Before we had ink pens and graphite pencils, scribes and artists in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance used metal styluses to make notes and create art. Silverpoint, drawings made by scratching silver on specially treated paper and allowing it to tarnish, were especially popular because the fine metal point allowed artists to create exquisitely detailed work. Silverpoint's popularity eventually declined because making the styluses and preparing the paper was labor-intensive. But nowadays, with modern art and hobby stores at the ready, this beautiful drawing style is easy to recreate.
Revive silverpoint by making a silver stylus! In this activity, your high schooler will learn how to prepare specialized paper called 'ground' and to put together a stylus with gauge wire and a mechanical pencil. The result? A silverpoint sketch that she can turn into a historical model, an unusual art project, or funky decor for her bedroom!