Author Topic: Making your own walnut ink?  (Read 13843 times)

Offline Briana

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Making your own walnut ink?
« on: March 09, 2014, 11:27:52 PM »
Has anyone made their own walnut ink? I collected several baskets of black walnuts before the end of the year and am finally ready to dive in and boil them down. I found these instructions online but would love to hear advice/tips from anyone who's done this before!

Instructions 1: http://www.marktablerart.com/5.html
Instructions 2: http://yougrowgirl.com/make-black-walnut-ink/
Briana, aka Pickles 'N Vodka-- landscape designer, aspiring calligrapher, top-notch goofball
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Offline Estefa

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 04:48:37 AM »
Aaah, the envy! I forgot to collect them at my in-laws garden last year. I'd love to try this. There are several threads about this on the Fountain Pen Network, not that I have read them all, but there are several people who tried a lot of stuff ;). There is a subforum called Creative Expressions, and in that another subforum called Inky Recipes.

Keep us updated!!
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Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 10:12:07 AM »
Wow! I had know idea you could do such a thing. Please let us know your outcome.

Offline Blotbot

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 05:24:01 PM »
Walnut ink!  Very exciting.

 I am trying to make pomegranate ink from a recipe I found on the Fountain Pen Network.  I should know how well in works sometime in April.  Here is the recipe should you like to try.  Pomegranates are in season!

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php/topic/230340-pomegranate-ink/

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 10:04:16 PM »
Very cool! I love walnut ink but don't think I could make my own as I am allergic. I have to be careful with how much contact I get with it or my arm starts to itch.  :-[

I love the idea of pomegranate ink! The color is so pretty!
Truly, Erica
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Offline Blotbot

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 09:18:42 AM »
While pomegranate is a beautiful color, the final ink should be black, if all goes according to plan.  Apparently pomegranate skin has a lot of tannin in it, so this will be an "iron gall" ink, without the galls.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 06:45:26 PM »
I can't wait to see it! Amazing!  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline Briana

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 03:41:06 PM »
Pomegranate ink sounds great! I'll let everyone know how the walnut ink turns out. I imagine "messy" will  be one adjective I use.
Briana, aka Pickles 'N Vodka-- landscape designer, aspiring calligrapher, top-notch goofball
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Offline ewigginton

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 05:06:23 PM »
Just curious. Because walnut is brown, for me it's harder to read than black yet it's sold in large containers so obviously it must be used a lot. Why would you use the walnut over a Sumi, say?

Thanks,

Ellen

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2014, 06:40:26 PM »
I think it's preference. I know Erica prefers walnut when she works, even for reproduction. I use walnut for that lovely earthy watercolor-ish look and for the fine hairlines it makes. Sumi (I use Moon Palace) is thicker and more difficult to work with, but makes the nicest, blackest black, which scans beautifully and (for me) better for reproduction work. Moon Palace was also recommended by Pat Blair for reproduction work. :)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 06:42:12 PM by Linda Y. »

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 02:46:43 PM »
I use it less for the color (although sometimes I do like that effect) and more for the way it works. It has a wonderful viscosity and like Linda mentioned, I also like the shade it produces. I like the character it gives the lettering. If I need something truly black and white, I will do the threshold adjustment in photoshop which forces everything to either black or white which simply eliminates the shade.

I will resort to Sumi if I have to (or McCaffrey's) but nothing flows as well for me as the walnut ink.
Truly, Erica
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Offline ewigginton

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 04:01:00 PM »
So you don't use walnut ink for envelopes, etc. then Erica? Mostly for reproduction?

Ellen

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 08:10:21 PM »
It depends on what I am addressing. If it is with, say parchment envelopes, definitely would use it. Depends on the project really. But it is definitely my go-to ink for any reproduction work.
Truly, Erica
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Offline YokePenCo

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2014, 10:48:06 PM »
I'm way behind on topics and trying to catch up, too many nib holders to make.

Anyhow, I make my own walnut ink. You don't have to wait for them to turn black or brown. The green husks work just fine as you are extracting the tannin's which are present whether green or black. I typically wait until the husk cracks open, slightly brown, because the are easier to shell.

  • Remove the husks and smash into smaller pieces with a hammer.
  • Place them in a pot with water , just enough water to cover the husks with about an inch of water and boil for around an hour (makes your house smell WONDERFUL!)
  • Once Boiled down the water will be a dark brown, strain through a panty hose into a glass jar
  • Decant into small container as you use it and I add a couple of drops of Gum Arabic to bind it

Very simple to do and works great. Some people add 5% denatured alcohol to the large storage container as it keeps it from molding. I have never had any of mine mold yet.
Christopher J. Yoke
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Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Making your own walnut ink?
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2014, 06:15:43 AM »
I'm way behind on topics and trying to catch up, too many nib holders to make.

Anyhow, I make my own walnut ink. You don't have to wait for them to turn black or brown. The green husks work just fine as you are extracting the tannin's which are present whether green or black. I typically wait until the husk cracks open, slightly brown, because the are easier to shell.

  • Remove the husks and smash into smaller pieces with a hammer.
  • Place them in a pot with water , just enough water to cover the husks with about an inch of water and boil for around an hour (makes your house smell WONDERFUL!)
  • Once Boiled down the water will be a dark brown, strain through a panty hose into a glass jar
  • Decant into small container as you use it and I add a couple of drops of Gum Arabic to bind it

Very simple to do and works great. Some people add 5% denatured alcohol to the large storage container as it keeps it from molding. I have never had any of mine mold yet.

Sounds easy enough that even I could do it :D thanks!
A question though: Do you use just the smashed husks or do you put in the shell with the nut too?
Natascha
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