This time last year, I bought a small lump of azurite from the Lapidary shop in Burslem, Staffordshire. I made a start at grinding it up in a pestle and mortar but since I didn’t need it at the time, saved the last stage of fine grinding to a powder with a glass slab and muller till later – ie now.
I am working on a triptych (see previous post) where I would like the two standing angels to be painted in a heavenly sky blue so it’s been back to the grindstone to extract this gorgeous colour.
Aidan Hart, demonstrated how to grind Azurite during class last year which I filmed. You can watch the process over here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-FHvAxwg9w. It is an amatuer video so not very good quality, but it captures the process.
This was last years work, crunching up the rock with a small hammer. It’s surprisingly enjoyable as you see the blue emerge.
I bought a slab and muller from Patricia Lovett at her Gilding and Traditional Illumination Skills workshop some years ago. It really has come into its own now as I still have malachite, haematite and chrysocolla to grind up.
I placed about a tablespoon of pre-ground up pigment on to the slab and added just enough water to make a paste then ground it up, clockwise and anti clockwise, scraping the pigment back into the middle until the paste glides smoothly under the muller.
This took the best part of a morning but I’ve made enough pigment to easily last me a year or longer. Next post will hopefully show some of this azurite in use on my triptych.
Thanks for reading,