ink research from Abby, fall 2012

Posted on February 1st, by jane in ink. Comments Off on ink research from Abby, fall 2012

How to make pigments + suggested plants –> color combinations:
Ferns with tannic acid: all wood/male ferns–
tannic acid is found in these ferns’ rhizomes (at the bottom of the page)


how to quickly make rust




For tannic acid:
Blue black color: oak, chestnut, sumac, mountain ash, and cherry trees
Green color: Hemlock and pine trees (can also collect from mimosa, birch, quebracho, and alder)
Horse chestnuts
Pomegranate rinds
Bearberry leaves
Fern rhizomes

For iron sulfate:
Iron scraps, nails, etc.

For pigments:
Bricks, colored glass, pottery, rust scrapings
Can also experiment with berries (see tannic acid above)
— Anything that can be pulverized, is insoluble (so it won’t react negatively to the binder), and free of organic matter than can decompose or rot
— Further instructions, and step-by-step guides, from this site:

How much to collect?
I am going to assume we want 100g of ink to begin with, and assuming ink has approximately the same mass as water, that will be 100mL or approx. 3.5 oz of ink.

Galls:  80g, approx. .2 lbs
Barks: 400g (4x the weight of the ink), approx .88 lbs
Iron parts: very little (a few scraps will work)

How to collect?
Basic tools:
Knife (with locking blade) or wood chisel
Breathable bags or folded packets of brown, white, or wax paper or newsprint

–Never collect from a living tree
–There is more tannin in older trees
–Inner bark has more tannin

make 1 ink from each site
create a replicable ink recipe
to create a preservable ink in a bottle with a label
create a stencilable paint
source for rust



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