Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Mid-week mood #7: Ochre love

Ochre also spelled ocher, is a natural earth pigment containing hydrated iron oxide, which ranges in color from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is also the name of the colors produced by this pigment, especially a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as "red ochre".

This earthy yellow hue, apart from being one of my all time favorite colors has an interesting history as well. The industrial process for making ochre pigment was developed by the French scientist Jean-Étienne Astier in the 1780s. He was from Roussillon in the Vaucluse department of Provence, and he was fascinated by the cliffs of red and yellow clay in the region. He invented a process to make the pigment on a large scale.


The clay was first extracted from open pits or mines. Then he washed the clay to separate the grains of sand from the particles of ochre. The remaining mixture was then decanted in large basins, to further separate the ochre from the sand. The water was then drained, and the ochre was dried, cut into bricks, crushed, sifted, and then classified by color and quality. The best quality was reserved for artists' pigments.


You already know how much the bug n I love yellow hues. Ochre never fails to add a touch of organic earthy charm to a mood board. Hope you love this hue as much as I do. Enjoy!