Making Ink at Albany Bulb 2020

Jason Logan, author of Make Ink, talking about ink as one of the oldest forms of communication.

On a beautiful March day in early 2020, author and inkmaker, Jason Logan led a foraging and inkmaking workshop at the Albany Bulb. A quiet, slightly hidden urban wild space just north of Berkeley, the bulb is landfill from various highway and construction projects, including the remains of the Cypress Freeway. The place is at once remote and urban, with hidden sculptures, graffiti, and wildflowers. We had an incredible afternoon. Very thankful to have shared this day before the Bay Area halted with shelter in place.

Susan Moffett and Jason Logan talking about the Albany Bulb.

Foraging for materials on the shore.

Exploring the bulb and finding hidden labyrinths.

So much urban wild and natural beauty.

Sculptures of found objects at Albany Bulb.

Seeing what the group has foraged after an hour.

Gathering and making ink.

Bottles of handcrafted ink.

Sunset at Albany Bulb. Perfect end to the day.

Ink drawing made of brick and tannins.

Into the Ochre

Friday, Nov 15, 2019. 

Went for a run/hike in the Oakland hills today - exploring some new trails and old ochre paths. It’s amazing how quickly one can slip out of the bustle of Oakland and disappear into the woods. Less than five minutes from the highway, I was scrambling up a narrow trail through a densely wooded canyon with a cascading stream. 

This is the canyon where I took an ochre foraging workshop with Heidi Gustafson almost a year ago-setting me off on a journey to find and create local color from natural or found elements. The canyon was a source of ochre for the Ohlone people and later was a quarry. The water in the stream used to run orange, tinged with iron and ochre, until it was capped and filtered several years ago. I’m still amazed that one can pick up pieces of ochre off the ground. What looks like a dull, dark stone is composed of rich yellow, orange, red pigment. The practice of slowing down and looking deeply at the world around is mesmerizing. 

Using Format