Creating natural inks and watercolor paints

A girl working with natural inks.

Using mortars and pestles, we ground up rocks, lapis lazuli gemstones, shell, charcoal and other hard natural elements to create natural inks and watercolour paints. We used palette knives to mix these ground up pigments with a natural binder used during Renaissance times– made from egg whites, honey, gum arabic, and clove oil. After we left our earth-toned paints were left to dry out in the sun, we used them to paint our Haudenosaunee pots later in the week.  We also used liquid inks, made from an assortment of berries, beets, coffee, charcoal, flowers and tumeric, and these were used to paint on fabrics.  

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