Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Marbling with "dirt" i.e. naturally ocurring pigment identification

Expand Messages
  • Jake Benson
    Please allow me to introduce myself to all the listmembers. My name is Jake Benson, and I have been marbling for nearly 10 years. My passion is studying the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 22, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      Please allow me to introduce myself to all the listmembers. My name is Jake
      Benson, and I have been marbling for nearly 10 years. My passion is studying
      the early development and use of marbled papers in the Islamic world. This
      has lead me to experiment with traditional marbling methods and color
      preparation. Currently I make all of my paint from pigment and gum arabic
      solution, which I then mull on a slab of lithograhpic stone with a glass
      muller.

      > Yehuda Miklaf asked:

      > I would like to grind some local dirt (the magic of Jerusalem earth?!)
      > and marble with it, but how can I tell in advance if it's going to work,
      > and if it's colorfast.

      I have actually experiemented with "found pigment". One time I used a number
      of samples, including a particularly beautiful deep red lump of iron oxide,
      gathered by a friend of mine while working as an epigrapher during an
      excavation of a temple in Dakhla Oasis in Egypt. She theorized the ancients
      may well have been used some of this type of local pigment to decorate the
      temple. The Western Desert in Egypt is filled with iron oxide color, the
      result of prehistoric volcanic eruptions, and there is a large modern mine
      nearby the site, the source of much of Egypt's ochre, red, and brown paint
      used today.

      Many of the samples were too hard to hand grind. If a color is to be used, it
      has to be ground very finely, then water is added, the solution is stirred
      well so that there are no lumps, and the is saturated with color, then it is
      allowed to settle briefly to allow the harder heaveier solids to settle, then
      poured of into another container. The water is evaporated (or nearly so),
      then the pigment is ground again in gum arabic solution using a muller on a
      slab. The one beautiful lump of red I had instantly crumbled into nearly pure
      iron oxide powder. It was no trouble grinding, with very minor "scratching",
      yielding some of the best color I have ever prepared. When my friend goes
      back to work there again, she try and find a little more.

      Iron oxide colors were traditionally known as "Earth" colors, and they are
      very lightfast. Historical colors that were so fugitive were known as "lake"
      colors, and were made using a vegetable dye precipitated onto a mineral base
      such as chalk or alum.

      So, in short, Instead of chiseling something off the temple mount or the wall,
      it would be better to look for an iron oxide mine near Jerusalem. I'm sure
      you'll turn something up considering the whole region had plently of
      prehistoric and biblical volcanic activity. Maybe if you bury it in Jerusalem
      and dig it up it could be considered properly "consecrated"???

      Have fun grinding!

      Jake
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.