Lampblack Ink

Color: Deep Black

Lampblack Ink

Recipe by Mère SouveraineDifficulty: moderate
Prep time



What You Need

  • A taper candle and holder (use a white candle for any purpose but if you are creating the ink for a specific spell, use a corresponding color of candle)

  • Jars or bottles to store ink in

  • Metal spoon (preferably a new spoon set aside for this purpose)

  • Bowl

  • A piece of firm white card

  • Distilled or spring water

  • Gum Arabic powder

  • Cloth to cover table


  • Sterilize glass jars or bottles – wash in a dishwasher or boil in water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Cover the surface you are working on with the cloth.
  • Place the candle in the holder and light the candle; place the bowl beside it atop the cloth.
  • Hold the back of the spoon just above the flame, so it is almost touching but not quite, for 30-60 seconds. You will notice a black coating has covered the back of the spoon. This is the lampblack.
  • With the card, very carefully scrape the sooty substance off of the spoon and into the bowl. Do this slowly and deep into the bowl as it has a tendency to fly away.
  • Repeat steps 1-4 for about an hour, until you have a good amount of soot in the bowl. If the spoon begins to get too hot to handle, either take a break to let it cool or put on a glove.
  • Warm the distilled water and add drop-by-drop to the bowl of lampblack. After every 2 or 3 drops, mix the ink with a clean finger or the spoon. Stop adding water when the ink is black as obsidian. If it too watery just make some more soot and add it in.
  • Add in a small amount of gum Arabic at a time, stirring, until the mixture resembles the kind of ink you can buy in art and stationary shops.
  • Pour your Lampblack Ink into a sterilized glass jar or bottle.
  • Store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and children.

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