Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Little Color History - Alum

Alum miners at work in miniature. Bibliotheque Nationale de France, Paris.

Alum is a vitriolic clay composed of sulfuric acid, aluminum,and potassium. It comes in many variants, including rock alum, Yemenite alum, Roman alum, and shale alum. It was used as a mordant for dyeing throughout the ancient world, including India. Until the 15th century, it was processed mainly in Constantinople, Aleppo, and a site near Smyrna (modern Izmir) called Rocca. In the mid-15th century, a Genoese merchant who had travled to the East and spent some time in Rocca founded the first alum factory in Europe on the island of Ischia. (Francois Delamare and Bernard Guineau)

7 comments:

raf said...

Like your blog concept very much, artslice.....
fun for learning and refreshing. Look forward to stopping by!

artslice said...

Hi Raf... thanks so much. I enjoy your photos of PT - one of my fave places on earth!

Mary Ann Wakeley said...

Hi Brenda,
The first thing that came to mind when I saw this image was jack and the bean stalk which was a favorite story of mine when a child. Something about the colors and illustration.
I appreciate the information you share here. It's always a learning experience :)

Beth Ahrens-Kley said...

Though I'd let you know I dropped by... forget how I got here. I will follow you for a while methinks

Beth Ahrens-Kley said...

I forgot to ask (as well as mispelling the word "thought"), what color is alum? IS it a color?

artslice said...

Hi Mary Ann - it does look like Jack and the Beanstalk! I didn't see it before. Thanks for stopping by - am loving your new paintings in your shop.

Hello Beth - glad you dropped by! Alum isn't a color it's actually a compound/chemical used to preserve and make paint :)

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