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Making Walnut And Butternut Inks



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Like he said I make mine with 100 proof vodka which I use for my herbs anyhow. I have tried many experiments trying to scent the stuff, not that it smells bad but I would have liked to cedar scent the ink.

 

Is the cedar scent alcohol soluble? Can you scent alcohol with either cedar wood or cedar oil (decanting to remove only the alcohol afterwards)?

 

 

 

 

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Like he said I make mine with 100 proof vodka which I use for my herbs anyhow. I have tried many experiments trying to scent the stuff, not that it smells bad but I would have liked to cedar scent the ink.

 

Is the cedar scent alcohol soluble? Can you scent alcohol with either cedar wood or cedar oil (decanting to remove only the alcohol afterwards)?

 

The essential oil isn't but I was trying to make an alcohol tincture with some green cedar and that didn't have much scent but the vodka. In order to work well it should be water soluble. If they made cedar perfume that would work. A pine scent would be okay, I'll figure something out one of these days.

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Like he said I make mine with 100 proof vodka which I use for my herbs anyhow. I have tried many experiments trying to scent the stuff, not that it smells bad but I would have liked to cedar scent the ink.

 

Is the cedar scent alcohol soluble? Can you scent alcohol with either cedar wood or cedar oil (decanting to remove only the alcohol afterwards)?

 

The essential oil isn't but I was trying to make an alcohol tincture with some green cedar and that didn't have much scent but the vodka. In order to work well it should be water soluble. If they made cedar perfume that would work. A pine scent would be okay, I'll figure something out one of these days.

 

The only other thing I can think of is some manner of surfactant (i.e., soap) which would suspend the oil in the water. Surfactants work by having one end water soluble and the other end oil soluble. It might lubricate the ink as well.

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I have blogged about my first homemade black walnut ink making experience here. I wasn't terribly scientific in my methods, and I had to neglect the pot a few times. But I'm very pleased with the ink that was produced. Mine didn't turn out watery at all. It had the consistency of any bottle of ink I could name (I did use a large amount of husks, and I simmered the liquid down... that might be why). Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now I'll sit and wait and see how my ink ages. Thanks for all the good info. I would have followed your instructions more to the letter had I seen them before I'd started my own process already.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Hey, you did really well! Congrats. That is a nice blog article.

 

I have been afraid to concentrate the ink by boiling, thinking some needed compound may be damaged in the ink. I am glad to know there is no problem.

 

I also tried to concentrate the ink by partially freezing the extract and removing ice, like you do when you make applejack. It doesn't work. You lose too much dye each time you do it.

 

Paddler

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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There's an artist who posts her work on Flickr. She draws with black walnut ink. She recently made a batch with her friend and illustrated the whole process (including showing the black walnut husk maggots! Very fun. Her artwork is wonderful. She and her friend also used whole cloves as a preservative (also with alcohol). I liked that idea.

 

See her walnut ink artwork here.

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Hey, you did really well! Congrats. That is a nice blog article.

 

I have been afraid to concentrate the ink by boiling, thinking some needed compound may be damaged in the ink. I am glad to know there is no problem.

 

Thank you! I got the idea to boil it down from the man who owned the black walnut tree. He is also a wood worker and had made beautiful carved pieces from that tree over the years. He also made his own homemade wood stain from the husks. He was the one who told me to simmer it down, so I took a chance. Simmer very gently, would be my suggestion. I was mindful about what you said about sugars caramelizing and such. Only time will tell if my ink will stand the test of time.

 

Speaking of ink, I made a small batch of pokeberry ink tonight! This is so much fun!

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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Hey, you did really well! Congrats. That is a nice blog article.

 

I have been afraid to concentrate the ink by boiling, thinking some needed compound may be damaged in the ink. I am glad to know there is no problem.

 

Thank you! I got the idea to boil it down from the man who owned the black walnut tree. He is also a wood worker and had made beautiful carved pieces from that tree over the years. He also made his own homemade wood stain from the husks. He was the one who told me to simmer it down, so I took a chance. Simmer very gently, would be my suggestion. I was mindful about what you said about sugars caramelizing and such. Only time will tell if my ink will stand the test of time.

 

Speaking of ink, I made a small batch of pokeberry ink tonight! This is so much fun!

 

Ach! My pokeberry ink grew some weird floaties and now it smells bad... I added in some alcohol today and I'm hoping it will kill whatever it is that's growing in there.. :(

my pen collection: Dollar 717i Demonstrator x3, fake Hero 616, Lamy Safari EF, Manuscript Dodec, Pilot 78g x2, Platinum Preppy F x7, Reform 1745 x2, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen, Unidentified Wearever

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Ach! My pokeberry ink grew some weird floaties and now it smells bad... I added in some alcohol today and I'm hoping it will kill whatever it is that's growing in there.. :(

 

The recipe I used was 2/3 cup pokeberries + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (got the recipe in a pioneer cookbook). I didn't get to test it for longevity the last time I made it. I had stored it in a rubbermade container, and at some point the lid popped off by itself (makes me wonder if it began to ferment and built up pressure on its own... by the time I discovered it, the liquid had already evaporated off. So I'm trying it again and this time I'm storing it in a glass mason jar.

 

There was a great thread earlier about fermenting the ink to prevent it from molding HERE. I'm going to try it this way next time.

Edited by fiberdrunk

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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I did some preliminary experiments with poke ink (again with wood's mid-winter supplies). Your recipe looks like one you would use to dye textiles. That may work. My own investigations involved alcohol and / or copper as preservatives. I had no success. The stain is not light fast or water resistant. The ink turns brown in a couple of months, as does the written word. It is pretty while it lasts, though. Writing seems to last longer than the liquid ink. I am wondering if perhaps some ascorbic acid (vitamin C) from a winemakers' supply store may be beneficial.

 

I have read that the red dye in poke berries is the same as that found in beets. Beet juice may be more water resistant because it would probably contain less pectin and sugar. Making poke wine with pectinase, vitamin C and concentrating the results might give longer lasting ink.

 

Paddler

Can a calculator understand a cash register?

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Ach! My pokeberry ink grew some weird floaties and now it smells bad... I added in some alcohol today and I'm hoping it will kill whatever it is that's growing in there.. :(

 

The recipe I used was 2/3 cup pokeberries + 1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (got the recipe in a pioneer cookbook). I didn't get to test it for longevity the last time I made it. I had stored it in a rubbermade container, and at some point the lid popped off by itself (makes me wonder if it began to ferment and built up pressure on its own... by the time I discovered it, the liquid had already evaporated off. So I'm trying it again and this time I'm storing it in a glass mason jar.

 

There was a great thread earlier about fermenting the ink to prevent it from molding HERE. I'm going to try it this way next time.

 

Ah. I just used pokeberries with nothing added... I should try your recipe next time -___-

Hah! I used a mason jar too! Does it say ATLAS on it? :D

I wonder if there is any possible way to get these inks purified into dye form and use them without damage in fountain pens?! That... would be REALLY fun.

my pen collection: Dollar 717i Demonstrator x3, fake Hero 616, Lamy Safari EF, Manuscript Dodec, Pilot 78g x2, Platinum Preppy F x7, Reform 1745 x2, Sheaffer Calligraphy Pen, Unidentified Wearever

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Hah! I used a mason jar too! Does it say ATLAS on it? :D

I wonder if there is any possible way to get these inks purified into dye form and use them without damage in fountain pens?! That... would be REALLY fun.

 

No, no ATLAS. I used one of those Ball glass jelly jars to be exact.

 

I picked 4 cups of pokeberries this weekend... found a cluster of them on a busy corner. I'm sure people thought I was weird as they were driving by, wondering what the heck I was doing in the weeds, lol. What we won't do for ink around here! Anyway, I'm trying the fermented ink recipe (it should be done fermenting sometime tonight). So I'll have the two recipes to compare, to see if either molds over. Will let you know in the months ahead how they do.

 

eta: for typos

Edited by fiberdrunk

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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I picked 4 cups of pokeberries this weekend... found a cluster of them on a busy corner. I'm sure people thought I was weird as they were driving by, wondering what the heck I was doing in the weeds, lol. What we won't do for ink around here! Anyway, I'm trying the fermented ink recipe (it should be done fermenting sometime tonight). So I'll have the two recipes to compare, to see if either molds over. Will let you know in the months ahead how they do.

 

 

Just an update: 4 cups of pokeberries resulted in about 12 ounces of ink. :bunny01:

Find my homemade ink recipes on my Flickr page here.

 

"I don't wait for inspiration; inspiration waits for me." --Akiane Kramarik

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