‘Gold and Precious Pigments’: June 2016 courses at Bloomsbury, London

Today, we are pleased to present a guest post from our favourite pigments practitioner, Anita Chowdry…

I shall be running some practical two-day courses this June on the preparation of gold and precious pigments for manuscript painting; you can find full details and links for registration on my blog page: “Gold and Precious Pigments: Two-day Courses in June 2016”.

This year’s courses at my Bloomsbury studio are rather special; on the one hand I may not have this beautiful venue for very much longer as the building has recently changed hands. On the other hand, in addition to my popular shell gold workshops, I have been able to secure the collaboration of David Margulies, an expert on the history and preparation of lapis lazuli pigment, to help me run a very special workshop on precious pigments.

workshop 1The idea of running the precious pigments workshop developed from “Exploring Ultramarine”, a workshop we ran last summer in collaboration with the Department of Care and Conservation at Bodleian Libraries, and David’s accompanying lecture presentation “Lapis Lazuli: Myth, Matter and Majesty”. We felt that as the preparation of real ultramarine from the raw mineral is so beset with mystique and complexity, it would be beneficial to offer some practical, down-to-earth knowledge and understanding of this charismatic pigment.

malachite 2At the same time, it makes sense to offer participants a comparative understanding of the basic handling of most other mineral-derived pigments. Malachite ticks all the boxes for a foolproof textbook process from rock to pigment, in addition to being a beautiful classic colour to complement fine ultramarine, so we decided to include this in the forthcoming workshop. We hope to get a dedicated group of no more than four people to enjoy two days of intensive practical research, who will go away with a raft of original research and useable samples of authentically prepared lapis lazuli and malachite pigment.

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