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Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking

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The relationship between the viscosity of the ink and the paper will affect the way it is absorbed and how it moves.

The author's playfulness and curiosity shine through the writing, and inspire my own interest in foraged inks. Purple cabbage is a common natural dye used for fabric, making it just as durable for creating inks.

At this point, you can either rinse the excess dye from your fabric, or you can leave it for a few days before rinsing, which might help retain more colour. I actually have this for making Black in from Galls, but the point is you don't want to have any toxins or such get into your dinner. The ink was long gone, but I remembered perfectly how it layered on the paper, [building] from coffee to chocolate to mahogany brown.

A tannin is an organic compound found in trees and plants that can be used as a natural mordant or a color darkener when mixed with iron. Step 2: In a stainless steel pot add your plant material and fill with enough water to cover the surface of the plant material itself. I poured the mixture into a couple of small bowls and let the paint evaporate on a windowsill for a few days. Learning more about plants deepened my appreciation for the abundance of nature available within our cities. This is by no means an exhaustive Instructable to making ink, but I think what it has value in, is the angle for kids.I also love the sense of curiosity that was evoked - anything can become an ink, once you know the basics and they are very simple. Where four of our backyards come together is an intersection of wild shrubs, weeds, and trees, including an oak tree. To keep a pen writing smoothly, you will need to filter out little grains of plant matter very carefully, and use less binder, which can also gum up the nib. I was very kindly sent a beautiful handcarved fern stamp by Jessica from Jess Nicole Stamps, and I planned to make some kind of plant-based ink.

I prefer leaving it on a windowsill as it won’t burn and you can check on it each day and use it at the perfect stage.

My chief disappointment, and the reason I didn't give it five stars, is that there's precious little information about preserving these inks. The ink itself turned out fairly transparent, so I would recommend experimenting with shifting the pH and see which various shades and intensities can be produced.

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