|Sap Green Buckthorn clothlets 2016|
Adrienne's Experiment steps:
Suit up with nitrile gloves, goggles over glasses and mask!
We're dealing with some toxic chemicals here, please don't breathe in lye or alum.
This year I am still following the instructions from De Arte Illuminandi like 2015 but with the correct lye and alum. I found out that the instruction that says 'rock alum' means potash alum, also called potassium alum with the chemical formula KAl3(SO4)2(OH)6.
Taking all of the ripe berries I picked in Saco, Maine on 9/7/16, 150g of dark buckthorn berries, I poured them from my refrigerated baggie (37°F) into a large sterilized glass ball jar then crushed them with gloved hands. In the future I may use a smaller container like 2015 or crush them separately first because a quart jar and 150g of berries was obnoxious. C'est la vie!
Added 17.4g K2CO3 to 153g distilled water to a corning ware pot that acts as my 'glazed porringer', I noticed the water turn slightly milky and then back to clear. I put it on the simmer burner and mixed until reagents were dissolved and liquid was back to clear again.
While measuring the rock alum I noticed that it smells acidic, kind of vinegary. When I add my carefully measured 7.60g of potassium aluminum sulfate to the potassium carbonate and distilled water mixture there was gentle but immediate bubbling reaction of the acid and base. I continued to heat the mixture to make sure it was all dissolved. At 128°F I was confident it had all dissolved so I poured it over my crushed berries in the ball jar and stir to mix with a chop stick. The liquid looked dark green or brownish.
|Crushed ripe buckthorn berries with lye and alum. Note the clam shell I used to measure the alum, because, why not, and green rinse water from the pot.|
I then allowed the jar and it's contents to sit, undisturbed in my laundry room, for three days.
On the third day, I poured the contents of the jar through new cheese cloth, funneling the liquid into a new, sterilized ball jar. I forgot to measure the weight of the new jar. After manually picking up the berries and squeezing the juice into the new jar, it's a beautiful dark green liquid and yielded about seven ounces.
Using my previously prepared scoured and twice dipped potassium alum 1:15 clothlets, I dipped each clothlet into the green liquid, squeezed out the excess and let it dry, on a piece of parchment paper on top of my cleaned washing machine with a fan to circulate air past them.
Now I have beautiful sap green clothlets from buckthorn!