I am excited to be offering writing and drawing ink made from the black walnut tree at Tortworth Arboretum and alder cones from Little Parks Farm.

Juglans Nigra is a non-native tree from North America and produces edible nuts, excellent timber as well as a fantastic dye from the soft flesh around the nut.

I collected the walnut fruit in October 2019 and used a cold dye extraction over the winter, adding gum arabic as a thickener and birch essential oil as a preservative. The ink is a beautiful grey black.

The alder cones were collected this week, during lockdown, and soaked for a few days before reducing the liquid to make the ink. There were two oak galls added to the mix to add colour fastness and I think that this has darkned the ink slightly – but it still shows a beautiful rich brown through the black. I added gum arabic and as a preservative I used wintersweet essential oil.

Both the inks have been enriched with an iron solution made from vinegar and rusty nails, which has turned the ink into a beautiful dark brown/black, suitable for drawing, fountain pens, quills and dying cloth. Please note you should clean your fountain pen after using this to avoid the iron rusting your pen.

Sold in 30ml brown jars with a wide lip for ease of dipping, and longer shelf life out of the sun.

I will aim to make one trip to the post box per week, so there may be a delay in receiving your package, as we are trying to reduce risks during the lockdown period.

Your ink will be packaged in recycled cardboard.

Ink should be kept in the dark for a longer shelf life.


Clicking ‘add to cart’ will take you to a paypal page. If you would like to purchase one of each type, please return to this tab and add it from here. You can change quantities on the paypal checkout.

For more detail on the process of collecting and making the ink take a look at my previous post, Making Ink.