Pigment Web Site

For all the pigments we discussed in the Alchemy of Pigment workshop, I found a wonderful web site that has all the colors from minim to lapis lazuli to Egyptian blue to orpiment.

Egyptian blue pigment from Natural Pigment website. Egyptian Blue is a copper calcium silicate that was the first synthetic pigment and the most extensively used from the early dynasties in Egypt until the end of the Roman period in Europe.

Next is orpiment pigment powder from Natural Pigments .Orpiment is yellow arsenic sulfide, a rare mineral usually described as a lemon or canary yellow or sometimes as a golden or brownish yellow. Our orpiment is an intensely bright pigment of crystalline particles from Kyrgyzstan.

Warm cinnabar pigment from Natural Pigments
prepared from ore deposits near Nikitovka in the Doneckaia region of Ukraine. It exhibits a beautiful masstone color of strong red with a tendency toward reddish orange.

Minium pigment fr…

Back in the USA, May 31

Got home an hour ago - the quickest pass through Passport Control - new system in place at kiosks to do some of the work ahead of time before the re-entry stamp is entered by an actual person. Since I had only hand luggage of overhead bag on wheels (with my Egyptian/Greek goddess/kore inside) and my Celtic boar in the backpack I didn't have to wait for  luggage. Customs was a breeze. On the Heathrow side at London my  backpack was chosen for extra checking because of my little bronze boar but not my case with the big heavy bronze Egyptian priestess. I guess the x-ray image of the boar was unidentifiable to the TSA people.Maybe they suspected it to be some kind of brass knuckles or weapon of some other sort.

I drove home from the airport because my sister Liz was a  little traumatized with heavy traffic. It wasn't bad really and we were on the road just a little after 6 pm. The biggest plus was the traveling light to speed up the cumbersome process of getting one's  bag fro…

Tuesday, May 30

I woke up at 6 am and immediately went back to sleep and then at 9:20 am decided to get up. I heard Tara moving about, she did some of my laundry. And I will be leaving a couple of tunics behind that I am extremely tired of.  We went to the Waitrose supermarket after having a breakfast coffee to pick up some things since A) it is fun to go to foreign grocery stores and B) Tara doesn't keep a lot of food around. or at least breakfast type food. We bought sourdough bread, I picked up a softer cheese. BTW I absolutely love the Welsh cheese Caerphilly. Greek yogurt, blueberries that are the size of my thumbnail, Yorkshire tea made for hard water that I'm taking home and museli that I've grown to love eating in the mornings here.

We ran into Wendy (Tara's mother in law) when we got home as she lives two houses down from Tara and she was able to have a quick cup of coffee. She is on her way tomorrow to the south of Spain. I took the time to take some photos of her place. She…

Monday May 29

Finally in London (actually just outside London, called Bedford). I spent the day traveling from 11 am to nearly 7 pm after train changing, a bus, then more trains, the tube, then train again. It is great to see Tara. Her little house is wonderful. She has done such a great job with it and has plans for lots of other projects like the kitchen, extension, front yard which will be made into more parking . . .

In terms of my sculpture, now that I've shown them to Tara and Wendy, the Celtic boar is the most satisfying. He's real, he's active as if he is sniffing for truffles with his twisted snout to one side.

See what I mean? This is the bronze boar before getting all the ceramic off it and before being buffed with some beeswax. I liked its natural color and didn't want it patinated green. It will happen naturally over the years but will be a slow process. My boar is stockier with bigger ridges on his back. This image shows his support under his tail which we removed so t…

Sunday Day 2 bronze casting

I knew what my Celtic boar looked like because the bronze was poured yesterday - all it needed with a little clean up after I used a hacksaw to remove the cup and bronze channels from the base. My boar, I think, looks a lot like the photograph of the actual Celtic boar. Well, maybe the ridges on its back are a little larger and it is in a kind of mid twist posture. I like its snout - very pig like but longer, sawed off the extension on its tail that was put there to stabilize it. It doesn’t have a curled pig tail but something more like a very small beaver tail. It’s legs are sturdy and it has a rectangular base. Decided to keep it the blackish bronze color and just rubbed it with a little beeswax.

Before this, we went through the procedure of melting a couple of bronze ingots in the furnace in readiness for the pour. I had done a pour yesterday so didn’t feel compelled to do it again. Besides, Kate needed the chance to pour and so did Quentin. Kate’s kneeling mother goddess based on t…

Saturday Day 1 Bronze Casting

Day 1 of my two day bronze casting workshop with Mark. Mark is a sculptor and taught at Cardiff College but now works outside the academic environment teaching small (four or less) intensive workshops on bronze casting. He currently lives in Wales on a property that he has fitted out to fulfill his needs for personal sculpting and for the workshops which  are run on a demand basis through Craft Courses UK. I found the workshop under the Art listings. While bronze casting is certainly  not a craft (it’s one of the fine arts) but still, it gives Mark the opportunity to teach on a more intimate and meaningful level.  Caroline and Mark were very accommodating with my request to fit this workshop in my three week visit to the UK so that I would have enough time in between my 5 day Alchemy of Pigments and Sacred Geometry course and theirs since Wales is some distance from East Sussex.

I decided to make a Celtic boar for my first solid bronze "test" sculpture

Sculpture is one my favo…

Friday and worn out in a good way

I broke my official walking record for the year - 7 miles - whoo hooo - 10 floors (another record) and 16,754 steps. Had to ask how to run the shower - they are all different. I'm at the Glanrynys Farm which has their own website. Caroline, the sculptor's wife, picked me up at the train station and brought me to the farm - it would have been a long taxi ride - well, about 8 or 9 miles.

What I saw on my 5 mile circular walk from Glanrynus Fferm, past the art studio, past the White Hart pub, beyond the Prince of Wales pub and the Abadam Arms pub.

I passed a cow who licked my hand then all of the other cows who had been lying down, started getting up one by one and sniffing my hand.

Next  were the sheep and lambs; I also saw horses but they were camera shy. There is a dog at the farm, like a sheepdog. I met a tiger striped cat who followed me in the house but since I didn't know if it was allowed in the house, I had it leave.

Eluned and Mark raise dairy cattle and since it …