Experiments

When I work with a new plant pigment I always do lightfast tests. But I experiment with lots of things like how to separate the colors out of a rock, what colors do I get from autumn leaves versus spring, what happens if I do… you get the idea.

Bone Black Swatch from Wild Ozark Paleo Paints.

Bone Black

I made bone black, from a cow vertebra that I charred inside a small tin inside the wood stove. Previously I’d used charred wood from hickory and oak. It has been a difficult paint to re-wet and it never reached the depth of black I wanted. It was also grainier than I liked. The charred …

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A Paint-Making Experiment with Murdoch’s Mystery Rock

A thoughtful person by the last name of Murdoch, who happens also to know a bit of geology, enjoyed my display over at Kingston Square Arts, bought a print, and then came back and left me a box of rocks. And today I embarked on a paint-making experiment with one of those rocks. It is …

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Deep red leaves of the black gum at the end of summer.

Red leaves of black gum (Nyssa sylvatica)

Black gum leaves begin turning deep red near the end of summer, sometimes long before any other leaves are starting to think of autumn. This color is made from the late summer red leaves of black gum (also called black tupelo). It’s a tree native to the Ozarks and one of the few light-fast sources …

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Plant Pigments – Experimenting and Searching for Green

Generally I don’t use the plant pigments because they’re fugitive, meaning they fade over time. Sometimes they completely disappear. However, I’ve found two sources that actually intensify with exposure to light (full sunshine) and so I am experimenting with extracting the pigments from them. The Sources of my Plant Pigments Sassafras makes a nice yellow …

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