The gall of it all

“This ink ate holes straight through two pen nibs, one in 14 days and one in 10 days…”

Ken Crooker, Blogger

A gall is an abnormal growth or extrusion on a plant, or very rarely on an animal. Plant galls are usually formed by an insect microhabitat. Many galls, particularly those found on oaks, are rich in tannic acids. They have been used in the production of permanent dyes since antiquity. The combination with ferrous salts is one of the earliest pen inks. the so called iron gall inks. These are still produced commercially in very small volumes. Such inks are highly corrosive, which is a threat to historic document conservationists and pen collectors. The potential for these almost mythical inks to destroy modern fountain pen nibs is legendary in the pen community. The resemblance of human biliary tract calculi to oak galls, lead them to become known as gallstones. The gallbladder is weirdly named for a pathological process occurring within it. As readers will know, I like to combine my interests and hobbies. Sadly, you can not make ink out of gallstones. #penkiller #letsmakelemomade

3 thoughts on “The gall of it all

  1. This is fantastic!!


  2. Do you know if any of the Noodler’s inks use gall?


    1. Some are permanent but not iron gall

      Liked by 1 person

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