Ideally, you will want to use a rusty old iron pot. The earliest recipes for oak gall ink come from Pliny the Elder, and are vague at best. Oak galls come in many sizes, shapes and colors but are all products of the oak trees' reaction to the larvae of certain wasps known as gall wasps. The colour dye in these modern iron gall formulas functions as a temporary colourant to make these inks clearly visible whilst writing. Historical inks often contained excess acid which was not consumed in the oxidation of the ferro-gallic compounds. Later, from around 3rd century CE, brown iron … A study of medieval Britain will inevitably turn up monasteries. The ink gets its name—and much of its color—from oak galls, structures that grow on oak leaves and twigs in response to attacks by wasps and other insects. , The darkening process of the ink is due to the oxidation of the iron ions from ferrous (Fe2+) to ferric (Fe3+) state by atmospheric oxygen. It will gradually darken and become unusable. Add a binding agent to your ink to keep the component parts from separating out in the solution. Smash or crush a bunch of oak galls and place them in a pot of water. U.S. government "standard ink" formula (1935), "Kinetics of accelerated degradation of historic iron gall ink-containing paper", "Newberry Library's 'Book of Magical Charms' is the 'stuff of nightmares, "Report on the different inks used in Codex Sinaiticus and assessment of their condition", LIST OF IRON-GALL-BASED FOUNTAIN PEN INKS, compiled by T. Medeiros, Platinum Classic Ink - Sepia Black Iron Gall, Henry 'Inky' Stephens – the inventor of blue-black ink (Stephens Blue-Black Registrar's Ink) at BBC Radio 4, A Guide for Authorised Persons, HM Passport Office, General Register Office, Issued: 2012, Last Updated: February 2015, Registration stock, 1.18, Page 5, Guidebook for The Clergy, HM Passport Office, General Register Office, Issued: 2011, Last Updated: February 2015, Ink, 1.9, Page 7, Dienstordnung für Notarinnen und Notare (DONot), Abschnitt Herstellung der notariellen Urkunden § 29, "IS 220 (1988): Fountain Pen Ink – Ferro-gallo Tannate (0.1 percent iron content) Third Revision", Iron Gall Ink – Traveling Scriptorium – A Teaching Kit by the Yale University Library 21 March 2013, Forty Centuries of Ink by David Carvalho (Project Gutenberg), IRON GALLATE INKS-LIQUID AND POWDER by Elmer W. Zimmerman, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE NATIONAL BUREAU OF STANDARDS RESEARCH PAPER RP807 Part of Journal of Research of the National Bureau of Standards, Volume 15, July 1935, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iron_gall_ink&oldid=973759362, Articles with German-language sources (de), Wikipedia articles needing clarification from April 2017, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Ferro-gallic deposit accumulation in the feed system can clog the small ink passages in fountain pen feeds. One thing I discovered about oak galls, aside from the way they grow on trees, is that they differ based on the region they come from. In India, the IS 220 (1988): Fountain Pen Ink – Ferro-gallo Tannate (0.1 percent iron content) Third Revision standard, which was reaffirmed in 2010, is in use. And the "gall" part refers to so-called "oak galls"—outgrowths of oak trees provoked by a certain species of wasp. Today I'll be talking about making Oak gall ink , a rich dark ink in use since medieval times. Oak galls have been used externally to blacken hair since ancient times. These round wood like marbles grow in clusters and are caused by the Oak gall wasp. In Germany the use of special blue or black urkunden- oder dokumentenechte Tinte or documentary use permanent inks is required in notariellen Urkunden (Civil law notary legal instruments).. The ink must flow easily from the pen, and may not be sticky even immediately after drying. This same astringent property is the secret of oak gall ink. but while out for a walk (playing PokemonGo!) The liquid you have prepared can be used for writing as is, but it will be very light in appearance, and possibly somewhat difficult to read. Other manufacturers offer besides blue-black other colored iron gall inks such as Gutenberg Urkundentinte G10 Schwarz (certificate ink G10 black), KWZ Iron Gall inks, Platinum Classic inks, Rohrer & Klingner "Salix" and (purplish grey) "Scabiosa" inks, and Stipula Ferrogallico inks for fountain pens.. The ink was traditionally prepared by adding some iron(II) sulfate (FeSO4) to a solution of tannic acid, but any iron ion donor can be used. Tannic acid is best known for its traditional use in transforming raw hides into leather. For that reason, the liquid ink needs to be stored in a well-stoppered bottle, and often becomes unusable after a time. Fermentation or hydrolysis of the extract releases glucose and gallic acid,[clarification needed] which yields a darker purple-black ink, due to the formation of iron gallate. Many famous and important manuscripts have been written using ferrous oak gall ink, including the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest, most complete Bible currently known to exist, thought to be written in the middle of the fourth century. I decided to baggie up what we could find so I could attempt to make some oak gall ink. Depending on the writing surface being used, iron gall ink can have unsightly "ghost writing" on the obverse face of the writing surface (most commonly parchment or paper). Oak gall ink is waterproof and grows darker with age. Because of its solubility, the ink is able to penetrate the paper surface, making it difficult to erase. Oak Gall Ink Over 30 species of parasitic Oak Gall Wasps can infect our native oak trees (both English and Sessile). Medieval monks often burned parchment to make fine ash. Traditional iron gall inks intended for dip pens are not suitable for fountain pens which operate on the principle of capillary action. The ferro-gallic compounds through a gradual oxidation process cause an observable gradual colour change to grey/black whilst these inks completely dry and makes the writing waterproof. About Oak Galls (Gall nuts) Oak galls (sometimes called oak apples or gall nuts) are small to medium-sized round hard growths that are high in tannin, and are an ancient mordant. Eight-day-old writings, after washing with water and alcohol, must remain very dark. Oak galls look like small, brown balls, similar to nuts but more spherical in appearance. Thanks to The Salters Company for access to their archive of manuscripts! Oak galls a made by wasps in acorns and are also used by some moths after the wasps are finished with them! Fermentation or hydrolysis of the extract releases glucose and gallic acid, which yields a darker purple-black ink, due to the formation of iron gallate. To make iron gall ink you need: oak galls, to provide the tannin; iron sulphate, to oxidise and darken the tannin pigment; and gum Arabic, to act as a binder to fix the pigment in solution and thicken the ink slightly. Check out our oak gall ink selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our craft supplies & tools shops. The ink that was used in medieval manuscripts was almost invariably made from oak galls. Mother Bird / December 5, 2012. To make your oak gall ink, you must first prepare and collect the natural tannic acid. In the United Kingdom the use of special blue-black archival quality Registrars' Ink containing ferro-gallic compounds is required in register offices for official documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and on clergy rolls and ships' logbooks. While the water is cooling, soak a handful of iron nails in vinegar. They added this ash to the liquid mixture to make a darker ink. Oak Knopper Gall & Iron Dark Grey Handcrafted Historical Botanical Ink for Drawing and Calligraphy. It was the standard ink formulation used in Europe for the fourteen-hundred-year period between the 5th and 19th centuries, remained in widespread use well into the 20th century, and is still sold today. From the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century, iron gall ink was the main medium used for writing in the Western world.  Thank you for selling such a great product, I will certainly buy from you again once my current supply runs out!  However, some manuscripts written with it, such as the Book of Magical Charms, have survived hundreds of years without it damaging the paper on which it was used.. Oak Galls 1 oz. The ferric ions react with the tannic acid or some derived compound (possibly gallic acid or pyrogallol) to form a polymeric organometallic compound. The "iron" part is FeSO 4, a chemical known to humankind since time immemorial. The galls usually do not harm the oak; however, the gall formation is a defensive measure by the oak tree and therefore contai… The mazi is a great company with great ethics and lovely customer service. The gallotannic acid was usually extracted from oak galls or galls of other trees, hence the name. These are produced when the oak gall wasp lays its egg on an oak tree and, instead of an acorn being formed, it forms these hard, round balls which are called oak galls. In the Middle Ages, two kinds of black ink were generally used: carbon ink (a suspension of carbon, water and gum) and iron-gall ink (obtained from oak galls).