This section is from the book "Arts & Crafts Magazine Vol1-2", by Hutchinson & Company.
G. D. wants to know of "some practical book that would enable him to make a beginning in wood-engraving." Such a book in unknown to us. As soon as we can afford the space, however, we shall he glad to comply with his request to publish some articles on the subject.
J. B. F. - (I) Pumice-stone and water is rubbed over painted woodwork to attain a smooth surface, if your white paint is to stay white mix it with turpentine and a little siccative or Japan drying varnish, instead of with oil, which always turns yellow. But paint mixed in turpentine will only do for interior woodwork; it will not stand the weather. (2) In varnishing over dead white paint, the clearest varnish should be used, mixed with a little of the white lead.
S. P. (Hull) asks: "What is the Claude Lorraine mirror, and what is it used lor ?" - It is the blackened pocket-mirror originally used by French artists in sketching from nature. It concentrates the reflections of objects and brings out the effect, so that looking in it you perceive much better than without its aid the effect your picture should have. It lowers the tones and reduces their number to something like what it is possible to copy. To half close your eyes will do almost as well, but not quite. A glance at it before commencing work should be sufficient. It will not do to paint from, as it distorts and blackens everything seen in it.
Painters call it a smudge-box and use it for cleaning their brushes. One may be made of any long and narrow tin box, by trimming the cover so that it will fit into the box and form an inclined plane from one end to the other. The space left is half filled with kerosene oil or with spirits of turpentine, in which the brushes, lying on the inclined plane, may be soaked for a while before cleaning. Some painters let them stay in the smudge-box over night.