Once I figured out what Buckthorn berry bushes looked like I began to see them everywhere. Consequence? More experiments!
I visited my good friend Shana Clark in New Hampshire to raid her local Buckthorn bushes in early September. They were growing in a more open area in more sun than the ones in the first experiment. The branches were full of berries, mostly ripe and dark and with a few green. The next day I sorted them into 53g of green and 341g of ripe berries.
I had already experimented with the Iris Green paint recipe from De Arte Illuminandi with pretty results so I was excited to put the recommendations for Buckthorn to use.
|De Arte Illuminandi, pg 7|
|De Arte Illuminandi (Thompson and Hamilton 43)|
Then the recipe:
|De Arte Illuminandi (Thompson and Hamilton 7)|
Adrienne's Experiment steps:
Suit up with nitrile gloves, goggles over glasses and dust mask!
I took 100.00g of ripe buckthorn berries and crushed them with a plastic fork.
In a glazed porcelain (corningware) sauce pan I mixed 11.60g of lye (K2CO3) with about 100g distilled water. Adding 5.05g of alum (aluminum sulfate) resulted in immediate bubbling. The reactions at this point have raised the temperature a little to 80F. Warming the mixture on a simmer burner on low, I hoped to dissolve more of the alum. After about ten minutes the bubbling had mostly stopped, the temperature had risen to 120F and the solution had a pH of 6 with a milky appearance. After heating it up to encourage the alum to dissolve and losing a little in the sink when I poured it into the jar with crushed berries, the total weight of the solution had decreased to 87.07g. There was also a little residue left in the pan.
I mixed the solution into the berries with the same plastic fork I had used to crush them. The next day I found the solution bubbling out of my pint jar! I got rid of the beautifully green paper towel beneath my jar and put it in a glass bowl. As the recipe directs I "let them stand so, out of the way, for three days". After they had rested I used a clean square of linen to strain the juice into another jar.
The next week I painted it out! What a beautiful green!