I’ve been on trips where I spent most of my time looking for something and in the end was thankful to find it. But, yesterday I found more than I had hoped for on the first go, so Reiner and I decided to have a bit of fun and visit the Roger’s Mine. The Roger’s Mine was a Fluorite mine (not much good for pigment) but the crystals are beautiful and fun to collect.
To get to this mine, and the Eldorado for that matter, I had to learn to drive on a new kind of ‘road’: Old railway corridors. I had little worry doing so; since these paths were built for trains I couldn’t imagine my little VW Golf being a problem. Still, when I pulled over to let an ATV by, or had to turn around, I was extra careful because I didn’t want to have to arrange for a tow truck …
While at the Roger’s Mine we did find something of interest regarding pigments: Baryte. This mineral doesn’t have a long history as a pigment, but as an extender it does, under the name blanc fixe. I use to think that extenders only existed to make cheap paint, but of late I’ve realized that sometimes they can really improve the brushablity of a paint.
The entomology of Baryte became evident on the hike back to the car. The word is derived from the Greek word, baryos which means ‘heavy’.