Not long ago, in this post, I discussed my experiment of painting a spoon handle with home-made pigments from rocks. A few of us were discussing that idea at Lie-Nielsen, when this book was recommended to me: The Organic Artist by Nick Neddo. I’m glad I picked up a copy, and I now realize I was just scratching the surface with my little experiment.
Nick’s book not only covers in detail methods for getting pigments from rocks, he goes into brushes, inks, crayons, charcoal, paper,…. Well, check out Nick’s website, where you can explore his beautiful work done with materials from nature. There’s a link there to check out his book, including the table of contents, and purchase it if you’d like. The book is beautifully done, and everything is explained with remarkable clarity.
I’ve experimented with making paint and pigment quite a bit myself. My most successful discovery was that powdered charcoal mixed with shellac makes a splendid fast-drying black paint. I used it on a Windsor chair (refurbished, but not built, by me) on top of red milk paint, and I was able to rub through in some strategic spots to get the worn-black-on-red color that everyone seems to love these days. My experiments in making natural earth pigments were a failure, I’m afraid. I’ll have to check this book out if I decide to get back into painting furniture regularly.