After my visit to Michel Garcia’s dye garden in Provence I was inspired to make inks so we ran a small workshop in our office/studio on Well St using ingredients I bought there.  We used cochineal beetles, insects that live on the nopal cactus. Cochineal beetles have been used across Europe to colour textiles and to make pigment for paints and inks.  Today in Mexico and Peru they cultivate the cactus to harvest cochineals to make the colour additive E120. We also ground up oak galls (for brown and added iron for black), buckthorn + alum for green), sophora flowers from China for yellow and logwood for violet.

img_0861
Tester papers for our colours
sophora
Sophora Japonica flowers, a Chinese and Japanese yellow.
Oak galls
Oak galls with iron sulphate make grey or black depending on the dilution.
ink
Our crushing and grinding group.
ink bottles
We decanted our colours into old ink bottles.

Ink tests

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