Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pastel making with Kitty Wallis

Her formulas have been written down over the years, the results of many trials and errors, and Kitty consults her notes before we mix the pigments. Some pigments require additions of clay to keep them soft. Others require alcohol to allow the water to break the surface tension and wet the dry mixture.

Once the pigments are mixed into a stable, moist clay-like form, we fill jars with the mixtures and get them ready for shipping.

I have had a lot of fun, and learned a lot, helping Kitty get ready for her upcoming workshop in LaConner, WA. On the final day of the workshop, she will teach the students how to make their own pastels, using the pigments we have processed this week.

Don't you want to dig in and play with the color? I know that I do!

What is that stuff in the final photo? That is quinacrodone magenta dispersion. It looks like swampy red pudding. Part of the formula for getting the cool red pigment for mixing luscious pinks and corals. The possibilities are dizzying!

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