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A Vault Of Color: Protecting The World's Rarest Pigments

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A friend just shared this short video with me about the rare pigment collection at Harvard.


Perhaps you will enjoy it?


Makes me want to go on a field trip now.






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  • AD64


  • visvamitra


  • amberleadavis


  • IrishEyes



That is super cool!

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

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I watched a couple of other videos after that one that showed master pigment makers making their own pigments and oil paints. Fascinating! They did it all by hand, so I'm sure it took a good couple of weeks to get the pigments from minerals to paint. It made me appreciate what an endeavor it was to create all the wonderful colors they did, back in the days before the days of factories and machinery to do the hard work. I wonder how many pigments are still made the old fashioned way AND sold to the public? I'd love to know how much some of those handmade colors would cost compared to factory-made pigments of the same color.


Considering the hard work & rarity of some sources for pigment (cow urine from cows fed only on mango leaves?!!? I'm not even going to ask how they collected it....), I'm not surprised that so many pigments are rare!

Edited by IrishEyes

"In the end, only kindness matters."



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I wanted to make inks out of all the pigments. The vials were so mysterious and promising too. And to think that there is a job as keeper of the pigments? Who knew?

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Pigments, being particulates, require extra maintenance when they are nano-particle size. These are likely to be ground far too coarse.



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I'm with AD64 -- I would totally want that job. Of course I don't have the chemistry background (sigh).

I want to know that that arsenic-emerald one looks like, though.

Thanks for posting the link -- this was really cool.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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thank you for sharing

"When I have a little money, I buy books pens; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."

--- Erasmus --- sort of http://fpgeeks.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.png

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