Botanical Ink

Lake Pigments

By Art, Botanical Dye, Botanical Ink, Experiments, Play, Process

I recently did an online lake pigment workshop with Natalie Stopka (I’d recommend) which was super informative and fun and has opened up a whole other dimension of exploring plant colour. Being able to transform exhausted dye baths into pigment powder colours is very useful since storing them can be difficult and often leads to mold and in my case rows of jars of murky liquids whose labels have fallen off.

The process is so alchemical and beautiful. There is frothing and fizzing and pools of deep colours as the pigments are filtered. Nothing is fixed and there are are so many changes, colours that start bright purple can end up pale pink.

m a g i c

Ink for Marion

By Botanical Ink, Experiments

Marion asked me to make an ink for a stamp she as carving. The inks I usually make are watery, reduced to concentrate plant materials boiled in water. I am curious, I like to experiment and investigate so I cannot help but to research, to try to find a way to make an ink suitable for printmaking.

I read recipes that require ingredients I do not have. I know an ink for printmaking would need to be viscous, thick and have a deep colour. Eventually the solution is part cheat as I find some old but still usable transparent printmaking extender. I make charcoal with willow which I mix with the extender and more or less it functions to print the stamp Marion has made.