that is perfectly wonderful!

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