I am thrilled to announce that I am bringing this utterly creative and experimental workshop on Colour Alchimia to Barcelona in a few weeks!
You know by now how much I get inspired and draw information from the Salone del Mobile. It gets even more exciting when I meet people to collaborate with. This is the case of Laura Daza who I discovered in 2015 (see her fab exhibit here) and have followed ever since. Laura is this rare specie of creative who investigates ancient methods and shares her knowledge in workshops with an artistic yet very down-to-earth approach. You have to love the way she shows you how to extract colour from natural raw materials and makes you then paint with them.
I consider myself a revivalist, looking to the past to get new inspirations, understand the provenance and science of things in order to adapt this today in a practical, sustainable and contemporary way. My aim is to bring back an appreciation for colour and how we use it today.- Laura Daza
Here goes a little behind the scenes information I have asked her:
1// Can you explain what Colour Alchemia means to you?
Colour Alchimia is a fabricated title I give to my work. I celebrate colour as more than something we see daily and take for granted; and alchimia is the Italian word for alchemy. It explores the relationship between colour, alchemy and history through research, experimentation and creative workshops.
So, basically is the transformation of natural raw materials into colour using various techniques and methods, which combines science and craft.
2// What is the process of extracting colour?
Colour making, which is the process of extracting colour, has become a sort of craftsmanship for me, through practice and experimentation I have learnt to understand different properties of materials, its history, the provenance and the application of them. There are many different processes to transform materials into colours depending on the material using, such as corrosion, pulverisation, calcination, levigation, pyrotechnology; and also using uncommon materials that in the past were considered precious but today we usually discard them.
I use authentic methods for making colour and mainly a mortar and a pestle to grind stones and earths in order to make pigment.
3// Why do you call it an experimental workshop?
Experimental is not just working with your hands. My workshops focus more on the process than the final output. It is taking materiality as the starting point and drive your design through making. This allows you to have endless possibilities when experimenting specially with colour, were you can create amazing natural colour palettes.
In my workshops we have a playful approach through trial and error using materials, processes and recipes. Anyone interested in colour may participate and no previous knowledge is necessary. Patience is important and also to allow you to disconnect from your daily routines and make the best out of it. You may get messy hands and clothes; therefore you will need an apron/t-shirt to protect yourself.
I became interested how in the past it existed different techniques for increasing the gamut of colours for painters to use. For instance, they use to roast earth pigments to obtain a new range of colours and also how they layered brushstrokes one on top of the other to make new colours.
4// What is the main experience a participant gains?
I hope to both celebrate ancient ritual and alchemic techniques that were once used but also make people re-appreciate colour as it was done in old times through the process of experimenting and re-manufacturing authentic pigments that are increasingly being lost as we move away from natural materials and traditional methods. I hope participants will end the workshop feeling inspired with a whole new colour world!
Laura offers two workshops, one in English and the other Spanish on September 30, and October, 01, and I really hope you’ll be able to join us (seats are limited, both courses are 50% booked). Ah, and just for you know, we will experiment with saffron (yellow), eggs shell (white), ochre (red) and azurite (blue)!
Let me thank you by the way, all mood board workshops spots for 2016 are sold out. That’s amazing news! Have a wonderful summer until then, I’ll take a little blog break and will be back beginning September. G, x