Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Making Black Walnut Dye and Ink

My wonderful neighbor gave me a large bucket of black walnuts yesterday so today I went right to work on them making dye and ink. It will be a 2 day process.  Today I separated the nuts from the hugs and boiled the hulls down into a lovely dye and tomorrow I will continue to boil them down into a more concentrated ink tomorrow.

 Getting set up this morning to remove the hulls from the black walnuts

 Cutting away the hulls. The hulls are the part I will use to make the dye and the ink

 Separating the hulls from the black walnuts

 Finally done!

 I boiled them for about 6 hours today. I will strain some of this and use it for a fabric dye. I will boil the remaining liquid again tomorrow to reduce it into a thicker, dark ink for using with calligraphy pens on paper. 

 When Don came home from work I was still boiling my post of black gold

 Early on, before the dye got really black and inky, I threw some old crocheted lace into the pot to check the color

 I tied up some of the nuts in a piece of cotton and threw that in the pot too. 

 The color looks much lighter in the photo for some reason. It is much deeper and richer in person. I will have to try taking another photo tomorrow. 

 Even though I plan on reducing it much more I couldn't resist bottling some up to try out. The bottle of ink is sitting on the two pieces of cloth I dyed.

 I was pretty tired at this point but I wanted to try it out with various pen nibs. I can't wait until it is further reduced and I can play around with it some more. 

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