Paint Pots Pilgrimage

I’ve wanted to visit the Kootenay Paint Pots since I first read about them a decade ago—and last week I did! Since a conference at the Banff Art Centre was bringing me to Alberta, I took the opportunity to cross into Kootenay National Park and visit the Paint Pots on three different occasions. Arriving in Calgary early in the

Madoc: Eldorado Gold

In life, it seems to me that there are two kinds of people: Those who eat their favourite bits of supper first, and those who save best for last.  I guess I belong to the latter group, because I’ve been really enjoying the anticipation of harvesting the yellow ochre pigment that Reiner and I collected

Ink making

Now that the fall weather is here in force, the horse chestnut tree behind our house is loosing its leaves and its nuts.  I’ve used the hulls for the nuts before to make ink (something that Fr. Nathanael showed me many years ago).  So today the kids and I gathered up what we could and

ConestogA Pigments

Winter seems to be coming quickly this year, and while it was cold this morning (11 °C / 52 °F) the week’s forecast called for even colder weather as the week progresses, so I decided to collected pigment from the Conestoga River today.  Because of the rain we’ve had, the river is pretty muddy, but

ConestogA Sienna

Over the last few years I’ve collected a nice pile of rocks from the Conestoga River that have a wonderful sienna colour to them. That said, it seems like the rocks have absorbed the colour from something outside themselves (oftentimes the centre is still colourless). Today I took two of my children for a walk

Cambridge: Dufferin Aggregates

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

Arkona: Hungry Hollow

  Before we headed back after visiting Kettle Point, Reiner suggested that we stop by the Hungry Hollow in Arkona.  This is a famous location for collecting fossils that is made up of the same geological formation as Kettle Point but at a lower level geologically.  Besides, it sounded like fun, so we headed over. After parking

Conestoga: River Rocks

As the water has continued to recede from the Conestoga River I have continued to explore the different strata that become exposed.  Since these layers are best visible from the river, this weekend I ventured to climb into the river itself and get the best vantage I possible could for collecting my rocks.  The spring-time water is

Don Valley: Cleaning Rocks

Since the rocks I collected from the Don Valley Brickworks were all mud-covered I really only had a very rough idea of what I had collected on my trip.  So, with some toothbrushes in hand, my children and I began to clean these little treasures. Some of the rocks really don’t have any merit as

Conestoga: Bog-Iron

Four and a half years ago my family and I moved to Conestoga; it is a very lovely village, and little by little we’ve begun to discover a little of it’s history, too. One evening as I was reading a publication of the Geological Survey of Canada by C.W. Willimott (which was published in 1906