Azurite at beginning and end of washing process (darker color is pure form)

Making Paints from Rocks

Today was the first day of The Alchemy of Colour class in Midhurst, England. The class was held in a large studio at the top of a tower in the only intact surviving part of a Tudor castle that burned in a fire in 1793.

We used a bronze mortar and pestle to break apart blue azurite rocks, then used a porcelain mortar and pestle to more finely grind the particles. In between the grinding stages, we washed the powder with water many times to remove impurities until the water ran clear.

I learned much about how to create art supplies from natural materials and enjoyed conversations about creativity! Tomorrow, we will grind cinnabar and work with plants.

Stages of the washing/grinding process with azurite. On right is not cleaned enough yet because the color is not uniform.
Purer azurite
Malachite before grinding
Malachite
Cowdray Castle Ruins
Chair back in Tower Room
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