With the city of Cambridge being the centre of the 100 mile ART Project, it was important to me that I find some pigment within its city limits. It was suggested that I contact Dufferin Aggregates, a local quarry, and see if I could search around their operation.
In talking with Mark Graves, the pit manager, he was agreeable and invited me to visit. Reiner and Maggie were also kind enough to join me and this was especially appreciated because this location isn’t a regular stop for rock-hounders and I didn’t know what to expect. Having an expert along gave me reassurance that I wouldn’t miss an opportune rock.
After we arrived we were made to feel quite welcome. John Beard, the maintenance foreman, gave us a tour of the pit and had some helpful suggestions of where we could look. Right from the start we found a couple of nice earth-ochres, but it was Maggie who found the first sample of a bright, yellow ochre rock about the size of a thumb’s nail. Right away it was clear that this was the special colour that we would find here. So, pebble by pebble we collected a bag of this wonderful yellow ochre by wandering around the pit. We also found other ochres, ranging from this bright yellow to dark brown, and it will be exciting to see the pigment that comes from all these different rocks!