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Ink Making: From Walnuts and Pomegranates

Please join us for a workshop inspired by the natural dyes of the Black Tent nomadic peoples in east Asia. In this workshop we will make walnut and pomegranate inks for traditional letter writing. Pomegranate yields a light yellow, almost clear, ink that quickly oxidizes to a light brown. Walnut yields a dark, brown-black ink. Participants will learn about natural dyes and will participate in the ink making process. Each participant will take home both walnut and pomegranate inks, as well as a quill pen to use at home.

Instructor Deb Schaffer is an artist, farmer and teacher, and was drawn to a textile exhibit of "Black Tent" tribal weavings by the Baluch and Aimaq peoples (and related tribes) of Central Asia. It was at that textile exhibit that she was introduced to the natural dyes used in textiles in Asia. This spurred her interest and she began experimenting with materials from the exhibit, and has been making her own inks ever since. As the creator of an annual valentine (circulation approx. 150 annually), she is interested in making homemade inks, with love for the letter writing tradition.

No experience necessary, all materials provided. Please bring an apron, or wear your least fancy clothing--making ink is a hands-on experience, and there is a slight chance of staining.

This workshop is offered by the Living Arts School, a folk school in Boulder County. For participants ages 14 and older, minimum of 4 participants, maximum of 10. Pre-registration required.

Cost: $35

Please register by visiting:

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  • Anna

    I hope you can offer it again??? thank you and happy holidays to you too.

    1 · December 10, 2013

    • Elizabeth

      We'd love to offer this workshop again...stay tuned!

      December 15, 2013

  • Anna

    Sorry, I would love love love to do this, but this time of the year is tough. And i thought I could squeeze this in, but i guess not.

    December 9, 2013

    • Elizabeth

      Anna, I completely understand. Maybe next time! Happy holidays to you.

      1 · December 10, 2013

  • Elizabeth

    Just a reminder to save your spot in this workshop by registering here: We are hoping to get a final count on participants by Friday, Dec 13th if possible, for planning purposes. Thank you! We look forward to welcoming you to this fun workshop.

    December 4, 2013

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