Pisolithus ink from Judi Pettite of Biohue is a lovely warm brown. Pisolithus has a host of very unflattering names. It comes from the dye mushroom, Pisolithus arhizus, or Deadman’s Foot, Dyer’s Puffball or Dead Horse Fungus. This mushroom has a distinctive odor. When used as a dyestuff it yields a reliable and rich brown shade. Found low to the ground, often in unlikely places, this batch is from Placerville, CA. Pour off needed amounts of Pisolithus ink and use as you would any water-soluble ink or watercolor. 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.
Judi started BioHue 2006. Engaged by the promise of artist colors from natural pigments, she’s been on the alchemical journey ever since. Judi forages, purchases or grows the materials for the art materials as mindfully and sustainably as possible. She makes her inks and watercolors from the fewest ingredients possible therefore allowing the beauty and personality of the source material 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 also recommend Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking by Jason Logan and Botanical Inks: Plant-to-Print Dyes, Techniques and Projects by Babs Behan