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Re: Balls, sealing wax, gum arabic

Master Dafydd ap Gameboy greets those who have not gone to Pennsic yet!

>1) Other than bladders, how were balls made in period?
>        - Anarra Karlsdottir, virtual carrier pidgeon

Inflated balls were bladders.  This is not an insuperable barrier,
however--some bladders were encased in a leather shell for durability
before use (e.g., the illustration on the front of everyone's Cambok
T-shirt).  This means that you can make a simple leather shell (quarter
sections of an orange shaped) and use it to encompass a modern plastic
inflatable ball.

Other balls existed--according to Shakespeare, and other sources
before him that I don't remember offhand, Tennis balls were often
filled with hair.  One surviving 16th C. tennis ball that was found
lodged in the rafters of Hampton Court was packed with dog hair,
and the leather cover had the same orange-quarter-section pattern
that the Cambok ball has.  I have made a small (tennis-ball-sized)
ball packed with cat hair, of which I had plenty.

Bowls (which is to say, wooden balls for bowling, not tableware)
were of wood, and early golf balls may also have been of wood
(although another source claims that they were packed with feathers).
You can buy various sizes of small wooden balls at most good 
woodworker shops (NOT at hardware stores, generally, or Hechingers).

I hope this helps,