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This instructable shows how to make a very simple ink out of Verdigris, water and a binder. This could also be used like a watercolour. The intensity of the hue depends on the amount of water used, as the two pictures show it can vary quite a lot. The colour also will vary depending on small amounts of contaminants from the verdigris.

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Accuracy of information

I make every effort to ensure the information contained in this instructable is correct and up to date. However, I accept no liability or responsibility for any problems due to any errors or omissions in the content of the instructable. If you are unsure of anything please research it further.

Risk of harm

I make every effort to ensure the safety advice and precautions contained in this instructable are correct and that you will not be hurt if you follow my safety precautions and any other sensible precautions. However, I accept no liability or responsibility for any problems due to any errors or omissions in the content of the instructable. If you are unsure of anything please research it further and do not do anything unless you are sure it is safe. #

Although if you are sensible you should not hurt yourself.

Step 1: Ingredients

To make this you will need water and gum Arabic.

Verdigris is easy to make and you will only need copper and vinegar. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Verdi... However, it does take a while to make so you may have to delay ink making until this is made.

Any water can be used but if you have excessively hard water it may affect the ink. However, I have rather hard water and it was fine. I do not think that distilled water is needed.

Gum Arabic is the dried sap of the acacia tree. It can be bought quite cheaply on the Internet. It normally comes in small lumps and before using you should break the lumps up, so it will dissolve faster, and remove any bits of bark and other impurities which it often comes with.

Step 2: Method

If the verdigris is in large crystals you may want to grind it finer, but this is only if you want to speed up the dissolving into the water. As verdigris is rather slow to make, I recommend starting with it in a small bowl and adding the other ingredients to it.

Add water drop by drop until the verdigris is only just dissolved. If there are still some crystals undissolved wait a while and stir, if the crystals persist add a tiny bit more water. If you want a less saturated colour you can add more water. Don't over do the water as it can then be a very weak colour.

Add a small amount of gum Arabic, about a pea size per 5ml of liquid there is. The gum Arabic acts to thicken the ink and when dried gives a slight glossy look to the ink which will be slightly transparent. You will probably have to use trial and error to find out how much gum Arabic is needed for your preferred ink consistency. Don't over do it otherwise the ink can crack when it dries.

Step 3: Use

Once made the ink should last indefinitely but it can dry out and will set. However, it can be rehydrated by just adding more water and will then work just as it did before.

I would not use this with a fountain pen as, due to its gum Arabic content it, can gum up the pen, although this can be solved by soaking the pen in warm water. To write with this I would use a dip pen, and remember to clean it afterwards. You can also use the ink with a paint brush but I would be careful not to let the brush dry out.

The ink starts a rather blue tone but as it dries it will turn more green. The saturation depends on the concentration of verdigris, the hue depends on multiple factors such as what impurities are present. The ink will naturally be slightly glossy from the gum Arabic and if you increase the amount it will be more gloss.

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Bio: Interested in too much. Likes recreating the technology and science of the past. Thinks that mundane modern technology is actually rather interesting and complex. Likes ... More »
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