What is walnut ink?


Walnut ink crystals are derived from walnut shells and is a very versatile, water soluble colorant. I first learned how to use walnut ink in a workshop given in Pittsburgh by Judy Melvin, and sponsored by the Pittsburgh Calligraphy Guild. Like any other paint or ink, what you can achieve is only limited by your imagination. Take a look at some Experiments with Walnut Ink for a preview of some samples.

Several online tutorials on the use of walnut ink are included on this site. In addition to thanking Judy Melvin for introducing this to me, I would also like to thank a good friend, Debbie Rusonis, for offering her kitchen as the studio and her hands as the "model" for the online demos. If you have any questions or have other cool uses for the walnut ink crystals, contact us.

Why use the crystals instead of the pre-diluted, pre-mixed ink?

The premixed ink solution tends to be very light. If you use walnut ink crystals, you can mix the solution in any range of hues from a very light "tea" style stain to a nearly ebony black. You can also use aniline dye in primary colors of red, blue and yellow with the walnut ink to tint it an infinite variety of colors and intensities. You can get more dramatic effects with a more concentrated (darker) solution of the crystals.


Basic walnut ink demo

Watercolor crayon and dry crystals demo 
(thanks to Caryn Crimmel)

Bleach demo

Use on Caba Bark paper

San Diego Fellow Calligraphers Walnut Ink Workshop (more examples!)

See Walnut Ink Crystals in our online catalogue for information on what we currently have in stock.