Thursday, June 4, 2015

Verdigris, a journey from copper to green pigment.


I decided to start with copper wire from the hardware store because I'm cheap and impatient.  No buying plates online... I'd have to wait and pay shipping!  

Flattened using an anvil and hammer then punched a hole in the end with a nail.  Now it's ready to thread onto hemp twine and hang in the pot.

I found a glazed, covered pot at Goodwill and borrowed hemp twine from the archery box.

I filled the bottom of the pot with about half of a bottle of organic, unrefined apple cider vinegar.  It smells...more fun than the cheap non-organic!  If I don't end up using it all I'll have to try cooking with it.

I covered it with a spare piece of linen dipped in melted lard to help seal it.  Then I buried it in a pile of goat dung and hay, straight from the barns at Creeping Thyme Farm.  We wonder what the neighbors will think!

Before it rained I thought twice about letting the dirty water seep in and covered it with an inverted plastic bag.  After letting it sit in the warm pile for fifteen days with one more addition of dung and hay,  I dug it out with excitement!

 Look... green!  ...ish.
 One of the sources says lay it out in the sun so I did that for an hour.
 After sitting out in the sun for that hour it darkened a little bit bit I thought what the heck.  I put on my gloves and dust mask and start scraping!  This results in a blue green flecks of 'stuff' on the slab.  I decided that the 'stuff' on the slab was was too chunky for paint so I dipped a few drops of distilled H2O over it and tried to break it up with a muller.  Since it pretty much made the pigment disappear I assume that you need to start with way more and resolve to try again later with.. way more 'raw' verdigris.  I'm a little concerned that it's going to be too acidic for painting and will remember to consider seeking council from the medieval sources and online friends regarding this dilemma and their thoughts.

All in all it was a successful first attempt and I've learned that I need to be patient.  Doesn't real life always have a way of reminding us of this important pursuit?  Until next time, Adrienne.

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