metal wood burning would be cool, but I doubt a culture with metal would use this.. I can only really imagine this being by a relatively primitive culture. (or one who see some superstition/significance/mysticism in using the fire)

Cool.. did not know that about Indonesian soot writing. very neat :)


I can see how this "fire script" might be useful for making short inscriptions/spells/ etc. on wood-- but then, assuming this culture has metal, why not heat up a metal stylus and burn the letters into the wood? Of course you'd probably have to keep heating up the stylus, since it might cool off quickly (and might be a little tricky to hold in one's fingers....)

IIRC, some early (pre invention of paper) Indonesian cultures scratched the letters into dried strips of palm leaves, then rubbed soot over the surface (or something similar) which filled in the scratches, then cleaned the remaining soot off.. But once they figured out how to make ink from soot, they used a bamboo stylus to just write the letters.

On Thursday, April 17, 2014 6:11 AM, Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
actually that doe not really work

alcohol and/ or lighter fluid 
a)get soaked up and spread, don’t really make lines but large uncontrollable blotches
b)the paper acts just like a wick on a candle, it doesn’t actually burn(not at the bottom, the wick burns away as the wax lowers and the upper end of the wick slowly enters the higher regions of the flame)

more likely the dry (as opposed to wet with alcohol/lighter fluid) parts would catch fire and burn completely, with the wet blotches lasting the longest

Or... maybe you could write the letters with lighter fluid and set them
aflame. It wouldn't last long, but it would definitely be "fire script."
(Call it "satan script" and post videos on the web of your "satanic"
conlang and you're sure to get a lot of hits and hate mail from zealots.)

On Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 3:42 PM, Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Not quite sure how you came to that logic.
> a)one second of error with a pen and you have to start from scratch.
> b)one second of error on sand and you can wipe and redo the part that was
> messed up. Like having an eraser
> edit, erase, and redo all you want, when perfect, set a big fire one top.
> I'm not actually trying to advocate its real-life use obviously, we
> produce enough greenhouse gases as it is lol.
> But I just can't see any reason why this would present the problems you
> indicate.
> In my eyes the real disadvantages are
> a)unequal burning - a large area might not be singed equally. the fire
> would need to be carefully set up to ensure full coverage and singe ALL
> uncovered regions
> b)line spacing width - the lines appear to be quite thin, but the need for
> a mound of sand creates a limit on how thin lines can be and how close they
> can be to each other
> c)risk or burning the paper - IF not care, or if he fire is too hot, the
> paper could actually burn
> d)fire hazard - you have to "play with fire"... nuff said ;)
> >>
> You are right in that it requires no special materials. However, to me it
> is more of a question of scale – what if I want to write something a bit
> more substantial? A chronicles maybe? Doing it on a ratio of one word per
> fire seems highly impractical for one set of reasons. Doing it on a larger
> scale seems highly impractical for a whole other set of reasons. A whole
> paragraph written in sand? One second of clumsiness and it's all effed up.
> Manuscripts are loaded with errors already as it is.
> Ingus
> 2014-04-16 22:37 GMT+02:00 Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]>:
> > Really? you must not have seen Nailscript then.
> >
> > Iron nails take alot of more energy and resources to produce, and nailing
> > them takes alot more effort
> >
> > It would be better to use sticks and kindling to burn, but I didn’t want
> > to start a camp-fire in my house.
> >
> > Its more just meant for considering "what if" a writing system evolved
> > this way. It could be more efficient in some ways, depending on the
> > resources available.
> >
> > use leather or bark instead of paper, and it requires NO special
> materials
> > or tools, just sand, your finger, and fire
> >
> >
> > Dustinger Batailleur <[log in to unmask]>
> > >That's the least efficient writing system I've ever seen.
> >
> >
> > On 16 April 2014 10:00, Matthew DeBlock <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >  (Yay.. I didn't burn down the house hehe)
> > >
> > > still a fresh experiment, but first tests seem promising :) (see
> you-tube
> > > video above)
> > >
> > > No water or ink required, just paper, sand and fire.
> > > Could probably be done to leather, cloth, even wood, but wood would
> > > require a longer hotter burn to singe.
> > > The writing is water proof, once made, there is no ink, so it wont run
> or
> > > smudge no matter how wet it gets. Also, because crossing lines "cuts"
> the
> > > previous line, there might be some cool ways to use that in a script.
> > >
> > > Cover paper with sand, wipe lines in it with a stick, fingers or
> > anything,
> > > and set a small fire on top.
> > > The paper will singe, but the sand will prevent it from burning, and
> > > control singing to the line due to heat sinking and controlled oxygen
> > flow.
> > > Also, from my basic chemistry understanding, I imagine the vapors from
> > the
> > > burning material are leaving some residue that stains the paper.
> > > Burning paper kinda sucks, had to do multiple burns cause it burns so
> > > fast, but the ash builds up, when I try to remove the ash in between
> > burns
> > > it disturbs the sand and exposes some areas a bit:(
> > >
> > > I think it will work much better with small burning sticks laid just
> > above
> > > the sand .Build up the edges a bit so they don't actually lie on the
> > > "drawing surface" but instead are just above it. (not too keen on the
> > idea
> > > of starting a small camp-fire in my house lol, but using sticks for one
> > > long burn and not poking around should improve the quality)
> > >
> > > The last image in the video shows the carbon marks left on the floor
> > > beneath the paper. They wipe off easily, but it would seem that if I
> try
> > > with several layers of paper I might be able to produce multiple copies
> > at
> > > once. Primitive "carbon copies" hehe
> > >
> > > Not sure what to call it, yet thinking something like "blazing sand
> > > script" or “FireScript” or even “SandScript” (though that might be
> easily
> > > confused for Sanskrit) hehe..
> > > Also, If this was how a culture started their writing system I can
> > imagine
> > > it evolving into tons of other methods eg, pouring molten material into
> > > sand molds, filling with powder that melts with heat then congeals,
> etc..
> > > so the writing system could be integrated into many other arts and
> crafts
> > > as it evolves
> > >
> > > The medium of lines in sand is fun. As Alex pointed out in the thread
> > > about Nailscript, crossing lines in clay like cuneiform might be able
> to
> > > distinguish depth layer to some extend as well. This sand is a similar
> > case
> > > that demonstrates that concept I think. Although this takes it to the
> > > “extreme” because the sand actually cuts the previous like and leaves 2
> > > “walls” on either side of the second stroke. Varying stroke width,
> > > specifically, using increasingly thin strokes should allow multiple
> > > crossings in one location.
> > >
> > > Maybe when I find a beach where fires are permitted, or when I finally
> > > move back to North-America and have a back yard, I can develop it
> > further.
> > >
> > > Since I have now put it on the back burner, sharing it, maybe someone
> > else
> > > has the means and ideas for a next step or some application.
> > >
> > > Hope you guys like :)
> > >
> >