For those die hard re-enactor fans, here are two ways to make black ink for your feather quills!
Making Black Ink
- 1/2 tsp lamp black (which you can buy or can make by holding
a plate over a candle and collecting the soot or from collecting
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp gum arabic
- 1/2 cup honey
Mix together the egg yolk, gum arabic, and honey. Stir in the lamp black. This will produce a thick paste which you can store in a sealed container. To use the ink, mix this paste with a small amount of water to achieve the desired consistency.
Making Charcoal Ink
- Barbecue grill or metal fire pit
- Kitchen scale
- Charcoal briquettes
- Distilled water
- White vinegar
- Glass jar
- Glass bowl
- Wire brush or metal whisk
1 Burn a handful of charcoal briquettes in a barbecue grill or metal fire pit until they turn to ash. Wait until the ash has cooled completely. Use a kitchen scale to measure 1 oz. of charcoal ash. Place 1 oz. of charcoal ash in the glass bowl.
2 Measure out 1 oz. of distilled water and add it to the bowl containing the charcoal ash.
3 Stir the charcoal mixture with a wire brush or metal whisk. As the water and ash combine, the mixture will become very dark. Continue to mix it until the clumps of ash disappear. Be careful to not splash the ink because it will stain your clothing or counter top.
4 Add one drop of white vinegar to the mixture and carefully stir it in. The vinegar adds stability to the ink and makes it more permanent once it has dried on paper.
5 Pour the ink into a glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. The ink will last longer if it isn’t exposed to too much light. Keep your glass jar in a dark place, or you can wrap paper around the jar and tape it to hold it on tight.
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