From Nearly Black to White lets do Tannin

If you want to take part in my online block of 4 workshops exploring the beautiful techniques you can achieve with tannin and iron look here

Did you know that Oak galls (or Oak apples) were used in Roman times to make black ink and that between the Middle ages and modern times coupled with Iron it was the main source of black writing ink. A tiny little hard growth on the Autumn tree is so precious and so powerful and produces the greatest tannin on Earth. A substantive dye (that means it does not need mordant to colour cloth or fibers) it reacts with iron sulfate to create shades of grey to nearly black.

I love working with Oak tannin although there are many different tannins available from Chestnut of the European forest to Myrobolan of South East Asia, depending on what part of the World you are located. I use it to create wonderful background for my eco prints. Just look at those… on linen and silk some of my local leaves eco printed using the tannin/iron relationship.

This is a traditional technique known to eco printers and we will start there, but we will go further in our four sessions, we will learn to create printed words and images and discharges using tannin and resists pastes you can use with stencils, screens and stamps. After three weeks of great creativity we will end the program by going back in time and make ancient Gall/Iron ink for your calligraphic or free hand writing.

When I work with tannin I like to forage but I also like to use a traditional product in my work and my Oak galls come from the Themazi family, since the 1950’s in Turkey, they have been producing the best Aleppo oak galls. Aleppo oak galls give the strongest tannin. If you want to see what they offer look here

My workshop will be run on zoom in the comfort of your home, it is a simple platform to use and all you need is access to a device (laptop, tablet or phone) and a good internet level. The workshops are live but they are always recorded, so if you live in a different time zone you can use the video replay to work.

Learning in a virtual workshop means you can interact and ask questions, thing you cant do when you learn from just a video. What we miss in an online workshop is a big reveal … which is why I always plan a “show and tell” session. It is when we show each other our results and answer any last minute questions.

I hope I will see you there and enjoy working “together” in my virtual creative bubble.

In the meantime dont forget to go for a walk in the woods… its a great pastime in the Autumn.


Betty x

Published by bettysbeautifullife

I am a Christie's trained artist born in France but living in Glasgow. I work with Eco Techniques like Natural dyes, Eco Printing and Indigo dyeing using recycled material. I learn, teach and share my techniques, I work with communities and travel to Asia

%d bloggers like this: