“Hey child, stay wilder than the wind” is a line from one of my favourite songs by Duran Duran. This painting from my Lost Pages sketchbook always makes me think of that. I don’t consider myself a wild child, but I do love to be outside travelling and walking everywhere with my camera. When I am at home, early mornings, I work in the garden quite regularly while listening to the trees talking to each other. I often also bring little treasures back inside. That’s how I got started with botanical ink making.
When I was sharing my Simple365 daily photos previously, you asked me about the process.
You can make inks using many of the things you can find in your garden or kitchen, rose petals and onion skins being a couple of common examples. Please remember that many plants range anywhere from mildly to extremely poisonous. So please be careful, specially if you are working with children or/and around pets.
Also, some of the inks might cause permanent staining. Please make sure to take adequate precaution.
Now on to the fun part – ink making. It is super easy. I highlighted the materials you will need below in the instructions.
Add your foraged items to a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tsp of vinegar in an old saucepan and add heat. Once it comes to boil, turn the stove down to barely a simmer. Too much heat will turn everything brown.
Check the colour every now and then by dipping a strip of scrap paper in the liquid. As you can see in the second photo, the color changes over time. Once you have the desired colour, use a strainer to collect only the liquid in a heat resistant bottle like an old jam bottle.
You can stop here. For a cleaner ink, you can further filter the ink using a coffee filter set in a funnel.
Lastly, you can put a clove or two in the bottle to preserve the ink. That’s it!
These inks are ephemeral. If you want to preserve the artwork you create, I suggest you either scan or take a photo of it as soon as possible.
It will be so exciting to see what colour you would extract from the things you find around your home! I think with proper supervision this would make a fabulous activity to do with children.
I will wrap up the post with a few more paintings from the Lost Pages sketchbook. These are all my favourites.
Please Click on the image thumbnails to see the photos.
I would love to know which one is your favourite from these four.
I also hope you would give botanical ink making a try.
Until next time,
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