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Making Color Pigments: what you need

Hello everyone! In the past weeks I have been very interested in making color pigments from all kinds of things, that I found in nature and in the fridge :)
Because I couldn't find too much information about how to make pigments, I would like to share my experiences and my process with you . It would make my day if it's helpful for anyone!

This article is about the things I use to make my pigments. I have only experimented with the laking process so far. So here is a list of the tools I use and you could use, too!

List of tools for making color pigment

I want to share 2 lists with you; a tool list and an "ingredient" list.

Tools that I need everytime
  • cooking pot

  • sieve

  • coffee pads

  • coffee pad holder

  • big high jar

  • long wooden stick

  • paper towels

  • mortar and pestle

  • spoon (or anything to spread the paste)

I use the cooking pot to cook the veggies or plants, that I would like to make pigment from. Some do not need cooking, like dandelion. I soaked Dandelion in hot water and then used a hand blender to shred it.
Then the sieve is needed to seperate the liquid from the left overs of the plants/veggies. Sometimes I also use a thin towel to make sure that no plants or veggies find their way into the final solution.

I like to use a big high jar to start the chemical reaction. Sometimes thick foam starts to raise from the solution and then it is better to have a big jar, which is transparent (so you can see the reaction better ;)).

After leaving the solution for a bit, you'll see that parts in it start to solidify. These parts are the paste, that you'll need to catch with the coffee pad. Let the paste dry on the pad for about 2-3 days (depends on how much it is); I like to put paper towels underneath the pads, because I feel that they soak up the water quicker and so the paste dries faster.

Once the paste is dry it is time to scratch it off the pad and grind it in the mortar.

Ingredients that I need everytime
  • alum

  • soda ash

  • whatever flower, veggie etc. you want to make pigment of

For me personally it is important to have dedicated tools. I am using my jar for pigment making only. Nothing else. Same applies to smaller tools such as spoons or sieve. I don't want to use those tools for cooking anymore, since it is in contact with alum.

I bought the Alum at the pharmacy in Germany. It is by a brand called Caelo
The soda ash is available in supermarkets. I use a biological one, but I do not think it does really matter.

I hope this helps!

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