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Author Topic: How to......make your own ink...  (Read 23772 times)
Der Tinkermann
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« on: January 11, 2009, 01:28:51 am »

I've been looking on the Ætherweb for recipes to make your own ink but thought people here might have some good ones as well.......
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JingleJoe
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 01:41:25 am »

Buy some squids from your local fishmongers and find the ink sack, extract ink sack, extract ink from sack Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 02:43:24 am »

Apparently boiling (or something) black walnuts works well.
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teucer
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 03:44:52 am »

Tannic acid (traditionally extracted from oak galls) and iron sulfate is a classic recipe, widely used from its invention in the early middle ages into the dawn of the twentieth century - but it doesn't work nearly as well on modern pulp paper as modern inks do.

India ink is a good choice too; the term refers to any ink pigmented with lamp black, of which the simplest is just water mixable lamp black pigment thinned with pure water to a usable viscosity - although in the Victorian era other formulas were more popular. I've been known to write with this myself, though I vastly prefer the more complex blends found in commercial India inks.
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 03:48:30 am »

Buy some squids from your local fishmongers and find the ink sack, extract ink sack, extract ink from sack Smiley

Actually, if you do this with cuttlefish rather than squid, you have a formerly common pigment usable directly as ink or, more often, processed into various paints. The pigment and the color it produces are known as "Sepia."
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Zwack
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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 08:33:03 am »

India ink is a good choice too.

Just don't try using India ink in a fountain pen (unless it is explicitly marked for such use).  It will gum up the works something rotten.

Z.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 12:09:23 pm »

India ink is a good choice too.

Just don't try using India ink in a fountain pen (unless it is explicitly marked for such use).  It will gum up the works something rotten.

Z.

True. Many India inks contain shellac, which will set up a little with time and be a serious pain to get rid of.

EDIT: Note that the simple approach of merely mixing lamp black pigment with a little bit of water results in India ink that will not damage fountain pens. However, it will not have the smoothly-flowing texture of more typical lamp black based inks. I have yet to find a homemade India ink recipe that works in fountain pens and doesn't feel like you're trying to write with watercolor paint.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 12:45:40 pm by teucer » Logged
Captain Mitarwan
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2009, 10:07:56 am »

Didn't some monks in the medieval period use ground up beetles, too?
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Kaljaia
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2009, 12:01:25 am »

I've boiled berries to make ink before... Oregon grapes or something- the ones that look like blueberries but taste nasty. Regular blue or blackberries should work too- they just usually get eaten too quickly.
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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 04:37:09 pm »

Something you might find good enough for you, is to make up a little mix with water, clothdye (the colour of your choice), and cornflour. Get your colour as deep as you want. Add the cornflour (only a little bit!) to make a slightly slower running ink!
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Gazongola
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 08:58:04 am »

Right, get yourself some vodka or other clear alcohol. The more expensive ones are better as they evaporate and dry faster, and try to resist the temptation to drink it...*hic*
Add to that a teaspoon of gum arabic, and whatever you want for colour (paint, food colouring etc). Also, you can add a bit of shellac, but it isn't necessary, it just helps the ink dry quicker.
You can get shellac and gum arabic from all good art shops. This isn't sun fast ink as that requires indelible pigments. Good luck getting hold of those. It is abou 15 parts alcohol to one part pigment and one part gum arabic.
Lamp black pigment is easy enough and fun to make, but it is a long process. Take a metal spoon and hold it just above a candle flame. The black substance you get on the spoon is lamp black. Scrape it off when you have a decent build up, and repeat. Obviously insulate your hand from the spoon handle. You will need about a teaspoon of lamp black. You can also make it witha burning feather. Smells horrible, but adds a special touch.
Gum arabic is a popular alternative to shellac as it makes the ink more viscous, but doesn't gum up a fountain pen... too much. All fountain pens should be cleaned regularly anyway under a running tap. Add a drop of essential oil for an added touch, and to stop it smelling like vodka.
Well, thats my two pence.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 09:02:14 am by Gazongola » Logged
teucer
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2009, 03:45:25 am »

Didn't some monks in the medieval period use ground up beetles, too?

Cochineal shells are a Rennaisance-era pigment, rather than an ink. They needs a medium. (They're not "medieval" per se, as they come from the New World, but they're certainly old.) They produce a bright red color.
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Fett283
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2009, 05:03:29 am »

Would anyone happen to know a good way to make ink with a 20 dollar budget? Either that or with stuff commonly found around the house that I could use from one of my roommates stocks? Thanks.
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2009, 06:02:38 am »

okay, when i was little i had (and still do, thankfully!) a book on "wizard' crafts... it has a recipe for black ink using things one might find around the house... lets see, where is that book?

aha! here it is! it's rather long, so i've put it under spoiler tags to save space
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

hope this helps Smiley
i've only ever used this for quill pens, though, so if you plan on using it for any other kinds of pen, be careful, as i have no idea how it might turn out.
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2009, 07:26:09 am »

Iron gall ink..


http://www.scienceinschool.org/2007/issue6/galls/
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Zwack
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2009, 03:05:43 pm »

It will appear brown, but will turn black with age once you use it on paper.

Sounds a bit like a traditional blue-black ink.  The older ones are gallotannate inks which start blue because they have blue dye added (in your case brown tea) and then turn black as the ink reacts with the paper. 

Z.
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2009, 04:41:29 pm »

True. Many India inks contain shellac, which will set up a little with time and be a serious pain to get rid of.
Shellac can be dissolved with methylated spirit (I think it is sold in the United States as denatured alcohol), which is how I used to clean my airbrush when working with inks.

I believe a good ink can also be made by mixing lamp black with a little gum arabic and water, although I haven't personally tried it.
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2009, 04:46:47 pm »

although i don't know much about making your own ink, i do know that when you block a pen up completely you can fix it by taking it to a local jeweller and asking them to put it in their cleaning machines. (can't remember who it was on here who told me that but thanks, it worked really well!)
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« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2009, 11:38:07 pm »

Tannic acid (traditionally extracted from oak galls) and iron sulfate is a classic recipe, widely used from its invention in the early middle ages into the dawn of the twentieth century - but it doesn't work nearly as well on modern pulp paper as modern inks do.


The use of iron gall ink goes back further even than that :

" Iron-gall ink was the most important ink in Western history.
Leonardo da Vinci wrote his notes using iron-gall ink. Bach
composed with it. Rembrandt and Van Gogh drew with it. The
Constitution of the United States was drafted with it. And,
when the black ink on the Dead Sea Scrolls was analyzed using
a cyclotron at the Davis campus of the University of California,
it was found to be iron-gall ink. "

~ from :

Iron Gall Ink
by Lois Fruen
http://tinyurl.com/c2bpzu

Iron-gall ink works much better on skin than on paper - it
literally burns your writing into the parchment, which is
the original sense of the word ink : encaustum, Latin for
"burned in"

Iron gall ink
Manufacture of ink
The ink corrosion website
http://tinyurl.com/nj679b

Encyclopaedia Perthensis;
~ Or ~
Universal Dictionary of the Arts,
Sciences, Literature, &c.
Intended to Supersede the Use
of Other Books of Reference

Printed by John Brown, 1816.
Download@GoogleBooks
<See Entry for Ink on page 174>
http://tinyurl.com/mg6mre

And here is a link to one of Evan Lindquist's pages of ink
recipes :

Recipes for Old Writing and Drawing Inks
Collected by Evan Lindquist
http://tinyurl.com/9e6fa

Some of the ink sites mention the fermentation of oak galls
in order to release gallic acid ( which will yield a much
darker ink ), but I haven't yet found any that discuss the
fermentation of iron pyrites in order to obtain the copperas
used to make the ink.

The nearest I can manage is this page :

How to Make Copperas from Pyrites
By Ian Donaldson
http://tinyurl.com/ks7qag
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« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2009, 06:35:52 pm »

Prison style tattoo ink is nothing more than ash from burned pages from the bible and a small amount of water. Those who did not want to burn scripture lit up plastic chess pieces or disposable razors.
 I'd assume any ash/carbon would do.
Jailhouse ink (for jailhouse tats) Pt.2DQ

 P.S. Never use for tattoos.
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« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2009, 03:26:33 pm »

I've been looking on the Ætherweb for recipes to make your own ink but thought people here might have some good ones as well.......


I don't know if you have them in your area, but we have large amounts of Poke berry bushes growing around here.  If you take the berries and boil them, and strain them, you should get pretty good ink,  although I've never done it personally.  Pokeberry ink was used in the writing of the declaration and the constitution.

http://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=120765

http://aftermathblog.wordpress.com/2006/08/10/practical-skills-the-making-of-ink/
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« Reply #21 on: November 04, 2009, 04:33:06 pm »

I don't know if you have them in your area, but we have large amounts of Pokeberry bushes growing around here.  If you take the berries and boil them, and strain them, you should get pretty good ink, although I've never done it personally.  Pokeberry ink was used in the writing of the declaration and the constitution.

The Constitution was written using the
far more durable ferrogallic ink ( ink
made with pokeberries will fade ) :

" Iron-gall ink was the most important ink
in Western history. Leonardo da Vinci wrote
his notes using iron-gall ink. Bach composed
with it. Rembrandt and Van Gogh drew with it.
The Constitution of the United States was
drafted with it (Ink Corrosion). And, when
the black ink on the Dead Sea Scrolls was
analyzed using a cyclotron at the Davis
campus of the University of California, it
was found to be iron-gall ink.

~ from :

Iron Gall Ink
© Copyright 2002 by Lois Fruen
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Demosthenes
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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2009, 04:59:07 pm »

I don't know if you have them in your area, but we have large amounts of Pokeberry bushes growing around here.  If you take the berries and boil them, and strain them, you should get pretty good ink, although I've never done it personally.  Pokeberry ink was used in the writing of the declaration and the constitution.

The Constitution was written using the
far more durable ferrogallic ink ( ink
made with pokeberries will fade ) :

" Iron-gall ink was the most important ink
in Western history. Leonardo da Vinci wrote
his notes using iron-gall ink. Bach composed
with it. Rembrandt and Van Gogh drew with it.
The Constitution of the United States was
drafted with it (Ink Corrosion). And, when
the black ink on the Dead Sea Scrolls was
analyzed using a cyclotron at the Davis
campus of the University of California, it
was found to be iron-gall ink.

~ from :

Iron Gall Ink
© Copyright 2002 by Lois Fruen


Thank you for my correction. My sources must have been mis-informed
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Captain Quinlin Hopkins
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« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2009, 12:54:18 pm »

Possibly more than you wanted to know:

And do know that these are 1870's recipes, all will hold up better on vellum than paper.  
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

my personal favorite:
Chemical Landscapes.
These are drawn partly in Indian-ink and partly in sympathetic
inks, which are only visible when gently heated.
The picture represents ordinarily a winter scene, but
when heated the sky becomes blue, the leaves green, and
flowers and fruit are seen. The materials are as follows:
Green, chloride of nickel; blue, pure chloride or acetate
of cobalt; yellow, chloride of copper; brown, bromide of
copper. If the picture is too highly heated it will not again
fade.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 02:21:02 pm by Captain Quinlin Hopkins » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2009, 02:21:52 pm »

part 2 continued from above as it exceeded the 20,000 character mark
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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