Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Walnut Ink

A few weeks back, I picked up some windfall walnuts and thought I would have a go at making myself some ink. The idea of making walnut ink has always appealed to me as the colour of the wood is beautiful.
Inside the walnuts hadn't developed and some were older than others, but I purposely picked the dark ones as I read somewhere that the older and more darker, the richer the ink? After chopping them up into pieces I put them into a bowl and covered them with water. 
Then left them for 24 hours to soak and release all of their gorgeous nutty colour. 
If you have ago at making this, remember to use an old bowl as the ink stains and will get into any tiny little crack or scratch. Also make sure you wear old clothes or an apron and rubber gloves, as it can stain hands for weeks. The smell was delicious, the fresh aroma you get when eating a fresh walnut. 
After soaking thoroughly, (infact I ended up leaving it an extra 24 hours as I was busy with something else) you transfer it to a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for  about 30 minutes

Once it has cooled, strain through a piece of muslin or similar type material into a jug. Squeeze as much out as possible. Depending on how much you have made add about 10 -20% alcohol, or some recipes say vinegar. (I used vodka) to prevent any mold forming. 
Then transfer it into any spare bottles or jars. Some empty Star Child incense jars that I had in the cupboard were perfect for the job. 
The next bit was testing it out. I was really pleased with the colour.   
The tones achieved through layering were quite impressive and I was able to manage to get quite dark contrasts with the ink as I had a good black sediment in the pot. October was 'Inktober' month and although I've been too busy to commit to take part everyday I've enjoyed having a play about with ink. 
It being walnut ink, I felt I had to draw trees.
And a walnut or two.

33 comments:

  1. Amazing, paintings are beautiful xx
    Maura xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Maura, I really enjoyed making them x

      Delete
  2. I so so love this and will have to try it out adore what you produced I wonder what other things you can use to make ink! 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Emma. I'm sure there are lots of things to make ink out of, I'm going to try oak next. :)

      Delete
  3. This is simply delicious! I love the whole process and the results. I'm not a hands on creative. I don't like anything that makes a mess, but I can appreciate this. Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nicole. Glad that you enjoyed.

      Delete

  4. Your walnut ink artwork is beautiful. The shading that the ink gives is amazing. I love the subjects that you chose to paint/draw in walnut ink.

    One rainy morning last week a squirrel decided to sit on our white-painted front porch and devour a walnut. I can't believe how much area he managed to cover with his squirrel-made walnut ink. Every bit of green hull, and brown shell that he chewed up and flung all about him marked the rain soaked porch. I wish he would have been a bit more artistic with his renderings in squirrel-made walnut ink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Susie. Loved to have seen your squirrel and his walnut. He certainly enjoyed it then ! :) I have a couple of squirrels in the garden here and they are always eating the peanuts I put out in the bird feeder. They also had nearly all the hazelnuts on the tree this year. Each year they seem to get smarter and out wit me in harvesting them before I do. Cheeky so in so's.

      Delete
  5. How wonderful. And the resulting artwork is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I really want to try this with the children at school. Time to research ways of making ink.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good idea! Children will love it. I know my two (now grown up) always loved making mixtures and potions and this is similar and you get to draw with it too.

      Delete
  7. Lovely work! Isn't the scent of the green hull wonderful? I always pick up green walnuts in hull just to smell them.
    Was it difficult to chop the walnuts up?
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes I just love the smell! Reminds me of being small and finding fresh walnuts.
      It was quite difficult to chop them Mary, as the green was very hard. Just have to be extra careful with the knife. I think a hammer to crush them would actually work just as well, but would be more messy.

      Delete
  8. Ohhhh these drawings are wonderful, Karen !!!
    (we have a walnut tree in the park nearby ... I might try it too !!!)
    (What did you use for white ??? acrylic ink ?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Els.
      Yes give it a go, it was most enjoyable. I didn't have any white ink so used paint, crayon and a pen. Have fun.

      Delete
  9. omg thats amazing!! so need to try this, thankyou! ❤❤❤

    ReplyDelete
  10. it'a a gorgeous colour! i love that you were able to paint with it and get such fine shadings.

    when i was a girl, an auntie told me the old folks used to dye their hair with walnut juice. (at least the brunnettes...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How interesting. I'm sure it would work as it really does stain. I would imagine it would be very difficult to dye the hair without staining the hairline and scalp though? Maybe I should try some as I'm letting my hair go grey ;)

      Delete
  11. I am currently working on a puffball mushroom ink, though I am soaking in straight methylated spirits and then filtering before adding some blond shellac flakes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow that sounds wonderful! How interesting. I'm going to give the oak ink a go next.

      Delete
  12. Such a beautiful and rich color.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amazing! I had no idea you could make ink from walnuts. I love the paintings you made with the ink 1 xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jess. Nature has many natural dyes :) I really enjoyed it so will be trying to make another ink soon. x

      Delete
  14. That ink is really beautiful. there is some extra quality to the paintings you've done with it. In my yard they just kill the grass.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I had a go at making the ink, but it turned out too pale, maybe I used too much water. I love your pictures <3

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love the paintings! I always love your paintings.
    And now I'm wanting to make walnut ink. I'll have to see if I can come across any trees.
    blessings
    ~*~

    ReplyDelete

Thankyou for leaving me a comment.
It's always lovely to hear from you. :)