Saturday, 29 September 2012

Secret Ink Recipes and Pebbles



In the 16th century trade formulas, “secrets”, were passed under oath of secrecy from master to apprentice and included a variety of recipes from how to make barber’s soap, tinted paper, transparent glaze and hair oil to mustard, aphrodisiacs, and plague amulets. Ink recipes also abounded and though they varied the basic ingredients were more or less the same: iron galls, rain water, vitriol and Arabic gum.

This new range of pebble paperweights on Inklinks draws inspiration from these secret ink recipes. The recipes come from the Dutch Book of Secrets translated into English in 1596. I have typewritten them on tissue paper which was then applied on the pebble so that script, ink and paper merge with the surface of the stone. The paper follows the curves and ribs of the stone and it is reworked with Montblanc Mystery Ink.

Take a quart of strong wine, put it into a new pot, and set it on a soft fire till it be hote but let it not seeth, then put into it foure ounces of gauls, two ounces and a half of gum Arabike and two ounces of victriall, and beaten into small powder, and sifted through a siue, stirre it with a wooden sticke, and it will be good inke.
A Booke of Secrets: Shewing diuers waies to make and prepare all sorts of Inke, and Colours…necessarie to be knowne of all Scriueners, Painters, and others that delight in such Arts, 1596.

“Inks” comes from Stephens’ Inks iconic script. It has been reworked with ink and pencil. Henry Stephens invented the blue-black “writing fluid” in the 19th century and Stephens’ Ink became an English household name and was eventually adopted for official use until the mid-century.


A great gift for writers and inkthusiasts.


Current location: Inklinks

Find it at Inklinks

More ink recipes and pebbles see Ink Recipes from the Renaissance. Now on pebbles.

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