Home » Algemeen / other » Making Berry Inks (Huckleberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Pokeberry, etc.)

Making Berry Inks (Huckleberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Pokeberry, etc.)

This week I came across an e-book, called Perma Art, and it was about making your own art supplies. I also bought another e-book about green crafting. It seems to be quite easy to make your own non toxic, non environmental damaging ink! So ofcourse I set out to make that this evening. I’ve boiled some plants, nearly set the house on fire (was called upstairs to help with the kids and forgot about the pots on the stove. Suddenly a smell… oops… rushed down, the waltnushells/onion pot had cooked dry. I’ve still got some scrubbing to do to clean that one out.
Anyway, the ink I got looks ok, but very light still. Also, it needs some preservative. But what? Is vinegar ok, or should I use alcohol? And do I need to make it less fluid? The books mention ingredients I don’t have yet. And what are all those ingredients in Dutch? I know some translations, but sometimes it really is important to get the right thing – soda and baking soda for instance are not the same. (No, not used in ink, but for homemade washing detergent).
I searched online for more info about home made ink and stamping and came across this post, which looks great:

The Druid's Garden

Inkmaking is a wonderful way to use up some of the fabulous berries that you can forage for outdoors or grow in your garden. With a berry ink, you can do wonderful water washes, use a dip pen and write great letters, or use it for various drawings and sketches!  You can also use your ink for spiritual journaling or magical work.  Having an ink you’ve made yourself allows you to be creative while making use of sustainable materials that are locally harvestable!

Which Berries to Use?

You can use any berry that has a nice dark stain when you cut it open.  The list that I’ve made ink from, and the colors they produce, are as follows:

  • Huckleberry (Garden, Wild) – Produces a nice denim blue ink (PHOTO BELOW)
  • Pokeberry – Produces a hot pink ink (please don’t eat these berries, they are poisonous) (PHOTO BELOW)
  • Buckthorn, common –…

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3 thoughts on “Making Berry Inks (Huckleberry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Pokeberry, etc.)

  1. Hey Debbie thanks so much for this post, my head is already spinning lol
    As for a natural preservative you could try colloidal silver and see the result. I’m making experiments with colloidal silver as a preservative in my hand-made cosmetics, and so far it has worked very well.
    The thing is, in the cosmetics when I combined oil and water I have to use an emulsifying agent, and I think that prevents the silver from falling out of suspension (with the difference in temperatures), but I’m still at the experimental stage with the colloidal silver.
    As for the Gum Arabic I never heard of it, so I’ll have to do some research.

    Now, what I would like to know is the long term results. Does the colour fade?
    The consistency is another concern.

    Anyway, looking forward to hear more about your experience. xx

  2. The colour will fade, but I also read a book about temporary art… does a card really need to last forever? What do most receivers do with a card? Maybe pin it up someplace for a while,. but then it needs to be replaced. Declutter. Ofcourse, things that go on walls might be good if they stayed on longer…[argh, times up, have to go… more tonight!]

    • So, what I was wanting to write: as much as I dislike the thought of my cards being thrown away, I also know that one cannot save everything. I am trying to declutter my house, let go of “posession” (and those that know me know I’ve got a loooong way to go, so my art supplies are still safe for the moment :P). The thought of making something that fades away is interesting, it could be incorporated into a project that needs to last a bit longer, showing other layers or patterns as colours fade. If the item is not exposed to sunlight, the colour will last quite long I think. So photoalbums should be ok. Consistensy – there will be colour variations ofcourse, and the ink is only limited time good to use. Maybe longer is stored properly (which ofcourse I don’t). But is it a problem if a hue is a bit different then the last time? I don’t think so. Also, if you make ink by the season, you paint with the season’s colours (or you should plan ahead and dry stuff). Less control, more organic creation. See where your artsupplies take you, sometimes with limited items we become more creative then with 100’s of options in art supplies. (Nope, still not discarding art stuff, as I’ve still got 1000’s of ideas :P).

It is always a little gift when someone took the time to comment, feedback is much appreciated. / Het is een klein cadeautje wanneer iemand een reactie achterlaat, feedback wordt gewaardeerd!

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