Boxing Day Walk & Forage for Ink

Hope you all had a lovely Xmas break, I was struck by flu for the first week of the festive break, but luckily was up and about by Boxing Day so we were able to partake in that yearly phenomenon of families walking together in the countryside.  I’m lucky enough to live within a short drive to the Peak District and we headed for a scenic walk around the Chatsworth Estate.

AA211D7F-CB45-4AF4-AFC4-0812E1EC8CDC257C00D4-DEC3-4F58-8744-C310DAFAEE7DI was very happy to discover two ancient oak trees absolutely covered in oak galls, these are left by a wasp laying it’s eggs and creating a small spherical gall.  The larvae then hatches and digs it’s way out of the gall leaving a tannin rich ball of loveliness for any eco artist. I quickly filled my gloves and pockets!

So this morning, I’ve been playing with a bit of kitchen witchery and grinding the galls before adding them to iron water and setting aside for a few days.   There are several methods to making oak gall ink, but this is my favourite.  I’ve also ordered some gum Arabic to experiment with a thickener so will post the results when I’ve made it and compared results.

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