This artist makes his own ink from nature

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Jason Logan is a professional urban ink forager and maker.

Prior to starting his own business, Logan was living in New York City and working as an illustrator. One day he went into a local art supply store where he discovered a bottle of walnut ink.

After doing some research, Logan tried to make the ink for himself and sent the product to artists he admired.

Now, the Toronto-based artist has opened up a store called the Toronto Ink Company, where he gathers items such as acorns, bark, leaves and flowers to create natural ink.

“I immediately went out into the streets and parks,” he said. “I started acclimatizing my eyes to this seemingly grey environment and there’s all this stuff that we can make in Canada.”

Logan says finding specific items to make ink comes with practice.

“It is also just using your eyes and just kind of noting things that are around like these beautiful little rosehips (which) make it kind of delicate pink ink,” he said. “It is trial and error, like we never know for sure whether something’s going to make ink or not.”

After grinding up the items using a mortar and pestle, he boils them and combines other products, such as vinegar and baking soda, to bring out the natural colour.

Recently, Logan has been featured on “The Colour of Ink,” a documentary on the history of ink making, which will premiere at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on March 23 in Toronto and be shown across Canada as a part of the national theatrical tour.

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