Getting ready for more ink making

There has been much much embarrassed clearing of throat after uncontrollable maniacal laughing in my house…. No, not really, but I am hugely enjoying finding myself back into pigment and ink making mode. I did find that the oak galls were harder to smash up than I remembered, maybe I’m more chill this time. (Pro tip for sufferers of internalised anger: Smashing oak galls with a rolling pin or custom made oak hammer is *extremely* therapeutic) I am going to be busy for the long weekend so the temptation to cut soaking process short to get with ink cooking will be removed. I have a batch of oak galls soaking for a long, cold method soak method to compare with a ‘straight into cooking up’ batch I did during the week. I also managed to get my hands on some dried buckthorn berries to try to make sap green! Impressed with how fast it started to go green-y yellow so I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes. I have read that September is the best time to harvest buckthorn berries so I will be going to “my” tree to se how the harvest s looking soon – everything else this year seems to be booming so I have high hopes. I also have some brazilwood (responsibly sourced of course) to retry a soak in wine/vinegar or beer recipe that turned out a bit too watery to be serviceable ink. I suspect I calculated the quantity of gum arabic wrong and, worse probably, didn’t remove enough liquid in the simmering process, so I’m taking advantage of the summer to try these ones on an outside heat source next week so I don’t have to worry about ventilation so much. I’ve chosen white wine vinegar this time around. I’ll share the recipes and methods I’m using on these next week, but here’s some photos (not particularly good) of the start of the soaking process (the oak galls will get more water, this is just the preliminary soak)

I’ve just noticed – the oak gall photo makes it look red (it’s brown) and the buckthorn looks red and it’s definitely a green! Never trust colours on a screen….

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