Saturday, April 11, 2009

Enviro friendly pens, ink and chalk

I recently posted back to Threadbanger on some ideas on how to make dip pen ink.

For those of you who might have an INKling to make a dip pen and some ink, either for a journal, a drawing, or just something fun to do... then this one is for you.

To make homemade ink, the easiest one is this one below:

1/2 cup of water
4-5 teabags
gum arabic

boil all of the above (dont use too much gum arabic or your ink could flake) and let steep for 15-20 mins. Strain as much out of the teabags as possible. Let cool before bottling

I suggest perhaps using a tidbit of salt and some vinegar to make it so your mix doesnt go rancid. If you want it to smell nice, you can use one or two drops of essential oils. You can also use anything that will leak out a color. I made one using a combination of blueberries and tea. It didnt turn out that blue/purple, but it gave it a nice smell.

I also suggest reducing it a bit to thicken it up and to darken the color before straining into a bottle or jar.

For my batch, I also used a few drops of food dye, and some gum tragacanth to thicken my batch up.

By the way, the recipe for homemade chalk

6-8 white eggshells
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
1/8th tablespoon white glue

-Grind eggshells into fine powder in mortar and pestle
-mix all ingredients till it makes a thick paste
-shape and wrap in wax paper and leave to dry for about 3 days, and slowly unroll the wax paper as the chalk dries
-you can substitute eggshell for bones, or seashells. Ive also seen recipes that call for talc powder

People then started asking me what the heck Gum Arabic and Gum Tragacanth were.

Gum arabic is a 'gum' kinda like tree resin..in fact thats exactly what it is, that comes out of trees, that is used as a suspender and thickener for inks, and is generally known as a food stabalizer, and its generally used for coating candies and stuff

Gum arabic is a key ingredient in traditional lithography and is used in printing, paint production, glue, and various industrial applications

I know the art supplier makers Windsor & Newton sell it to be used to make thicker textures of paint for gauche and such, and Ive seen it at my local art supply stores. You might also be able to get food grade gums at your local cake decorating or bulk food stores...kinda like citric acid...you just have to ask

As for Gum Tragacanth, I got my bottle at Tandy Leather for burnishing sides of belts and such ( I will get around to doing a leather carving tutorial eventually) Gum Tragacanth can also be used to make pastels, and homemade chalk from bone or eggshells.

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