Cochineal contains an intensely strong pigment. Cochineal ink is also very strong and purple-red. Biohue handcrafts this ink in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. Use with dip pens and works best on paper. Its intended use is as a drawing medium or to combine with gum arabic to create your own watercolors.
This ink is made from Dactylopius coccus, the cochineal insect. Therefore, it is not vegan or vegetarian.
Judi Pettite started Biohue in 2006 after falling in love with colors she was getting from plants. Since that time, she has foraged, purchased or grown the materials for her art as mindfully as possible. She makes her inks and watercolors intentionally from the fewest ingredients possible. This minimalist approach also allows the personality of the plant to come through. She also teaches workshops about ink-making.
Judi says: “I love foraging and cultivating for my natural inks and paints. If you’re looking to expand your palette, extracts may be the answer. I’ve developed a new line of inks in partnership with Botanical Colors and their extracts. The colors are lush and saturating. I keep the hues as true and clean as possible—so never any synthetic preservatives. I only use thyme or clove oil. Inks are water-based and made in small batches with care in Northern California.”
So expand your natural ink adventures! We recommend Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking by Jason Logan. We also recommend Botanical Inks: Plant-to-Print Dyes, Techniques and Projects by Babs Behan.