Thursday, 3 November 2011


K gave me a jar filled with walnut .....what are they called, not the shells, the green outer fruit type covering. Anyway if soaked, boiled and strained thru muslin they are supposed to make walnut ink, like the monks used.

I looked up some recipes on the webby [not surprised to find what I needed, the surprise would come from not finding the info] and set to.

One is supposed to throw in some rusty iron, vinegar and some gum arabic. Had to do without the latter.

I let it boil away for some hours, giving the very smelly potion a suspicious poke every now and again. It smelt a bit like when I used to boil up lights for the puppy dog until RP [he was Working Person then] threatened to leave home.

Eventually I got bored and sieved it thru a square of RP's precious wine making muslin. Being a textile artiste I have plenty of muslin lying about, but he had to buy his own, so i thought I would make use of it too.

The result is a half jar of dark brown fairly translucent liquid, that paints paper in a golden brown. Not really dark enough for monks, but probably useful to me on paper and fabrics, and quite good fun. I could have boiled it further to render it down more, but am going to see if I need to after having used it.......for something.

Maybe these old world recipes will come in useful when the Euro collapses, America bombs Iran and the "deadly flu virus" has swept thru.

1 comment:

Gillian said...

Now that's my sort of thing altogether! I'm going to start googling right now. I have used fresh walnut shells which had the skin thingy still in them to dye wool and it comes out a very nice brown tan. Lots of natural dyes come out a very nice brown tan!!!
Cheers Gillian