A little more about making Walnut Ink
This is worth sharing. After boiling down the two dozen husks for four hours, I decanted approximately 375 ml of liquid. I put it into a 750 ml, cork stopped bottle (and I can speak to the quality of Bullitt Frontier Bourbon). Then I added an equal amount of de-natured alcohol, which, effectively, filled the bottle. Of course, the liquid was quite diluted. I let it set overnight. After about 12 hours, I put the liquid back into the stock pot and carefully reduced it (over medium heat) until it passed the test of writing with a dip pen. I then re-canted the liquid into the bottle. I was left with about 200 ml of very fine ink/dye.
My goal is to fill the bottle. So I’ll have to convince my Walnut provider to share a little more of his harvest. You might ask (justifiably) why I would go to this extent. Well, the answer is simple. I’ll use this dye on American Elm, then glaze it with Van Dyke Brown artists oil medium. The results will be stunning. Few things that are really worth while are simply done. And remember, one of our goals here is to really understand how our predecessors pursued their craft. Clearly, it wasn’t easy.