Monday, 2 June 2014

Iron Gall ink ...

I thought it time to make some Iron Gall ink ... 
... inspired by a piece of Vellum found at East Riddlesden Hall 

 Oak Galls collected on "Shick Shack Day" ... 

... equipment snaffled from daughter's chemistry set

..... Iron Gall Ink!!

... lovely antique brown achieved.
I need to refine my process in order to get black ...


  1. That's beautiful - looks very like the traditional sepia ink I'm a big fan of, but dread to think what does into that! No wonder they call it iron gall ink if it produces that lovely rusty colour.

    1. Thank you! I have to admit that I was aiming for black ... I think I needed more tanic acid (more squished Oak Galls). It's also pretty acidic so it will probably munch into the paper ... puts a whole new spin on the "natural" in natural dyes ... :)

    2. Try adding some iron filings or nails and let it stew in the sun. The iron oxides will react with the galls and help it darken.

    3. I shall definitely try that Lizz, thank you so much for your advice. I had a bit more success with stewed tea bags and am currently testing it out on various surfaces for permanence etc. It's all rather fascinating. Kate x

  2. Replies
    1. Many thanks Alex ... it may not be black but it is permanent ... :)