Making Ink and Writing with Quills

This year we are studying The American Revolution and The Revolutionary War with the kids in their history lesson. We usually look at a lot of websites, watch movies based on the time period and also read a bunch of books. This week we mostly focused on George Washington and his role in the American Revolution.

Our first step into the journey of President Washington took us to the library. We love and appreciate books in this family so much. One of the best things about the library and books in general is all the different stories and different opinions and knowledge there is out there on many subjects. And when it comes to The American Revolution and The Revolutionary War, it is no different. These 2 books are what the kids chose to start with in our “Getting To Know” part of our study. While we were looking at the books, Stoney noticed some of the writing looked different. So the interest in quill writing was sparked. Both kids wanted to give it a go and see if it was easier or harder than writing with pens, markers and pencils.

We started with making ink. We gathered berries (we used elderberries since we had some available). We boiled about 1/2 cup of berries into 2 tablespoons of vinegar. You could also use vodka or rubbing alcohol. I boiled the berried for about 30 minutes smashing and stirring the mixture every few minutes.

Next I set up a jar with some cheese cloth draped into it. (Cheese cloth is one of those kitchen supplies I use all the time. It comes in so handy for so many different projects) See the whiskers at the top of the photo? That’s Bendi, she wanted to help.

Now it is time to pour the berries and their juices into the cheese cloth and smash them and squeeze the juices out. Allow the berries to drain for a few minutes and then you can remove the cheese cloth.

And now we write. The kids used 2 different types of quills. The tradition feather quill courtesy of our chickens. Then they tried to write with store bought metal quills. The kids had some things to say about the 2 different quills. They both decided that the feather quills were easier to hold and write with. The ink stayed in them for longer, and the wrote thicker lines. Samantha liked the metal quill for doing more detailed writing or in this case, drawing.

It was a fun little project of how things were done. They enjoyed trying out the different writing tools but the kids decided they would rather their pens, pencils, and markers over a quill any day.

1 comment on “Making Ink and Writing with QuillsAdd yours →

  1. Wow! I really like this…Also, I find it amusing that we would consider this fun! People long ago probably felt this a tedious chore. But my kiddos are sure to have a blast with this! Thanks!

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