Conestoga Blue

Ever since I did the 100 Mile ART Project for the city of Cambridge in 2008, the studio has used indigo for its blue pigment. Finding a local blue in southern Ontario was one of the project’s biggest challenges. As with most of the work, it was the fantastic community that formed around the project

How to Plant Woad Seed

Since a few people have asked for more details about how to plant woad seed before the winter snows get too deep, my daughter and I decided to create a short video about how we do it here at the studio. Please feel free to ask for additional information in the comments section below, and

Sharing Woad Seeds

If you’re someone who follows what the Conestoga Iconographic Studio is doing, you’ll know that we really like the colours we create here in the village. And, one of our favourite local colours is the woad blue we make every year. Creating indigo blue from woad plants goes back into Neolithic history, and the colour

Woad Blue

It seems to me that all blues are the colour of the air—and this is certainly the case for woad blue. As the fall season comes to Canada, the hazy sky of summer clears and becomes a blue as deep as eternity offset by the flaming yellows and reds of the trees’ autumn leaves. It

New Colours and Stories from Cobalt

  Cobalt is an amazing town to visit for local colours! A century ago it had a floating population of 12,000 people living in it, mined almost 1,000 tons of silver in a single year (30,000,000 ounces), and even had the cheek to dub Toronto as, “the place where you catch the train to Cobalt”.

Getting Ready to Grow Woad Blue

Last weekend, with the help of the whole family, we got to work setting up for growing a new batch of woad here in Conestoga. Using old tires from the garage beside my studio, we set up fifty planters for what I hope will create an ideal place for last year’s woad seeds to grow. It

Woad Blue Harvest

The annual harvest of our woad patch is something I look forward to every year. While it seems that the weather rarely cooperates (at least it wasn’t snowing, like last year …) I find it magical every time that profoundly deep blue appears.

Woad Harvest: Indigo

Over the past week I’ve been carefully cleaning the indigo pigment I harvested from my woad plants this year. This was possible because the morning after I was so disheartened to be left only with green form I opened my vat to discover a rich blue foam has developed overnight. I still don’t know why

Woad Harvest

Over this part summer my wife and I left a couple of plots “unplanted” in our garden. Instead we shook out last years woad seeds over the earth and let the plots be. As I had hoped, the woad plants grew up among the weeds. But last night it went down to 6 °C (43

Ultramarine Blue: Purify Resin

When my children and I collected the sap from the pine trees, we also ended up with extra bits of bark, bugs and leaves.  I didn’t think that this would help in my little project, so I set about purifying the sap. The simplest way I could find to purify the sap was simply to