Lake Pigment

Tansy Lake Pigment

Last year, I enrolled in an online ink making workshop given by Maiwa School of Textiles. It took me a while but I finally finished it this winter. Although I have been experimenting and making inks for a few years I wanted to learn more about the process of making lake pigments.

A lake pigment is a pigment made by precipitating a dye bath with an inert binder, or mordant, usually a metallic salt. Unlike many other pigments made from ground minerals, lake pigments are organic.*

The idea is to make dry or wet pigments that can then be used to make inks, watercolors, and oil paints by adding the pigment to the different mediums. I tried a few different dyes and had mixed results; the tansy and goldenrod were both successful, the hopi sunflower was not so great (not sure why but it never precipitated) and the dahlia was and still is more of a Petrie dish than a pigment.

Here are a few photos from the studio.

The lake concoction

The filtering of the liquid. After which the pigment can be used wet or left to dry and ready to be mixed with medium or stored for use later.

If you are interested in learning how to make ink. I think the workshop at the Maiwa School of Textiles with Tim Mclaughlin, is a really great place to start. Workshop

* from the Ink workshop description.

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