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Walnut


Janel

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Larry mentioned a walnut tree brought by the Romans, and that he had to wait for the nuts to be ready in the autumn. Natasha described to me a different method for preparing stain/dye from the walnut. I have boiled the shells and or husks after dry and the nutmeat is removed, then reducing the liquid to a very strong solution. Natasha has done it differently. Perhaps when she logs in she might describe an alternative to waiting for the end of the season to collect the nuts.

 

I wonder also if anyone has experience with nuts other than walnut, do the husks or shells produce a color different than that of black walnut? I am wondering about what range of colors might be available with different nuts.

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  • 1 month later...

When I was young, Crosse and Blackwell used to sell "Pickled Walnuts" done in vinegar. They were the entire nut - including the outer rind, shell and nutmeat. Delicious eating especially with roast beef - but they stained the hands really black if you let them. Wonder if these would be an easier way to get black walnut stain ??

 

Ralph :)

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EEuuuuww! Pickled walnuts? Were they young, soft shelled? I've never heard of such a delicacy! I suppose that the vinegar might open up the surface of that which is to be stained. Do you know if such a product still exists?

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EEuuuuww! Pickled walnuts? Were they young, soft shelled? I've never heard of such a delicacy! I suppose that the vinegar might open up the surface of that which is to be stained. Do you know if such a product still exists?

 

Hi Janel

Like Ralph, as a kid growing up in England, I recall Pickled Walnuts. Crosse and Blackwell do still exist under Nestle. I had a look on wonderful Google to see what was involved and found this receipe which answers your question ....

 

Pickled Walnuts

 

A delicious idea from the England's West Country

 

Preparation time: 11 days

 

INGREDIENTS

 

150 walnuts

8oz cooking salt

2 level teaspoons of pickling spice

2 level teaspoons of ground nutmeg

4 pints of vinegar

 

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

 

Collect the walnuts in July when they are green. Make a brine with 8oz salt to 4 pints of water. Prick each walnut individually and soak them in brine for ten days - changing the brine twice. Drain and place the walnuts on a tray for 1 day to turn black. Put the pickling spice and nutmeg into a piece of white cotton cloth, then boil with the vinegar. Pack the walnuts into warm jars and cover with strained hot vinegar.

 

:)

Mike

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Thanks Mike, that was interesting! Does eating these pickles tend to stain the teeth or mouth as well as the fingers? Are the walnuts of the regular or black walnut type? I wonder what sort of nutrition the whole seed pod offers.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello! It's time to gather walnuts for the dye! :)

There is my way, how I do the walnut ink. After gathering the

walnuts, I usually take 1 or 2 kg for year, it's more than I need. I

put all into the refrigerator, -18 C. When I need to do dye, I take

several walnuts and put them into a cup, add very hot water for a

minute or so, after this procedure they are ready for using. I take a

thing which looks like a small press and get walnut juice. The juice

is always green-grey-brow, it looks very dirty! Then I add some iron

pieces, it can be a rusty nail or some drawing-pins. For some hours

this solution becomes to change its color, from dirty to nice brown,

the color can be chocolate, if to keep rusty nail long time, about a

day, the color can be almost black. Then I add some crystals of

alum against mould, it is necessary, because the walnut ink is

covered with mould even after dying, in several days! The alum can

be bought in the stop for building materials. As a rule the alum is

added to the glue for any wall-papers and dyes against the moult.

You should know that the walnut ink cannot be washed away with

alcohol, the fresh layer can be deleted with water, the old - with

H2O2. This dye is very good for any bone, like mammoth tusk, walrus

and cachalot tooth. On the wooden surface the color of the walnut

ink is always very intensive!

On the first attached file You can see the hat, covered with walnut ink, other ornament was done with burning needle.

On the second image, there are hair and feathers on the wings, covered with walnut dye.

 

Sorry :huh: , adding the files, I mixed up their places! Now the first is hair and feathers on the wings, covered with walnut dye, carved from mammoth. The second is colored hat, carved from walrus rusk!

post-215-1152513961.jpg

post-215-1152513971.jpg

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Thank you Natasha! Your process sounds much simpler than boiling the husks and reducing the stained liquid. I did not know about the alum trick, but did know about the mold formation. In dying yarn, is not alum, among other agents, used as a mordant, to "fix" the color? May it also alter the color as well? My memories are rather old about the use of a mordant with natural dyes.

 

Do you do anything to prepare the surface of the ivory, antler or bone before applying the stain?

 

The black walnut is not revealing its nuts this year. We had a couple dozen land on the ground last year, but I see none in the tree this year. Perhaps our drought has kept them from growing. Two out of three apple trees have lost their fruit as well.

 

Edit: later in the day I looked again at the walnut tree and found that in fact there are walnuts growing! I will harvest them and try the various methods presented below. Thanks for the good information you all.

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Hi, Janel!

The walnut ink is very ancient dye! It was used some hundreds years for

writing, for drawing. This ink is very stable! Usually I draw with

a thin steel pen, it makes the ink darker!

The alum is not the only agent using for staving off the mould,

there are many new agents, but I don't know them! The alum doesn't

fix a color, I used the walnut ink without the alum, no difference!

But in a week, I found the mould! I knew about the crystals of the

alum from an old painter, who drew many drafts with walnut ink, this

simple way I knew from him and about alum too! My father was a

superintendent, many many years ago, when he did any repairing in

our flat, he always added some alum, I saw. Probably, the alum is

very antiquated mordant.

I don't specially prepare the surface for dying, after carving I

polish the surface till smooth brilliance, then I apply the stain.

I also tested tea dye, the color is like rusty, light brown. The tea

dye isn't afraid the water, very stable. I only tested, not apply!

I'll use it later.

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My books inform me the following on making "broue de noix", a natural walnut stain for wood:

Collect several green husks from fallen walnuts, letting them dry and turn black. Soak them for a few days in a large steel pot filled with water. Then simmer the mixture for several hours on the stove, adding one tablespoon of lye for every gallon of the mixture. Bottle in clear glass jars, and leave them in bright sunlight until the mixture darkens further. Strain through an old cloth and rebottle it, discarding the husks. Apparently, applied with a brush, the stain produces 'a range of rich brown tones on wood'.

 

I have never personally tried this stain but it doesn't seem very labour-intensive. Natasha's dye sounds very interesting and useful for ivory and antler, where this "broue de noix" will probably not work.

 

The only 'obstacle' seems sourcing the material. Luckily enough I just moved into a house with a walnut tree that, though dying (pun slightly intended), has a few green fruit in its branches. I will most likely not have the chance to do much with them before the squirrels get to them but would be happy to send a few husks to anyone interested in having a go.

 

cheers

-t

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  • 2 months later...

Our walnut tree has had a small number of nuts, it is a young tree. We have some young squirrels who are fun to watch as they try to hide the green with husk-on nuts here and there. The drought-dry earth is difficult for them to dig in, so the nuts protrude from the soil. One nut was jammed in between the spoke space on a hose reel, out in plain sight, but tucked securely none the less. Another squirrel was trying to scale our pine sided building, but did not find an entry place to tuck the nut into. It is a challenge for them to even get their jaws open wide enough to grasp the nut!

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  • 1 month later...
Larry mentioned a walnut tree brought by the Romans, and that he had to wait for the nuts to be ready in the autumn. Natasha described to me a different method for preparing stain/dye from the walnut. I have boiled the shells and or husks after dry and the nutmeat is removed, then reducing the liquid to a very strong solution. Natasha has done it differently. Perhaps when she logs in she might describe an alternative to waiting for the end of the season to collect the nuts.

 

I wonder also if anyone has experience with nuts other than walnut, do the husks or shells produce a color different than that of black walnut? I am wondering about what range of colors might be available with different nuts.

 

Hi Janel,

 

No-one seems to have mentioned a very well known and traditional stain sold as Van Dyck Crystals. It is actually made from walnut shells, so all the work has been done for you. I can only presume that having made the solution, it is somehow evaporated off to leave a crystaline residue. The advantage of it is that you can control the strength of the solution you require by simply adding water, and its cheap :angry: .

 

It is widely available, but personally I would go for a high quality manufacturer such as Liberon (are they in the States?). Hope this is of some use.

 

Jon

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Thanks Jon, I did not know about Van Dyck Crystals. I know about a caligraphy stain/ink called Walnut stain, but is actually made from peat, and I have some of that. It dissolves easily with water (distilled water has been suggested).

 

I just used "walnut ink" as a keyword search and the first response was for the scrapbooking crowd, who apparently use authentic walnut crystal solutions for aging/staining their projects.

 

Van Dyck Crystals came up with many possibilities for acquisition. The recommendation for dissolving the crystals is with very hot water. That tip is familiar, because I dried pecan shell stain, crumbled for storage, which was difficult to dissolve with regular temperature water.

 

Sigh, suddenly it becomes easier. I've got a bag full of the things dried in the studio, and some concentrate in the freezer. Natasha uses alum to control mold, but I have not tried it yet, though I did finally remember to purchase some. The next time I have the stain hot for use, I'll add some and give it a try. I've got a pint jar that goes in the microwave to heat up, then the wood goes into the hot solution in the jar. (the jar goes into a bowl in case of boil over or broken jar)

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