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Blots - a Gold Mine for Calligraphy Pens, Paper & Ink

Blots Iron Gall Ink

Iron Gall Ink


  • Iron-gall ink was the most important ink in Western history.
  • Leonardo da Vinci wrote his notes using iron-gall ink
  • Bach wrote his compositions with it
  • Handel's music was written with it
  • Rembrandtand Van Gogh drew with it.
  • Carbon inks were the first writing inks and are found on ancient scrolls as early as 2500 BC
  • Unlike paper, parchment was not absorbent, so carbon-based ink easily rubbed away
  • Iron-gall ink was very useful because it ate into the parchment and did not rub off documents
  • To make iron-gall ink, galls from oak trees were crushed then mixed with water and vitriol (iron sulfate). Gum arabic from acacia trees was added as the suspension agent. The result was iron-gall ink.
  • Blots Iron Gall Ink


  • In the medieval recipes there are only two methods of preparing ink; mixing gum with carbon or treating salts of iron with tannic acid
  • Iron Gall Ink was probably invented in the first centuries of our era. The earliest existing document written with iron ink is an Egyptian parchment of the seventh century. From then the use of iron inks spread to Europe
  • Iron Gall Ink is quite thin, slightly gritty but flows well and produces exquisitely fine hairlines
  • It appears grey at first but darkens to a velvety blue black on exposure to light and air
  • Blots Iron Gall Ink is carefully prepared with reference to Palatinos recipe of AD1540 and is a rare opportunity to experience this medieval ink.

    "I received the iron gall ink in the post today and I want to thank you for making such a gorgeous ink. What a delight it is to write with this ink!" Dr H K, Edinburgh

    "I am delighted, the ink is wonderful...without doubt the best copperplate ink that I have tried, and gives a delightful touch of authentic light and shade to copperplate script..please continue to produce this amazing product, I shall be ordering some more in the very near future I am sure! Thankyou ." A.S. Italy!!<
    "This is a wonderful ink! Having had problems with other brands of ink in the past, it was great to try this ink for the first time and discover that not only does it flow amazingly well, making letter formation easy and thick hairlines a thing of the past, but also that the ink itself is not at all messy. Beginners should definitely be adventurous and try this ink. They will never want to use anything else! Thanks, Blots, for bringing us this truly fantastic ink" S.St J Torquay.
    "Beautiful for copperplate. I had a bottle some years ago but it had evaporated even though sealed and I wasn't able to revive it. Used on layout paper it darkens staright away but on Daler 'Calligraphy Paper' I find that it takes an hour to show much darkening and was only really dark overnight." DA Swansea
  • Pen & Ink Wash with Iron Gall Ink :

    Pen & Ink Wash with Iron Gall Ink :


    Natasha was drawn by Malcolm Pollard with one of his own reed pens (Zenpens) using Blots Iron Gall Ink. Unfortunately Malcolm died and his beautiful, unique, reed pens are no longer being made.
    Iron Gall Ink dries to a velvety blue/black but also visible in the sketch are sepia tones which are probably a result of undissolved iron in the ink.
    Blots Iron Gall Ink is highly valued for its unique characteristics and distinctive finish in sketching and writing. The picture is constrained by the limitations of scanning and transmission.
    Blots Iron Gall Ink 30ml

    Blots Iron Gall Ink 30ml

    Price: 5.50

    Two jars Iron Gall Ink with Free Principal EF nib

    Two jars Iron Gall Ink with Free Principal EF nib

    Price: 10.50

    Blots Iron Gall Ink Pack

    Blots Iron Gall Ink Pack

    Price: 17.00