And so the first ink making has started.

It seemed sensible to start creating a stock of black as this is used readily across a variety of print media.  Black, as I have been finding out, can be made from numerous sources: bone, vine, root, charcoal, mineral, to name a few.  Having collected samples in bone, mineral and charcoal, I have decided to make my stock black from charcoal.  Practically, charcoal is the most readily available raw material I can obtain from the woodland, as well as the fact it is also a bi-product from fires, which in my mind makes it far more sustainable.

Charcoal I have found is a very powdery pigment to grind, but does make a lovely velvety soft black, and in the quantities I need.

Making and grinding the ink was a simple affair since the raw material broke down very readily and did not require much processing.  Which is brilliant.  It is just a case of producing the quantity I need to print the pieces I have in mind for this particular ink.

Charcoal is also a hugely powerful remedy across the world for stomach upsets and its healing properties make the ink a perfect choice for a series of large wall hangings to form the walls of an installation based upon UK deforestation.  The charcoal from Hollybank will offer a symbolic pointer towards a healing process for the forests and land we have already destroyed in this country.  It will be interesting to see how it prints on such a large scale.

Speaking of which, I have a tin of ink to make….


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