It doesn’t need blood, sweat or tears. Unlike deciding what to write
Ink is pigment mixed with a carrier, such as water, and something to help it adhere to paper – 1 tsp gum arabic. Kitchens are full of pigment possibilities – try these out. Wear gloves!
BLACK: Mix gum arabic, an egg yolk and 100ml honey. Stir in 1⁄2 tsp of lamp black (the soot created when a plate – or similar – is held over a flame).
DARK BROWN: Cover 6 to 8 whole blackened walnuts with water and simmer for up to an hour. Strain through muslin, before mixing with water, gumarabic and vinegar.
BROWN: Pour boiling water over 5 tea bags and steep for around 15 minutes. Squeeze bags. Add gum arabic to the liquid and strain through muslin.
BLUE: Simmer two handfuls of elderberries in vinegar. Squish, strain and mix with gum arabic.
Store your inks in lidded jars. They’ll work best with traditional dip pens.