Don’t Drink the Ink.

A while back I read an interview with artist Allyson Mellberg. She spoke about her beautiful artwork and how she made her own ink from walnuts. Living in Chestnut Hill here in Philly, I see English Walnuts scattered everywhere during the fall. So I gathered them up and got to work.

Above: A recent experiment using my first batch of “Patch’s Pigment”. It is a promo piece for a webcomic I have working on for the better part of a year. It is due for release later this year. You can see another promo piece here.
Below: Some photos of the process of making the ink. Here is a link to the recipe I used.
(Please Note: I tweaked the recipe some, I suggest you do the same.)

Image 01: Photos of the bucket o’ nuts I collected in just a few weeks. The next step: Let ’em rot!

Image 02: When the walnuts turn from green to black it’s time to start cooking. I boiled these in water for almost an entire day and a half at a really low heat. The walnuts breakdown and the pigment mixes with the water. A little vinegar and salt help the final mixture from going bad.

Image 03: Since this was an experiment I checked the boiling mixture regularly for opacity.

Image 04: As a designer I couldn’t resist an opportunity to create a label for my little experiment. I gave these as gifts to a few of my artist friends. My buddy Tim inked me a Thanks.

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Drink the Ink.

  1. Awesome! That’s the kind of stuff you have to rattle off next time you do a lecture to make the students think you’re insanely awesome. “Did you hear that? He even makes his own pigment?…”

  2. Pingback: Monster Monday 13. « Art by Patch

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