Monday, 18 August 2014

Turning star dust into paint

This border design (like most of my work this year) was painted using hand made paint with both natural and synthetic pigmnts.  Some semi precious stones were used including Lapis Lazuli, Malachite and Cinnibar.  I have also used the synthetic colours Chrome Yellow, and French Ultramarine.
I learnt how to make paints using natural pigments both from my Tutor Ajay Sharma in Jaipur and also from David Cranswick who is a visiting tutor at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts, he also runs amazing workshops as part of  the open programme course at the school.  

Here are some photos of the paint making process using Azurite:

 I have also used a combination of gold gilding ( on the large sections of gold)  and Shell gold for the smaller areas of gold.  Shell gold is made by grinding gold leaf with gum arabic to form a paint.  It is called shell gold because it is traditionally stored in shells.
Gold and all elements heavier than iron are formed during the end of a star's life in super nova stella explosions.  Explosions that temporarily give off more light than entire galaxies.

I love the idea of releasing a colour in the form of a  rock that has been underground for billions of years.  The universe has already mixed a perfect colour, no further mixing is required to make it more beautiful.  Through the slow process of making paint one becomes more conscious of the colours celestial origins.

Pigments from Desmond Lazaro

work in progress, Silver paint on indigo paper


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