One reason the color in Medieval manuscript illumination is so rich and lustrous is that it is actually made from ground and powdered semiprecious stones. Thin layers of a gemstone pigment were applied multiple times to build a deep saturated color whose durability lasts for centuries. Along with gilding in 23k gold, this workshop will introduce the process of creating and using mineral pigments from a variety of gemstones and other substances and explore their application as a potential new coloring material in jewelry work.
Using a recipe for a binding medium handed down from the Middle Ages for generations we’ll learn how to grind, sift, mix, and apply pure gemstone as a liquid paint. Hard rock lapis lazuli, malachite, turquoise, corals, azurite, ochers, and less noble materials such as brick and rust will be transformed into soft and luminous pigment.