Making Natural Inks

Knowing the world through matter

I have been fortunate to be given some funding via the Necessity Network to explore new ideas and interests beyond my MA Sustainable Design. Following on from my arts practice (including the making of Oak Gall Ink) in Commons Sense, I wanted to research the uses of localised materials (e.g. sea water, seaweed, chalk etc) for the creation of natural inks and their application.

Starting out, I referred to the work on Jason Logan to explore making inks from locally sourced materials. Most of the materials I initially foraged from my back garden or from the seashore in Hastings.

Here are some drawings developed with inks made from Alder, Egg Wrack, Sloeberries and Oak Gall Ink.

The basic ingredients required for creating water based inks that have a consistency similar to shop bought bottled inks:

Salt (could be foraged sea salt)
White vinegar
Foraged material (such as berries)
Clove/clove oil or wintergreen oil
Gum Arabic