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  #21  
Old 02-07-08, 11:17 AM
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cmunisso cmunisso is offline
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Default How to make the ultramarine blue from lapis lazuli

The way to prepare the ultramarine blue, as used in tempera, is quite complex.
It's well described in Cennini's Il libro dell'Arte, chapter LXII, so I don't try to explan it.
Anyway here is the link to a good english translation:

http://www.noteaccess.com/Texts/Cennini/2a.htm

From this text you notice to different quality of pigment obtained, from good to bad, from the same raw material.

I hope this is useful for your colour choose. ;)

Claudio
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  #22  
Old 03-07-08, 08:51 PM
gainor gainor is offline
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Smile lapis and old women!

Thanks for reminding me of Cennino's text on making Lapis. I had forgotten it in the years it has taken me to be an old woman...
I am quite certain that I will not be spending days on end, kneading my lapis with lye and alum! It seems like an exercise that would work for someone who had endless time and no life like the pretty girls of the 15th century who had dainty hands. This passage was so charming, in light of our current way of life. I thank you Claudio for bringing it to my attention. The week or so of time this would take me to do, if inspired to even try, far outweighs the $80 I spent on this miserable Lapis. I'll keep you all posted about what I wind up doing with it. I confess I am leaning toward the Daniel Smith watercolor.
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  #23  
Old 04-07-08, 10:15 AM
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cmunisso cmunisso is offline
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Smile the choose of lapis lazuli

You're welcome gainor, I know good real lapis lazuli is very expensive, so I don't use this color. I know Kremer Fra Angelico is the best grade of commercial ultramrine and maybe one day I will try it. ;)

About Daniel Smith watercolour I have one doubt, how can lapis lazuli to cost less than azurite? But I never used Daniel Smith watercolor, so this is only a doubt, my apologize if I am in error on this.

Claudio
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  #24  
Old 04-07-08, 12:51 PM
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Off sinopia:
__________________________________________________ ________________________
PREPARATION Owing to lapis lazuli's complex mineral content, simple grinding and washing used for the preparation of other pigments is not enough to produce high-quality ultramarine. Laurie (1949) observed that the ultramarine applied in Byzantine manuscripts of the 6th to 12th centuries contained a high proportion of colorless materials, which might be a result from this simple preparation method.

After the 1200, an improved method for extraction of ultramarine came in use, and was documented in detail by Cennino Cennini. The process begins with selecting lapis lazuli of the richest color, pounding it as finely as possible, then sifting it with a covered sieve. For each pound of this finely worked powder, mix it with six ounces of pine rosin, three ounces of gum mastic, and three ounces of wax, melting them all together. After the molten mass was strained into a washbasin with a white linen cloth, mix a pound of ground lapis with the plastic dough. Before extracting the blue pigment, this dough must be kept for at least three days, working it over a little everyday. Then, use two sturdy sticks, about a foot long each, turn and knead the plastic dough now placed in a weak solution of lye (a solution of potassium carbonate prepared by extracting wood ashes with water). The blue pigment will then come out from the dough and collect at the bottom of the basin, while the colorless material remain in the dough.

Other literary sources, such as the 15th century Bolognese manuscript, also gave numerous versions of this method differing only in detail. Plester suggests that the effectiveness of this method probably depends on the preferential wetting of the blue particles. The largest and deepest-colored blue particles emerge first. Several different extractions by this means collect several grades of pigment of diminishing quality. The last extraction, known as ultramarine ash, contains a high proportion of colorless material and few blue particles, is valued as a blue glazing pigment due to its high transparency. This traditional method of producing ultramarine is still practice now. Plester notes that no matter how carefully this procedure is followed, some impurities (such as calcite) still remain in the pigment, which became an important indicator to distinguish the natural ultramarine from the synthetic product.
__________________________________________________ _________________________

If you are interested Gainor, go ahead and get the ingredients and I'll do the elbow work... I have a curiosity to do this actually.

Best,
Jason.
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  #25  
Old 05-07-08, 11:51 PM
gainor gainor is offline
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Default Wow...what an offer

I don't have a pound of Lapis....more like ounces but if you really want to try this I'll get the other stuff. (Jason and I know each other). It would be interesting to see what happens!
I'm not sure about the sturdy sticks. Let me know if you need me to cut down some branches. Do you want to go totally authentic? Or will wooden chopsticks work?
Cheers
G
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  #26  
Old 06-07-08, 12:38 PM
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I can probably just use a dowels from ace and cut it down -- yeah, I don't expect to get alot of top quality pigment out of what you got... just something interesting to me.

Best,
Jason.
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  #27  
Old 22-09-08, 09:58 PM
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Does one realy need Genuine Lapis, its hard to find pure and it sometimes dosent settle with the other colors when you look back at your color composition.
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