How Umber is made:
|Origin: natural earth||
Natural mineral consisting of silica and clay owing its color to iron oxide. It is found throughout the world, in many shades, in hues from yellow to brown, and faint blue. The best brown ochre comes from Cyprus. The pigment has good hiding power and excellent permanence in all media.
|Ochre comes in many varieties:
|Natural variety of pigment||Colored earth is mined, ground and washed, leaving a mixture of minerals - essentially rust-stained clay. Ochre can be used raw (yellowish), or roasted for a deeper (brown-red) color from loss of water of hydration. Produces a quick-drying oil paint.|
Illustration of the process:
Picking iron oxide by hand and by mechanized scoop in Hiwassee, Virginia. Mining for pigments is desirable work in Virginia, where the quarry mines are open pits and aboveground, and relatively safe.
The ground pigment:
Pile of ground Umber