Activist Black Pigment Set
30ml Willow charcoal made from willows (Salix) that live happily on the verges of a coastal marsh in West Cork. Carbonised in the winter solstice fire pit.
Activist has been ground and filtered repeatedly to bring it to a very fine powder. With a smaller ratio of gum binder, this black ink is ideal to use with a dip pen. Used with a brush in several layers, it gives the appearance of a shellac finish. It is a lush, velvety pleasure, making the end result well worth the work which went into creating it.
Due to postage restrictions,Activist is offered overseas in the form of charcoal, gum arabic and one organic clove. Bottle is also included in the set, along with a list of instructions to guide you in the transformation from dry mixture to ink.
Activist springs from my time spent engaged in environmental activism in the Southern forests of Tasmania. Willow on that side of the world is an introduced invasive species and is categorised as a weed, which I guess is how the logging contractors felt about us mob too! We finally succeeded in getting World Heritage status for The Weld Valley, a beautiful Gondwana relic temperate rain forest I had the privilege of living in and fighting for for three years.
But that was all 10 years ago, and so these willows have been harvested from the saltings where I now live…in a house!
They were carbonised on winter solstice 2019 in a fire pit lit to send its fiery roots in solidarity with all creatures being affected and frightened at that time in Tasmania and the Australian mainland, as fierce and devastating fires raged there.
Winter solstice is also our longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. Long long ago we considered it the time of death and rebirth of the Sun or a sun-hero. So, it is not too hard to imagine how important the fires and feasting was at this point in the natural cycle.
This ink is available while this batch lasts, and will be back again next year. The lightfastness is good, but I say this having only the elusive Irish sun to expose it to. Using a good anti-UV fixative is the surest way of preserving any of these natural inks once they are laid down on paper.
All packaging (including bottle label) is home compostable and/or recyclable.
The harvesting and crafting of all of these inks has been conducted in a sustainable and considered fashion. No animal products are used. All insects are thoroughly dislodged. Foraging in done adhering to the foragers rule of third, all growing is chemical free and with a light hand.
I use either clove buds or clove drops to preserve the inks, please keep out of reach of humans and pets. If moulding should occur, just scoop it off the top and continue. The ink is still usable.