Oak Gallus Apples
• 80 g
• organic material
Ancient ink was often carbon-based, but was also made with metals like copper, which, sometimes, was concocted with little or no sulfur. During the Roman Empire and towards the medieval times, we notice a move towards the famous iron gall inks which became popular and remained so until modern times. A good example for the transition can be seen in the Coptic fragments of the famous, only recently re-discovered Gospel of Judas which links the ancient world to the modern, as the scribe used iron gall ink that also included black carbon soot bound with a gum binder.
This move is interesting also from a health perspective. Although iron sulfate in larger quantities are dangerous for the human body, smaller quantities are even used as general iron supplement in humans without any reports of adverse long term health effects. The added Oak gall apples’ fluid (produced from cooking Oak gall apples for half an hour) were also a natural product. Oak gall apples grow on Oak trees, induced by wasps and their eggs.
For a long time, people have seen the beneficial benefits for women’s health and general health as well from Oak extracts. These have natural antiseptic properties that are effective in eliminating bacteria, yeast and fungal infection, the main cause of itching and unpleasant odor in the intimate area. Hence the gall apples did not only physically protect the wasp’s egg, it did so also biologically.
Production of iron Gallus ink
1. the Oak gallus apples (50 g) are boiled in 500 ml of water.
2. we produce our ferrous sulphate using old nails or screws, and a bit of acetic acid.
3. as a binder, we add our Gum Arabic (20 g), mixed it in and ready is our ink.
How to produce our ferrous sulphate?
We put a few nails or screws in a box and mix it with vinegar and let it stand. Bubbles will rise up and work on the iron, until, after 3-4 days, the bubbles will die down. We then pour the fluid through a coffee filter, and our “ferrous sulfate” is ready. It can then be mixed with our broth made from Oak gall apples, and we add the Gum Arabic.
This ink is initially rather weak in colour, but the more it dries, the more it develops its colour. Eventually it darkens and becomes almost black due to the oxidation process. Please do not use your antique ink with a pen, but solely with our goose reeds or calami.
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