Pomegranate ink is a modification of the so-called iron gall ink. This is a document-proof ink that was very common until the middle of the 20th century – and is still used today. The first gall ink recipes existed in ancient times. To make it yourself you need oak galls- small knobs that are created by gall wasps, when they for example prick the underside of an oak leaf. The brewed oak galls together with iron vitriol and a little gum arabic make the finished ink. When you write or paint with it, it looks rather pale at first. But oxidation kicks in soon – that means if it is exposed to air it turns black in a few seconds. Oak galls can be hard to find. But there is an alternative: just use pomegranate peels for a similar ink. Her is how it’s done:
The ink baseThe recipe is super simple. Get a pomegranate and do the following:
- Peel the pomegranate
- Eat the delicious pomegranate seeds 🙂
- Cut the peel into small pieces and boil it in a saucepan with approx. 400ml water.
- Let it simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
- Then strain and dispose of the peels.
- Catch the liquid and pour it back into the saucepan.
- Let it simmer until it has reduced by about half again.
- Let it cool down and put it in a clean jar. You can keep this base for your ink tightly closed in the refrigerator for a while.
Recipe for iron vitriol
- Put some rusty iron nails or some other rusty iron in a jar, then pour vinegar essence over it until it’s covered.
- Then wait a few days until the iron parts have turned black.
- Strain the resulting liquid and pour it into a separate screw-top jar.