The journal entry for my latest pigment "Pottery Shard".

Pottery Shard

A few weeks ago during my morning walk, I found an old pottery shard. So I put it in my pocket and finished my walk. It looked like it might make a nice paint, but I debated over whether or not to crush it. The shard, or sherd, as the term is known in archaeological circles, could be an artifact.

An old pottery shard I found in the driveway.
An old pottery shard I found in the driveway.

The land occupied now by Wild Ozark was first settled in the early 1900’s. Before that, Native Americans from the plains used the Ozarks to shelter during winter, along with the buffalo. And before that, Bluff Dwellers lived in the area. I don’t think this shard is that old. But even if it were, it wouldn’t do anything for me sitting on a shelf gathering dust. So I recycled it.

Making Pottery Shard, the color

The pottery shard in process.
Broken and ground, with a sample of it rubbed. Looks like it’ll make a good color!
The pigment on the mulling board with gum Arabic solution.
The pigment on the mulling board with gum Arabic solution.
Paint in the making, on the mulling board.
Paint in the making, on the mulling board.

The color story

So once I made the paint, it was time to try it out. I always make a little swatch of new colors, to see how they look. This time, I decided to use the 12 x 16 watercolor paper I don’t like using for paintings. And then I put it in my giant journal.

What better subject for a test painting with Pottery Shard, than a pottery pot? I'm loving the giant Book of Colors (as opposed to a 'Book of Shadows', which is what the journals are marketed for).
What better subject for a test painting with Pottery Shard, than a pottery pot? I’m loving the giant Book of Colors (as opposed to a ‘Book of Shadows’, which is what the journals are marketed for).

Pottery Shard was the first entry in my new journal. I’ll bring it with me on Sundays when I work at Kingston Square Arts, and I’ll probably bring it along at any events I show in. It’s going to be pretty cool as I add more color stories to it. Come out for a ride to Kingston, Arkansas on Sundays and take a look at it one day. I’d love to meet you and talk earth pigments and paints.

2 thoughts on “Pottery Shard”

  1. I love that you’re corresponding with the rest of us about your paint/pigment journey. I live in the high desert of Oregon and we, too have such a vast assortment of colors. Maybe your enthusiasm will rub off on me? Thank you for sharing your how-to’s on paint making. I really appreciate it!
    Sincerely,
    Cheryl Mills

    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you so much for leaving a comment. Sometimes I wonder if anyone sees any of this at all, or if maybe it’s just not as interesting as I think it is! LOL. Just try crushing up something colorful, then rub some of that powder on a scrap of paper. If seeing the color on the paper ought to really fire you up. If it doesn’t, then maybe the whole paint-making part of it just isn’t your thing. But if it is, you’ll find an obsession that’ll keep you motivated for the rest of your life. Good luck and let me know how your path goes!

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