One ounce of Specularite: The end

After 10 hours of grinding the specularite specimen from Londonderry Nova Scotia, here’s a photograph of what I’ve revealed: The bright, fiery red inside it.  This vermilion coloured pigment is so fine that when dry it will float away like smoke on the slightest movement of the air. The ritual around creating this colour went

One ounce of Specularite: The beginning

The questions around different forms of processing, those that reveal identity and those that change it, has been circling in my mind for the past month, so I’ve decided to work with a piece of specularite that I collected years ago in Londonderry, Nova Scotia.  To begin with, I carefully weighed 1 ounce of this

Londonderry Red: Results!

As you can see from the photo above, refining the red ochre my brother and I collected from the old mine in Londonderry resulted in a wonderfully bright red pigment. It took longer to dry than I had anticipated, but I am so happy with the results that I’m not put out by that at

Burning Nova Scotia Pigments

  Image problem: Instead of this, we need a picture of ___ plates: second from left is reddish,┬áthird plate from the left is more intense, right plate is dark? For some time I’ve wanted to see what might happen if I heated the pigments I collected from Nova Scotia. As anyone who has ever painted

Nova Scotia Pigments

It has been 9 months since my brother, Aaron, and I spent the week collecting pigment/rock samples from old mines in Nova Scotia and the verdict is in as to which of these samples are usable. While I am excited about these colours, not all of them were what I expected (as you will read).

Nova Scotia: Finding Colour

While the gross work of pounding the pigment into colour was done, there still remained the work of finely grinding them. This work was done during a demonstration at the Homer Watson Gallery. When grinding with a glass muller, one can’t help but notice that some rocks grind up with ease, but others require a

Musquodoboit Harbour, Nova Scotia

  The site of the old Dunbrack Mine caught our interest because the minerals found at the site included two rarities of particular interest: Azurite and Malachite. A local man who we met at the Nova Scotia Gem & Mineral Show, Doug, was kind enough to give us some details of what to look for

Paint Brook, Nova Scotia

  Today, our search for pigment led us out to Paint Brook, in Elmsvale. The information we had raved about the quality of the gold ochre and burnt sienna pigments found at this source. After speaking with a local man (who told us to, “go fill your boots!”) we headed up the brook. The brook

Glencoe Pilgrimage

The man who we met on the trail laughed when we ask him where the mine was in Glencoe. “There has never been a mine here”, he stated. I didn’t notice the playful gleam in his eye and began to protest when he cut in with a laugh, “It was just a pit!” When I

West Gore Pilgrimage

We weren’t able to find out much about the old West Gore Mine, but the promise of a black Stibnite vein, “six feet wide” sounded promising when we headed out. Upon arriving it became obvious that the actual mining works were abandoned many, many years ago and there wasn’t a lot to see from that