Sunday, October 19, 2014
On the left is a view looking down on the valley and at the mountain range in the distance. On the right is the pinnacle as seen from below. The foreground, which I did not draw, was a grassy high meadow and relatively flat. The elevation was a little above 6000 feet, a 400 ft climb from the parking lot.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I can't begin to tell it all here, so go to Cornell University's tannin page . Here you'll find more than you ever wanted to know about tannins, and you'll have a new appreciation for how much smarter nature is than we are.
Monday, October 13, 2014
]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]] (Jesse's comment) I use a plastic coffee filter that is flat on the bottom. I bought mine in the grocery store. You can see it in drawing 3335. If you can't find this kind of filter, you could also strain the ink through two layers of old pantyhose stretched over the mouth of a jar.
I also researched tannin. As I suspected, tannin in plants functions as a protection from predators as well as an aid to decomposition (without which a seed could not get out of the protective hull and have a chance of sprouting). I've made oak gall ink with galls gathered from gall oak trees in parts of Italy and southern France. The tannin in the galls must protect the wasp eggs within the gall and then help the gall decompose so the little insects can escape. Tannin is acidic; hence the bitter taste if you accidentally get a piece of walnut shell in your mouth.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
You might recognize these drawings from a few weeks ago-- water pickeral seed pods from Beaver Lake swampy place. I redrew them today in preparation for a trip to the copy center tomorrow where I will enlarge them slightly for use in a woodcut I'm working on. I expect the real pods have by now disintegrated and sunk to the bottom of the marsh where they'll hunker down in the ooze for the winter.
On the right side of the page is a piece of staghorn sumac with a slightly magnified seed. Nit a very exciting post, I know, but tomorrow I'll document ink making and post a recipe!