The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 19, 2017, 08:53:43 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Brassgoggles.co.uk - The Lighter Side Of Steampunk, follow @brasstech for forum technical problems & updates.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Making ink  (Read 1782 times)
EScoggin
Deck Hand
*
United States United States

If the hammer doesn't work...get a bigger one!


« on: June 28, 2012, 11:12:56 pm »

Does anyone have some really easy and non messy recipes for making ink?
Logged

Life's tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid.
 ~ John Wayne, American Actor
trampledbygeese
Gunner
**
Canada Canada

Gravatar


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 06:27:32 am »

It depends on what you want the ink to do.

Do you want it to be lightfast?  Water-soluble?  Last forever, or just a few decades?  Write on paper?  Parchment?  Cardboard?  Write with a pen, paintbrush, fountain pen, quill, bit of stick you found on the ground?  How long do you want the ink to be usable after you make it?

Are you looking for recipes from a specific place or a specific point in history?

What colour ink are you looking for?

Do you want it made out of materials found in nature, only materials that are safe to use, or any-old-chemicals-that-get-the-job-done?

Once we know some of these, then we start looking at what materials you have available.  For example, oak gulls are almost impossible to find around these parts, but then again, not many people here work with vellum outside the university setting.

I have a couple of recipes I've tried, but not many, and non of them easy to make.  Usually I either use bottled ink which is great for writing on paper, card, &c. but the ink runs if you get it wet.  Or, I'll use the Chinese/Japanese ink and stones if I'm writing with a brush or a quill.  I like these a lot because you start with a solid block and a you mix it with water in the stone until you get the intensity you want.  It's fairly easy and has a lovely smell when you are working with it, but it only lasts an hour or so after you mix it.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 06:29:08 am by trampledbygeese » Logged

Steampunk really did save my life.

Lady Gallus, Gally to my friends.
EScoggin
Deck Hand
*
United States United States

If the hammer doesn't work...get a bigger one!


« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 07:08:54 pm »

I want the experience of making the ink, I'd prefer natural ingredients. I would use the ink in a quill and just on normal paper.
Logged
Lady Evelyn Grey
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 07:29:35 pm »

I did something like this many years ago. The original recipe is lost to my memory, but looks similar to the first recipe found on this site:


The ink wasn't very dark, but has lasted for nearly ten  years and is still relatively legible.


Though, Lady Gallus, where do you buy Chinese or Japanese inks?
Logged
trampledbygeese
Gunner
**
Canada Canada

Gravatar


WWW
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 07:35:08 pm »

I'll have a hunt and see if I can find my recipes.

Since you are writing on paper, it's best to avoid medieval recipes, especially ones that involve oak gulls, &c.  These are designed to soak into the parchment and will burn a whole right through paper.  Although, Chinese recipes for ink from this time period are okay as they used mostly paper by then.

I know you can make brown ink from coffee and tea, however, it's technically more a stain than an ink.  But it has a nice, antiqued faded quality to it when used with a nib or a quill.

If I can find it, the recipe I've been itching to try uses either wood ash or charcoal, can't remember which.  Do you have access to wood burning fireplace or stove?

There are also a few recipes that involve lampblack.  I know people who said it was very easy, but haven't tried it myself yet.

I'll have a hunt through my books and get back to you.

 
Logged
trampledbygeese
Gunner
**
Canada Canada

Gravatar


WWW
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 07:38:39 pm »

I usually buy my ink sticks and stones from the local China Town as it's far more affordable than ordering from an art supply shop or Amazon.

Hopefully this link will work for a collection of Victorian period recipes for ink.  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26754/26754-h/26754-h.htm#III  I find Household manuals from that time, especially ones written for Americans, where apparently things were not so easy to acquire, have lots of recipes for ink and other such daily goods.  Something about frontier living and long distance shipping I assume.  But these particular recipes seem to be a bit complicated and require potentially dangerous materials.
Logged
trampledbygeese
Gunner
**
Canada Canada

Gravatar


WWW
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:02:00 pm »

I've had a look through most of my recipes, and to be quite frank, this one is the one I would choose if I wanted to make some ink from scratch: http://joshberer.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/lamp-black-calligraphy-ink/.  It looks like it has the best result with a moderate amount of work.  Although, using a Chinese ink stick and stone would be a lot easier. 

EScoggin, what do you think?  Would you like me to keep looking?  Let us know what method you choose.
Logged
James Harrison
Immortal
**
England England


Bachelor of the Arts; Master of the Sciences


« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 09:51:40 pm »

I have heard of using lamp black and a carrier fluid (as featured in the link Lady Grey posted).  It may be worth experimenting a little around that- could you use water or an oil rather than honey?
Logged

Persons intending to travel by open carriage should select a seat with their backs to the engine, by which means they will avoid the ashes emitted therefrom, that in travelling generally, but particularly through the tunnels, prove a great annoyance; the carriage farthest from the engine will in consequence be found the most desirable.
Narsil
Immortal
**
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 10:31:21 pm »

I have heard of using lamp black and a carrier fluid (as featured in the link Lady Grey posted).  It may be worth experimenting a little around that- could you use water or an oil rather than honey?

Lamp black is essentially similar to the Chinese ink sticks, like many black pigments they are basically carbon(charcoal) produced by burning various differnt materials, depending on the source and process the particle size and texture will vary which will effect both the flow properties and the density of colour (or shade) of the pigment. The Chinese ink sticks are recognised as a source of very high quality pigment.

Indian ink is traditionally chinese ink sticks, with a shellac binder and alcohol carrier.

Pigment based inks (as opposed to stains which chemically react with the medium they are used with) usually require a binder as well as a carrier/solvent to permanently fix them to the surface, as most pigments are fine powders which would otherwise quickly flake away once the carrier has dried. Traditional binders include egg yolk, oils and gums. Modern inks are often acrylic based.

Inks, as opposed to paints are usually distinguished by having a very high density of pigment, paints often contain a high proportion of neutral coloured fillers (such as chalk) to increase their bulk and opacity.

Most inks use either water or alcohol (spirit) as the carrier/solvent as these dry reasonably quickly. Many traditional printing inks are oil based though as an oil medium can produce a high density of colour which is durable once dry and being quite viscous works well with printing processes  , the downside being that they tend to take longer to dry which may be a problem for hand writing.

Traditional print shops will have sets of stone slabs or glass plates for mixing and refining inks, which is quite a labour intensive process.

Some inks are based on a chemical reaction with the paper (or whatever medium) rather than a suspended pigment, these tend to be the more complex recipes. Depending on the precise process and mix of materials they can either be very permanent or quite unstable.  Iron gall and tannin based inks are common examples.
Logged







A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Lord Byron
EScoggin
Deck Hand
*
United States United States

If the hammer doesn't work...get a bigger one!


« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 04:55:34 pm »

Wow, Thanks guys!
I do have access to lots of things to burn and a place to burn them.(I am a bit of a pyromaniac)
I'll have to try these recipes. What about colored ink (purple, red?)
Logged
trampledbygeese
Gunner
**
Canada Canada

Gravatar


WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 05:25:21 pm »

I'm not certain how easy it is to make coloured ink, although you can make a nice blue using laundry blueing.

How technical do you want to get?  Do you want it to be "ink" or are you just looking for a runny substance that makes a nice mark on paper?

Technically there are dyes, inks, stains, pigments, paints, and one other term I cannot remember at this moment.  All of these can be used to make marks on paper, with varying degrees.  Perhaps someone here can help us out with precise definition, advantages, disadvantages of each?
Logged
EScoggin
Deck Hand
*
United States United States

If the hammer doesn't work...get a bigger one!


« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 06:05:46 pm »

This is mostly just for fun so it doesn't need to be real ink, just a runny substance that will work with a quill is great.
I've read about using berries, how long does that last?
Logged
zilegil
Officer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2012, 05:36:09 pm »

If you slowcook acorns it makes a brown substance. Then you can add a little honey to bind it. Also rust added quite early on apparently turns it black.

I've never tried this but I must at some point.
Logged

'Not enough' and 'dapper' is tautological in my opinion.
ktara
Officer
***
Canada Canada



« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 05:22:26 am »

If you could procure a squid...... Tongue
Logged

zilegil
Officer
***
United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 06:00:58 pm »

There's that. I'm just imagining now incubating an out cold squid in a mad scientist fashion. Using an electronic device to milk it.

A bit cruel though. :/
Logged
ktara
Officer
***
Canada Canada



« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 08:47:11 pm »

There's that. I'm just imagining now incubating an out cold squid in a mad scientist fashion. Using an electronic device to milk it.

A bit cruel though. :/

Play it some soothing music, that negates the cruelty factor Smiley
Logged
Wilhelm Smydle
Snr. Officer
****
United States United States


« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2012, 05:45:27 am »

There are several recipes though most are messy, for some reason spilled ink is horrible to clean up.

The fountain pen network is a good place to start.

You should find gum Arabic in any good art store, dubble fine steel wool at the hardware, and vinagar are all easy to find.

Get a stainless pot for reducing the ink.
Aluminum can have a funny affect.
Logged
Crowquill
Deck Hand
*
Canada Canada


« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2012, 03:31:39 pm »

The lampblack, gum arabic and water mixture works very well with a quill.  I've done this a few times when working at a 19th Century living history site.   The material burnt will change the tone of the ink a bit - we used soot collected from the stovepipes, which needed to be ground further to get the fine particles you need for ink.  But you can collect fine soot by hanging a plate over a candle or oil lamp.

It's easy to adjust for darkness and viscosity by varying the proportions.  It has the advantage of being a recipie from one of the 19th C. "make everything at home" recepie books.
Logged
jcbanner
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2012, 11:26:11 am »

If you slowcook acorns it makes a brown substance. Then you can add a little honey to bind it. Also rust added quite early on apparently turns it black.

I've never tried this but I must at some point.

Read this and right off the bat though of a handy leather working tip. copper and brass rivets are used in place of iron rivets not for ease of working the metal but because iron will react with the tanic acid in the leather and turn everything black.  So yes, adding Fe oxide to a source of tanic acid will produce a black staining substance. it might not be instant, but if added while cooking the acorns it will be faster. heat speeds up chemical reactions greatly.
Logged
JeremiahHoliday
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 04:27:07 am »

Well, if you want various sepia tones cheap and easy, I highly recommend buying the cheapest instant coffee you can find and adding it to water until you get the desired shade. Works well on paper, don't know about much else. Do not brew coffee and try this; it will not be strong enough unless you brew with ALOT of grounds and very little water. Much easier to add instant mix to water little by little until you get the desired shade. And again, buy the cheap stuff. I can tell no difference between Great Value and some more expensive brands.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.14 seconds with 17 queries.