For the first time in history, all 6 pages of the U.S. Charters of Freedom have been reproduced on calfskin parchment.
Dozens of skins are rejected for every one that is accepted. To begin, skins are stretched on racks in preparation for the scraping and polishing. Jesse Meyer relies on Old World craftsmanship that gives each document its own hand-crafted character.
The ancient craft of producing manuscript-grade parchment remains virtually unchanged since the days of the Roman Empire. In this photograph, Jesse Meyer hand scrapes each calfskin in preparation for the printing process.
Holly Monroe used her knowledge of historical scripts to reproduce parts of letters and fine lines that are no longer visible on the original document. Thus, we dare say that the Patrigraphica reproductions of the Constitution are the most accurate reproductions ever made.
Holly’s calligraphy was scanned and converted into digital files. Next, the images were loaded into Photoshop where Holly could magnify and painstakingly edit each line and letter.
Chris Cocco uses specially formulated inks and the latest in large-format printing technology to ensure Holly’s calligraphy is reproduced exactly as it was written. In this photo, Chris is proudly displaying an uncut Bill of Rights fresh off the press. Next to Chris, Ryan Thelen is holding up a souvenir copy in order to contrast the difference in size.
Holly Monroe is a third generation calligrapher who has studied under some of the world’s finest calligraphy instructors. Ms. Monroe’s calligraphy can be found on products in the greeting card and gift market, as well as in The Speedball Textbook, 23rd Ed., The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Calligraphy and several Letter Arts Review publications. Ms. Monroe’s calligraphy has been commissioned for documents presented to U.S. Presidents George H. Bush and William J. Clinton, as well as French President Jacques Chirac.
Jesse Meyer founded Pergamena Parchment back in 1999. Coming from a family of leather manufacturers, stretching back at least 450 years, Mr. Meyer created the first new North American commercial parchment manufacturer in generations. Mr. Meyer has been featured on the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. . . twice. Through trial and error, he has rediscovered and recreated the process of making parchment for numerous applications, such as calligraphy, printing, and interior design, which he supplies to designers like Ellen Sigunick for interior panels and furniture design.
Chris Cocco is an expert in wide-format printing and digital pre-press who isn’t afraid of new challenges. Printing on small sheets of vellum can be difficult; printing on large skins is unheard of. Genuine vellum has a reputation for sending printers into bankruptcy and it can destroy a modern digital machine. Mr. Cocco used a combination of old-school innovation and the latest in digital technology to create these historic giclées. We would love to tell you how he did it but we’re keeping that a secret for now.