Where do our pigments originate from? Our pigments originate from all around the world! Here are the stories of three of our natural Earth & Mineral Pigments, Venetian Red, Yellow Ochre, and Terre Verte.
Venetian Red has been in use since prehistoric times and is found and used around the world. It's a natural earthen clay that is tinted by iron oxide and is composed of a naturally calcined form of the mineral hematite - along with traces of gypsum and calcite. Hematite is a mineral composed of iron oxide minerals (Fe2O3) that occur as natural earth and is one of the most permanent and archival pigments in the world. How much Iron oxide and other minerals are present determines the color of red which varies from deep red to brownish red.
After testing many red earth pigments from around the world, we chose this vibrant red from a family-owned quarry in the Veneto region of Italy for its luminous, rich red color and mixing quality.
Yellow Ochre is a yellow iron oxide earth pigment made up of the mineral geothite. It is naturally occurring and often contains a variety of other silicate materials like clays, quartz, feldspars, or calcium compounds. Geothite is known as an 'iron oxide hydroxide,' which means it's a hydrated iron oxide (contains water). Many quarries will burn yellow ocher (calcined) which will remove the water and it then turns a beautiful red shade.
This beautiful yellow pigment is sourced from the quarry in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia that has been in use for generations.
Terre Verte, commonly known as "Green Earth," comes from a mineral called Glauconite. It's made of hydrated iron potassium silicate and many believe it comes from ancient oceanic deposits. The Coast Salish Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest were one of the earliest cultures in the world to use it (more than a thousand years before the ancient Romans, Greeks, or Egyptians).
After testing many green earth pigments around the world, we chose this rich green from a quarry in France. With yellow undertones, it is more translucent when used alone and becomes a rich, opaque green when mixed with white.