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Recipe: Natural Earth Printmaking Ink

Recipe: Natural Earth Printmaking Ink

Posted by Leah Fanning on Feb 11th 2021

This recipe is based on the very ancient and little-known Japanese process called the Moku Hanga technique of making your own inks.

This ancient technique has always used all non-toxic ingredients. The ink is for wood block prints but can also be used for linoleum cuts and mono prints.

Ingredients: 

Optional Ingredients:

  • Magnesium Carbonate

Tools: 

Step 1: Mix 1 tsp alcohol and 1 tsp. water (1:1).

Step 2: Mix pigment with gin/water mixture in a small container to make creamy ink consistency.

Step 3: Scoop ink onto palette.

Step 4: Add 1-2 tsp. Nori paste, thinned with a little water.

Optional: If ink needs to be thicker, add Magnesium Carbonate (Mag. Mix- optional), about ½ tsp., adjusting as needed.

Step 5: Continue to mix with a palette knife until the ingredients are evenly combined.

Step 6: Roll out until it’s evenly coating the roller (note: if it’s not sticking to the roller well, add more Nori).

Step 7: Roll onto your printing surface. 

Step 8: Print with your desired technique, either with a press or with a barren.

Notes:

  • The ancient Japanese technique is to actually brush the inks on the woodblocks with a wide, short bristled brush, rubbing the ink into wood vigorously. They also used wet paper to print on, although dry is what we used. 
  • This recipe makes enough ink to make 1-2 prints. Mix more to make more prints.
  • All pigments have different absorption qualities and drying times, so adjust the recipe as needed.

Recipe from printmaker Shannon Yost.

Interested in more recipes featuring Natural Earth Paint products? Visit our Recipes page!
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