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Homemade Black Walnut Ink



fiberdrunk

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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

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 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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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.

 

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

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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.

Slaínte,

Lucas Tucker

Scribal Work Shop

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Morphling27

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.

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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.

 

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

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Morphling27

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.

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  • 1 month later...

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.

 

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

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  • 6 months later...

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.

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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.

 

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

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  • 2 months later...

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.

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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...

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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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Sorry to bring up an ancient thread, but I wanted to say thanks for the recipe. I boiled down a sackful of walnut hulls and now have a half gallon of ink. I preserved it with 10% v/v Everclear. I'm using it to try and get something like Spencerian to happen. It's at least as good as the commercial walnut I purchased and has the benefit of coming from walnuts grown in a place that is very special to me. Plus, it's rather cheaper. Now if I could just make high-quality paper that cheap.....

 

Hopefully I'll remember to take a sample into my lab and get a pH on it.

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I live in the high Mojave Desert and trust me when I say we have no walnut trees here. I'd love to make some of my own but I am having a hard time finding the walnuts + hulls on fleabay. I have, however, found walnut hull powder (from the Juglans Nigra variety). Does anyone know if it can be mixed with water to create an ink?

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Sorry to bring up an ancient thread,

 

It comes back up every year at harvest time.

To hold a pen is to be at war. - Voltaire
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amberleadavis

I live in the high Mojave Desert and trust me when I say we have no walnut trees here. I'd love to make some of my own but I am having a hard time finding the walnuts + hulls on fleabay. I have, however, found walnut hull powder (from the Juglans Nigra variety). Does anyone know if it can be mixed with water to create an ink?

 

 

Hey, welcome aboard! Not too many of us from out here.

 

Walnut trees can be found in California, (not in the Mojave, of course), and I've found I can buy 50 pound bags for reasonable prices. (Necessary for mom's rotten bird).

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



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I live in the high Mojave Desert and trust me when I say we have no walnut trees here. I'd love to make some of my own but I am having a hard time finding the walnuts + hulls on fleabay. I have, however, found walnut hull powder (from the Juglans Nigra variety). Does anyone know if it can be mixed with water to create an ink?

 

 

I haven't attempted it this way, but I'd say it was worth at try. It's such a staining plant that I can't help but think you'll get decent results.

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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amberleadavis

I was going to suggest asking Fiberdrunk, but she already chimed in!

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).



Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar



Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 366 Inks in 2016



Check out inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

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