I had decided beginning of 2016 I wanted to bring over teachers and workshops that were special and unique on the Spanish market within the Eclectic Trends Studio program.
Below you find the images from our Color Alquimia Workshop we celebrated over this past weekend with Color Alquimia expert Laura Daza who travelled from Italy to Barcelona to share her knowledge. I had discovered her work at the Salone del Mobile in 2015 and ever since followed her work.
It’s been a fascinating experience getting to know ancient rituals and how color was extracted from raw materials such as minerals, egg shell, ochre and saffron. Not only was it a hands-on and experimental program but also a very welcome get-away from the screen and day-to-day rush.
There was a true lab feeling at the beginning with an intriguing tools display on the table. Laura very much insisted on the fact she wanted us to learn and enjoy the process of color extracting, remarking it was not so much about the outcome but enjoying the HOW.
That resonates a lot to me since we are pretty focussed always on the end result but not that much how we get there and what we learn and experiment along the way.
The sample table explained the different raw materials from organic (vegetal, animal) to inorganic (earth, minerals) materials, and showing fabric and paper examples of applied color pigments. Truly fascinating!
After learning about color history and the different shades that were used throughout time from Prehistory, Antiquity, Medieval age, Renaissance to Industrialization and Present Day, we started treating 4 different materials we would work with:
1// Saffron to get a color range from yellow to orange
2// Ochres that give warm earth tones
3// Azurite which is a blue mineral representing blue-greyish and bold blue hues
4// Ostrich egg shell that gives a palette from off-white to clear beige
We were basically grinding all materials, adding a binder (egg yolk or gum arabic) and then applying the mix on paper and fabric samples.
Laura (on the left) would explain the different steps inviting us to explore afterwards our own color palette. Actually we all came up with different results depending on individual taste and color of materials. The Azurite stone gave any hue from anthracite to electrical blue during the grinding process. You can watch a little video here.
Photography by Elsa Yranzo, Gudy Herder
When asking the participants why they rolled in, many said besides wanting to learn about color alquimia, having a little me-time was a major trigger. And that resonated too:) I participated myself the first day and it felt really good!
Another very interesting argument was that people were interested in seeing where color comes from. We are so used to see it as a Pantone color deck code but don’t know anything about original raw materials or provenance. Sounds familiar?
Several ideas came up for a second course, and I am discussing with Laura already a new program to bring to Barcelona in 2017. There is so much more to explore. I am sure we’ll find a fascinating new angle to it. G, x