! Below is the e mail she shared! Enjoy!
WALNUT INK Judith Jaimet Bainbridge
Walking in the Experimental Farm in the fall, I noticed lots of rotting walnuts on the ground, under, of course, a black walnut tree, and I decided to make my own walnut ink.
It is fabulous for painting and writing.
The recipe I found on the net was surprisingly easy.
I filled a pot with all the bits, fruit and seeds, rotting or not.
It is best to use the fruit when it is starting to turn black.
Then I covered them with water and got it boiling.
It simmered all day, making the house smell all earthy, like a hobbit hole.
They recommend doing it outside, but I didn’t mind the smell.
I strained the mess through cheesecloth and got the liquid boiling again.
It was about 10 cups at this point.
The idea is to boil it down until you have an almost black ink.
It made finally about one cup. Pouring it into sterilized jars will keep it from getting mouldy. When you use it, if you pour a little into a small container to dip your pen into, the original amount will stay germ-free longer. I froze some to see if it will stay useable when it is thawed, but I lost the cubes in my move. Try it and let me know please.
The result was a gorgeous, brown-black ink- a nicer colour than the synthetic kind- that flowed smoothly and made crisp hairlines. I loved it! BUT it FADES!
In about six months in a window, it had lost most of its intensity and was very pale.
That was a year and a half ago and it hasn’t faded away completely.
The old manuscripts that we see of brown ink were initially almost black. I have since learned that a little vinegar and salt will make it lightfast. I have not tested that.
The synthetic, dried ink you buy from *John Neal Bookseller, is made from all natural substances and starts with peat. It is lightfast. It keeps and carries well because it comes in dried crystal form and requires only the addition of distilled water to make it useable.
***Judith is retired from doing heraldic art and calligraphy for the Governor General and the Federal Government. She now does sculpture and the book arts. She live 6 months in Ottawa and 6 months in Minden where she teaches for the HSA or for Fay @ Visible Voices Open art Studio! They call the gatherings ‘Creative Interludes’ - short bursts of playful creativity - rather than workshops. I wish it was closer! I'd be there!!
Leaders share their skill and knowledge and all learn from each other. A Creative Interlude suggests an informality, a relatively short time to explore, experiment and experience that is open to anyone interested. Sometimes they get people who don’t really consider themselves to be ‘creative’ but are intrigued…and they want to encourage that. If people want ‘more’ then they organize that. Check it out:
Facebook: Visible Voices Open Arts Studio
Judith has not retired from teaching- 'I love it'. It shows! I am thankful she shared this recipe with me IF you do try it PLEASE let me know as well!
GET creative today!