My friend Alison gave me a sleekstone for my birthday. Isn't it pretty?
What is a sleekstone? I didn't know either until Alison showed me her research on the 16th C. Italian sewing basket she's been working on. A sleekstone is basically an iron, for pressing seams.
When she showed me pictures of the extant ones, they immediately made me think of the tools I saw in Istanbul that were used for polishing paper. I really love the wear mark on the upper cowrie shell. You can see just how it fit into the artisan's hand.
I've been working on making hats for my vending booth, I've got a bunch of shows coming up. These particular caps are a very basic pillbox shape. We have extant ones from all over the Middle East and Central Asia for over a thousand years. Lots of our extant ones came from Egypt, because of the dry climate.
So when I made this last batch, I tried using the sleekstone and lookie here! How pretty is that?