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Homemade Black Walnut Ink


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#41 fiberdrunk

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 21:19

No mold so far.  I was even surprised that one of the jars that was half empty (i.e. with air in the jar) hadn't molded over yet.  Normally I keep the bottles full by transferring down to smaller bottles as I use it up, to keep the air (and thus the mold) out.  Black walnut is naturally anti-fungal, though I do use whole cloves as a precaution (oil of cloves would work, too).  I don't think I'm going to use alcohol at all any more, though I'll wait and see how the last batch does over time before deciding for sure.  The only batch that ever gave me mold trouble was the cold-process (uncooked) one, but as long as I keep the air out, those bottles do fine, too.


Edited by fiberdrunk, 19 June 2014 - 21:21.

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#42 Cepasaccus

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 21:34

I had a plastic bag with lot of walnut / water mix in the boiler room for over a year, perhaps even two. No mold was visible. So I would not be too anxious.


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#43 fiberdrunk

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 21:40

I had a plastic bag with lot of walnut / water mix in the boiler room for over a year, perhaps even two. No mold was visible. So I would not be too anxious.

 

Black walnut is incredible that way.  When I made the cold-process version, I had it outside in a bucket soaking in water for months and months in our hot/humid climate.  At one point it developed a yeasty smell, like rising bread dough, but it never molded during all that time.  It's resilient stuff and hard to mess it up.


Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#44 LucasT

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:25

Thymol and clove oil are my personal favorite preservatives, but alas in fountain pen inks I've had to switch to a modern synthetic preservative. All of my historic inks are still clove preserved though (there are multiple examples of this in historic recipes)

 

It is the thymol in the thyme oil and the oregano that makes them smell so similar.


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#45 Morphling27

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 22:16

That's all good information to know.  

 

Fiberdunk - does taking out the alcohol seem to change the ink in anyway?  Writing, color, etc?  I'm also in general jealous of you all living where you do - Arizona has little I can make any ink with that I see online from the stuff in nature.  

 

Lucas - thank you for that bit of information.  I assumed the 2 herbs shared similar chemical properties due to the fact they smell the same and I dislike either in large amounts when cooking.  



#46 fiberdrunk

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 23:25

That's all good information to know.  

 

Fiberdunk - does taking out the alcohol seem to change the ink in anyway?  Writing, color, etc?  I'm also in general jealous of you all living where you do - Arizona has little I can make any ink with that I see online from the stuff in nature.  

 

 

 

Not really.  The flow is good either way.  The color may be just a wee bit darker, after all, adding the alcohol dilutes it just a little.

 

Pomegranates grow in AZ.  You could make pom iron gall ink from those.  (I grew up in Phoenix.  There are some things I miss that I can't get in NC, too!) 


Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#47 Morphling27

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 17:22

They do grow here and I even have a family that are friends with a huge bush in their backyard.  Reminds me to ask them for some as they are mean and rarely 'inform' me when they have lots... as in they eat them all!  That ink doesn't even seem hard to make at all.  



#48 fiberdrunk

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 03:47

If anyone is interested, I'm offering the cooked-down version of my black walnut ink for sale, as well as the homemade U.S. government standard blue-black iron gall ink (limited quantity of the latter).  PM me for details.


Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#49 walkerarts

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Posted 03 February 2015 - 17:40

After making ink you can dehydrate it in a crock pot to a powder and it keeps forever. You can then dillute it with water etc to make ink. Using a cofee filter before drying helps prevent clogs. Used in a Lamy Safari with converter with no problems other than using an ultrasonic cleaner if after several months it dries in pen.



#50 fiberdrunk

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 02:48

After making ink you can dehydrate it in a crock pot to a powder and it keeps forever. You can then dillute it with water etc to make ink. Using a cofee filter before drying helps prevent clogs. Used in a Lamy Safari with converter with no problems other than using an ultrasonic cleaner if after several months it dries in pen.

 

How cool!   :thumbup:  Could be nice to preserve some that way longer term. 


Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

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#51 HeartsKing

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 05:16

I ordered a little black walnut ink from fiberdrunk last week and got it promptly on Monday. Enjoyed playing around with it a little bit. Look forward to using it more and perhaps making some myself sometime. Anyone thinking about giving it a try should PM fiberdrunk.

#52 fountainpagan

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Posted 15 April 2015 - 10:32

I have got a 2013 batch.

 

Needless to say: I am inlove with the shades and nuances of this ink.

 

I am doomed... :lol:


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#53 hazel

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 18:52

I'm glad I found this post. Fiberdrunk, your flickr is pretty awesome! A wealth of information. I wanted to make some inks, but I'm not gonna lie, I really just wanted to mix some dye or pigment with ... (something, what ever that something is) and call it ink. But, this is really an art. I might just stick to adding shinny mica to existing ink. I don't think I can do this.... 

 

But wow... 



#54 LWJ2

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 12:59

 

Personally, I prefer thinner inks, provided they are not prone to feathering and line bloat. Having recently refreshed my acquaintance with Higgins Eternal, I now remember why I stopped buying it. It won't produce decent hairlines, doing little better in that respect than the peat-based 'walnut' ink crystals. It's easily out performed by IG and properly diluted sumi-e inks. It does, however, feel nice going on the page, which I suspect is the inky equivalent of 'but she's got a great personality.'

 

 

 

It's possible.  I do use gum arabic with my iron gall inks, and those are very waterproof.

 

That's interesting about the Higgins Eternal.  I'm surprised it doesn't give good hairlines.  It was one of the inks recommended in Michael Sull's Spencerian book.  I know the John Neal Bookseller website advises adding in a little gum arabic to it.  Have you tried that?  I don't do Spencerian well enough to be the judge of Higgins for that, however.  I'm still a beginner.  Has Higgins Eternal changed at all since Sull wrote his book (my copy is copyrighted 1989)?

 

 

A bit of a late response, however, back in 1980 or so, we were using Pelikan's India ink at Graphics West because Higgins' ink clogged like mad and made really poor-quality lines. Comments at the time from other graphic artists ran to the order of "It's cr*p, schools make art students use it, otherwise it'd never sell."  I can attest from personal experience that no Higgins ink will ever again touch one of my ruling pens, it made enough of a disaster that I wound up having to dis-assemble it and re-hone. If you've never done that, I assure you it's a major pain in the arse, and takes hours to do corrrectly.

 

FWIW, I'm in the process of rendering down a bunch of hickory* hulls into ink. So far, it's produce a pleasant brown which dries very slowly. I'm going to let it reduce more and then add some de-natured alcohol to bring the volume back up to where it is  now.

 

Leon

 

*Hickory, pecan, black walnut, English walnut, and butternut are all members of the juglans group of trees.






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