Bel Black Drawing Ink
30 ml Bramble charcoal created made with cuttings from Tipperary ditches and carbonised in the fire over Bealtaine.
Bel Black has a translucent quality that allows it couple well with other mediums or as a stand alone drawing ink. It is a grainy ink, which adds an interesting sculptural layer when it is laid down. This quality also leads it to be more suitable to brush work, rather than dip pens.
Happy to have a had a reason (lockdown) to return to the fields and hedges that i grew up in and discover that they still hold me, the result was this ink. Bealtaine marks the beginning of Summer. A long time ago here, fires were extinguished and ritually relit from the collective celebratory fire. It symbolically gave everyone a fresh start and a bit of a purification. Bel was an associated God of Fire and Sun, and this was very much his time to be encouraged back to this realm. In the Irish language, tine (tin-ah) is our word for fire, literally Bels fire.
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.