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.
- Earth & Mineral Pigments
- Alcohol (preferably gin- makes ink more archival and durable)
- Nori (Rice Paste)
- Magnesium Carbonate
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.
- 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.