Last time I reported on making walnut colour extract on its way to becoming ink. The walnuts have been fermenting since late summer 2015. They started out in big jars (128 fl oz), a couple of dozen green-hulled walnuts in each jar with water to cover, left to solar-soak outside until frost, then transported inside to dark studio cupboards.
Most recipes I have looked at suggest removing the green hull and using that part. I thought that maybe some extra tannins might enter the dye if I left the nutmeats inside their shells and cooked them along with the green bits. After cooking ( and before being donated to the critters outside) I find they look a quite lovely deep brown:
Walnut does quite well as a dye without cooking. I found it enough to simply soak a discoloured vintage white wool coat in a bucket of fermenting walnuts. After a couple of weeks soaking and a rinse in plain water, this was the colour:
You can see that different shades of white wool had been used to crochet this thrift-shop find. I could also have soaked the coat a second and third time for deeper shades. Wool dyes beautifully in walnut- here are some more examples from a few pre-ink years ago:
Eco printed wool pre-felt, native plants.
Lambs-wool cardy dyed with walnuts, iron nails and eucalyptus (I forget which kind)
Little strips of blanket trimmings bundled with various eucalyptus and immersed in a walnut dye bath – also from past dye pots.
Linen and cotton dye well also, as does paper. Here are some samples of eco dye prints made in October 2013 while Shlomo and I were in residence at Arte Studio Ginestrelle near Assisi in Umbria. The walnut there ( photo below) is the Juglans regia – ours in Ottawa is Juglans nigra.
Notice the distinct pinky lavender colour that comes out with the yellow pigment in the eco print.
The photo above shows one of my Artist Books with linen covers eco dyed in walnut; the pages are about other plants of the Subasio Regional Park where the art residence was located. The title of the little book is “Pianticelli del Subasio”.
And now here is a little surprise – walnuts combined with wild grapes to make a colour extract. I found a reference to this combination in a book about First Nations quill dyeing traditions. The recommendation was to combine walnuts with ” a lot of wild grape” and cook that until the liquid went black. I stopped the cooking way before the liquid turned black and got this grey-blue-greenish colour you see on tag of the left hand bottle of ink. ( More on grapes next time)
And to finish in a sweet walnut note from the kitchen: here is what we had for breakfast one day at the art residence: walnut-parmesan scones ( I do not have the recipe so must go back there and pick it up…)
Until next time.
Welcome to new readers and thank you to those who have been following along this inky passage this fall. I do have lots of ink-fixings in my stash yet to be explored so we are not done yet.
Happy Chanuka for tomorrow, too!
This year, I made some chanakiot for the grandkids – The candle ” flames” are cut-outs with velcro attached so the kids can “light” their candles each night ( and open a little loot bag, too! )
Even if we do not celebrate Chanuka, we can still be the light!