Ink Recipe: Evaporation Method

This is a straightforward way to make ink and can be used for a variety of plant material. In this demonstration we are using yarrow tops from the dye garden at Grand Parade.

1. Gather a bag full of plant material and roughly chop it up.
2. Half fill a stainless steel pot with water and put on the hob to heat up. Add the plant material and bring to the boil. Keep the lid on for this bit.

3. Cook at a simmer for at least 15 mins.

4. Pour the (coloured) liquid into a bucket using a colander to strain out the plant material.

5. Put the plant material back in the cooking pot with fresh water and heat up again and cook another 15 mins or so as before.

(Rinse and repeat. This is a process you can repeat until all the colour has been extracted from the plant material. I usually find twice is enough.)

6. Put all the used plant material in another bucket. When it has cooled down it can be taken out to the compost heap in the dye garden.

6. Pour the coloured liquid back into the stainless steel pan and heat up again. With the lid off the pan, keep the heat on so that the liquid is just below boiling point. Slowly, allow the liquid to evaporate so that the colour of your ink gets stronger.

7. Use a brush and scrap of paper to test the colour. As the liquid evaporates, the colour should get stronger. Keep evaporating until you get the strength of colour that you want.
8. Strain the liquid through two layers of muslin. This may take some time. The finer the straining fabric, the cleaner the ink will be. (Another useful strainer is a coffee filter.)
9. Pour your ink into a storage jar. Label it and add a clove to stop it going mouldy.

Please clean up  and tidy everything you have used in the dye lab.

Thank you.




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