Making Ink from Plants Using the Soda Ash Method

This is a quicker method than the evaporation method and is suitable for working with flower heads such as coreopsis, dahlias and chamomile.

Use soda ash to draw out the colour more quickly.

The resulting ink will be alkaline and can sometime be modified (colour changed) using an acidic solution such as vinegar or citric acid.

You will need:

  • Plant material – fresh or dried
  • Boiling hot water
  • Soda ash (Bicarbonate of soda)
  • Mixing bowls and spoons
  • Filter system
  • Cloves
  • Storage jar
  • Face mask, gloves, apron:

NB. Wear a face mask and gloves when handling the soda ash powder.

  1. Make a small quantity of soda ash solution:

1 desert spoonful (10g) + 500ml boiling hot water. Stir to dissolve all the crystals.

(Store unused solution in a screw top jar for later – label properly)

  1. Start with a handful of flowers in a mixing bowl and add a small amount of soda ash solution, enough to just cover the plant material. Mix, mash and steep for 10-15 mins and then test the colour with a brush on paper.
  2. Strain the plant material out of the mix using a filter, squeezing the liquid out of the plant material. (The finer the filter, the cleaner the ink will be.)
  3. Repeat step 2 to extract some more colour. You can keep repeating this to get all the colour out of the plants but the mix will probably be weaker in colour and may need to be reduced by evaporating.
  4. Add a few cloves to the final product and store in a screw top jar.




Staff – Accessing DSE training

These instructions will only work if you have a staff account.

As you know, Sue McHugh, Director of Campus Development and Chair of Health & Safety Committee, has asked us all to complete our DSE training and assessment online by 30th April.

Here is a quick guide to the process.

In order to start your Display screen equipment (DSE) training and assessment your need to follow this link; DSE training and assessment

This will take them to a screen asking them to sign in to Assessnet™

When you click on the sign-in button you will be taken to the standard university login screen where you will need to login using your university username and password as usual


You will then be taken to this screen, where I recommend that you choose the continue without the manual option

You will then be on your home screen, and from there you need to select the Health and safety tab from the navigation bar


This will take you through to the page where you can select  D.S.E assessments

Where you get another button to click!

This will take you to the page where you can actually start your training!

That’s right, 7 screens to get to the actual training!

If you need any further assistance please contact Sue Mchugh!