what’s been cooking? -ecological colours

inks

hey ho! starting the new year with some home-made vegetable ink cooking, as an artist and designer I am currently intrigued with how we can reduce toxic waste when painting and creating. So this first post is about making your own inks from vegetables and spices.

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I started this experiment by boiling red onion and beetroot with some salt and water (the salt acts as a fixing agent) and the first test stripes were not very successful…especially the red onion came out very pale.

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so then I added some turmeric to the water and things got more exciting, as for the beetroot I just left it to simmer for more time in order to create more intensity. Then I simmered the red onion and turmeric until almost all the water had vaporized and I was left with a thick turmeric paste which gives a more mustard coloured tone.

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To finish off I recycled two small pots and filled them with my eco-ink, which is slightly thicker then commercially bought ink, but I suppose that depends on how much water you add and how long you let it simmer for. I have now popped these in the fridge in order to store them for as long as possible, and my partner, who is a chef, said that you just need to smell them to know when they are starting to get off. The only problem is that they are not light resistant, (which I have discovered with my blueberry painting) that means that once applied to paper they will fade over time, so my homework is now to research how to make them light resistant! -without adding chemicals of course!!

 

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