Day 15 Ink Comparison

Wasn’t that supposed to be “day 14?”  Well, yes.

I do apologize for not posting the results exactly on day 14.  I love my hobby and take the responsibility seriously of updating people according to the schedule I have given.  I take my responsibility as a father and husband even more seriously.  I thank you for your patience and understanding.  And I can not tell you how energized and enthusiastic I am because of the interest you and others are showing in what I’m doing.  Thank you.

The ink is still turning black as you can see in the picture below.

The ink is maturing as time progresses.

The ink is maturing as time progresses.

As you can see the ink is maturing into turning black.  You are correct that it looks like it has a lot more maturing to do.  So what is or is not happening?

Possible reasons it is not black yet:

1 – It is winter here and even indoors in my apartment the temperatures are cooler.  Any time you work with natural items decomposing the ambient temperature becomes very important.  At cooler temperatures the slower the decomposition will be.  This may mean that the tannic acid in the oak gals is coming out of the oak galls more slowly than is anticipated.

2 – The oak galls may not have the expected amount of tannic acid in them.  These oak galls were sent to me from a friend in Texas who has them all over her yard. They had been rained on and baked in the sun. Some tannic acid almost certainly was removed in this process.  I have made ink before with these oak galls, but by boiling them.  This increases the amount of tannic acid that is removed in a very short period of time.  As mentioned in reason 1, it must may take more time to get out the required amount of tannic acid, or there may not be enough tannic acid left in these oak galls.

3 – I may not have stirred them often enough.  I stirred the contents of the bucket between 1 and 5 times in a day with 3 times being the most common.  I noticed that the ink became darker faster if I stirred more vigorously.

4 – The recipe is wrong and makes terrible ink.  Not likely but yes, it is possible.

5 – The ink works better for parchment and velum than it does for paper.

Disclosure, not all of these ideas are mine.  Some were given to me as possibilities by Master Johannes von Narrenstein of the Middle Kingdom (SCA).

I do my experiments at home in my apartment (or in public parks,) using what I have available.  It would be really wonderful if I had some chemistry tools such as a home version of the calibrated pH detectors, flasks, magnetic and timed mixing platforms not to mention all the fun and cool flasks, stands and burners.  I would be able to better pinpoint what is happening and why. Of course it would also lead to more questions.  As my life progresses these are the things on my wish list.

I will update this every seven days as I can, until the ink turns entirely black, or until it stops changing colors entirely.

Previous posts:

Soaking Ink – Day 7

Soaking Ink – Progress Report

Soaking Your Ink


One response to “Day 15 Ink Comparison

  1. Pingback: Ink and Scribal Resources | scribescribbling·

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