Early this year I bought a vintage rock-tumbler on eBay since I’ve been wanting to explore another way of creating pigments from the rocks I’ve collected. And, I’m happy to share that it arrived in the mail last week!
Once I had it cleaned and oiled (which required a bit of work given its age) I had to decide which rocks I would use in my first attempt. In the end I decided to create my initial batch out of the haematite I have from Sault Ste Marie. This is one of my favourite reds—and I’m a little worried about the possibility of wasting some of it if something goes wrong—but it remains one of the hardest pigments I regularly grind and I think it will be very exciting to have a good supply on hand.
After loading it with a couple of handfuls of rock, and adding a bit of water, the rock-tumbler is now happily turning in my studio and I take great satisfaction in hearing it effortlessly pulverizing my rocks into colour.