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Autumn Ink Making with Natural Dyes

October 15 @ 9:00 am - October 16 @ 5:00 pm


Autumn Ink Making with Natural Dyes

Berkley Heath

Saturday, October 15th- Sunday, October 16th

9:00am – 5:00pm

Workshop Overview

In this workshop, students will take the weekend to wander through the fall landscape, exploring the seasonal natural ink palette that surrounds us. We’ll take time to observe subtle patterns in nature as we forage for color, seeing through the lens of the naturalist ink maker. Traditional ink making plant materials, such as buckthorn berries and oak galls, ground our color palette with durable bold tones, while pokeweed and wild grape lend an ephemeral splash of brilliance. Beyond specific ink recipes, students will gain an understanding of the general process for making natural dye-based inks. We will explore tannins in particular, a family of plant chemicals responsible for many long-lasting dyes and inks, including the classic indelible dark writing ink. Students will have a chance to experiment with the colors we create, using various papers, writing utensils, and modifiers. Everyone will bring home a set of inks!

Skills + Techniques

Students will learn:

  • A general process for how to make and use any natural dye-based ink
  • Learn specific recipes for making traditional inks
  • Identify plant materials for ink making
  • Identify tannin sources in the landscape
  • Use binders to affect the nature of the ink
  • Best practices for storage of natural inks
  • Best practices for kitchen ink-making
  • Develop an understanding of ink modifiers and how to use them to
    achieve various effects
  • Make hardwood ash lye
  • Make a reed dip pen from foraged materials


Berkley Heath

Tools + Materials

Students should bring:

  • A notebook
  • pens/pencils

Material Fee:

  • $15.00 paid at time of workshop


  • Please read our COVID-19 Policy prior to registering
  • We are honoring each instructor’s specific COVID-19 safety requests. For this workshop, your instructor reserves the right to require additional safety requirements depending on the state of the pandemic at the time of the workshop

Housing + Meals

Housing and meals will be available on-site in 2022. We will let all registered students know when housing registration is open. Spots will be first-come, first serve. The option to choose meals will be open to all students. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause

$300.00 / per student

This Class


7097 Sanborn Road
Loudon, New Hampshire 03307

Call Us

(603) 435-7314


October 15 @ 9:00 am
October 16 @ 5:00 pm
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Sanborn Mills Farm
7097 Sanborn Road
Loudon, NH 03307 United States
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