Oak gall ink: Maura Brennan | Heritage in Schools

Oak gall ink:
Maura Brennan

Early manuscripts such as the Book of Kells were created using Oak Gall Ink. In this tutorial we learn how Oak Gall Ink is made. Oak Gall wasps lay their eggs in Oak tree, The Oak tree responds by forming a gall around the larvae. The Oak galls are full of tannins and it is the tannins that are the essential ingredient to making Oak Gall Ink. We also share a simplified recipe which can be made from household vinegar. We also share ideas to make other plant based inks such as turmeric , elderberries and blackberries.

Suited to children from 2nd to 6th classes.

Materials: Vinegar, a Jar, Oak galls, plant materials to experiment with such as blackberries, elderberries, etc; paper, paintbrush/feather/ stick for mark making.

Maura Brennan is a member of the Heritage in Schools panel of Specialists.