My favourite blue pigment is made from vivianite. Not that I wish to imply that I see a lesser beauty in azure blue or ultramarine blue – both of which I enjoy immensely – but there is something in the tone of this blue to I am really drawn to.

As a rock, it is a hydrated iron phosphate, and that has led to it’s informally being named blue ochre – so even the name fascinates me.

Today Reiner was good enough to show me a part of his mineral collection in between meeting people at the Button Factory in Kitchener. After forty years of collecting, his collection is magnificent. Afterwards, and because of my interest, he brought out a dark green, fist-sized rock, that he said was vivianite from Hamilton, Victoria, Australia. I was surprised by it’s colour, given the blue I expected, and we exchanged a few ideas of why it was so dark (was it not light-fast perhaps?). In showing me the sample, a few crystals fell off and so Reiner graciously gave them to me to take home and experiment with.

vivianiteGrinding-731383Upon arriving home I had planned in my mind all the different things I would do to this sample in order to achieve the beautiful blue I wished for but, in the end, after easily grinding the crystals the colour simply appeared!


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