Ultramarine.

Posted: August 31st, 2011 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: colour making | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

I’ve had a wonderful week! I was invited by David  Stuart and Sander Bouman of Colormaker (the makers of Permaset, the best textile pigment printing ink around) to visit the ultramarine pigment factory Holliday Pigments in the town of Comines on the French / Belgian border. It was a magical experience! The process of creating synthetic Ultramarine is extraordinary and I was delighted to have seen the process from start to finish. By far the best aspect being the cast off, the ultramarine dust that lines the entire factory. It was truly beautiful, especially when you’re a tinsy bit of an industrial junkie, all that amazing equipment coated in ultramarine blue.

Humans have been producing synthetic Ultramarine for close to two hundred years. It is a process of turning a white brick composing of clay, sodium carbonate and sulphur into the a blue brick of unprocessed pigment then processing this brick into a pure, rich pigment. The final pigment product is used in a phenomenal range of products from cosmetics to plastics, paints, inks and coatings. It gives the blue colour to water bottle lids manufactured all over the world and allows manufacturers to produce the richest, darkest blacks, would you believe that ultramarine is a component of mascara and car interior plastics?.

At the bottom of this post I have embedded a short film I found on YouTube to show you a bit about the process and production of ultramarine at Holliday Pigments.

*UPDATE* I have been asked (very nicely) to remove a number of photos and the link to the short film which I believe were the heart and soul of this post so I apologise for the lack of coherence and a good sense of the Holliday factory. The pictures that depicted the shear beauty of the factory have been removed and unfortunately the effect will have to be left to your imagination. Take an image of any factory situation and then cover every square millimeter in ultramarine pigment dust. Astonishingly beautiful.

Hundreds of changing textures adorn the floor from boots and rubber tyre tread.

A poor photograph but it captured the true richness and depth of the colour perfectly.

The company also manufactures Manganese Violet which is created using a different process to Ultramarine production and I managed to get a couple of photos whilst the technicians were working on its creation. A unique colour indeed!


a leaflet.

Posted: March 6th, 2011 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: colour making, random making | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Neither my husband nor myself are photographers but last week we took on the responsibility of capturing a publicity shot for a small Australian loose leaf tea brand. It really was great fun, the room smelt positively delicious with nearly 60 varieties of tea open and laid out over the props table. I had brewed quite a number of them to find just the right colour for the image. The variety of shade and tone that can come from so many different teas and blends is wonderful. You can find half the colour wheel in the steeping of leaves from the same species of plant. Brilliant. From those who have seen the pic so far we have had happy responses but we shall see how it fares branded and out in the world….


pure colour.

Posted: November 13th, 2010 | Author: Kathryn | Filed under: colour making, screen printing | Tags: , , | No Comments »

I’ve been mixing and naming new colours and have been having a brilliant time. Working with pure colour is a delight to say the least. The process exact to 0.1 of a gram. I’m very pleased with how things are working out.