Julian Cossmann Cooke

Green buckthorn berries as a source of pigment

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I think this looks good, and if I remember correctly the geography makes sense...Britain and France and Italy, on the coast? I might be wrong (probably) but at any rate the color would be a useful one and the buckthorn has been used for millennia probably, as medicine and as pigment.

Have you tried it on wood? 

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1 hour ago, joerobson said:

Even mordanted buckthorne tends to fade.

Interesting for copying. Usually fresh colors don't look 'tired' enough.

Some Testores I have seen look like having only a clear varnish on them and I wonder if pigments didn't completely fade out.

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1 hour ago, joerobson said:

Even mordanted buckthorne tends to fade.

Yes. This is a real issue with buckthorn. But I still love the color.

I believe Italian painting of the time there are examples of artist using somewhat fugitive colors in combination with more stable colors.   

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1 hour ago, not telling said:

I think this looks good, and if I remember correctly the geography makes sense...Britain and France and Italy, on the coast? I might be wrong (probably) but at any rate the color would be a useful one and the buckthorn has been used for millennia probably, as medicine and as pigment.

Have you tried it on wood? 

Not yet.  Now that I have this, fustic, and a couple of variants of cochineal, I'll be working various combinations into spirit varnish to see what happens.  Of course, I'll post pics -- immediate and time-tested.

Apparently it's also an invasive species in MN.

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15 hours ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Alas, there's the rub.  Low lightfastness rating of about 4 according to Kremer as quoted in the wiki entry linked above.

Too bad it is known for fading. I have some Williamsburg dry Stil de grain pigment that I bought before the company was purchased by Golden.

I have used it on a few of my fiddles trying to reproduce the golden yellows of the old Brescians. A little goes a long way.

Somewhere I have a CD that a friend sent to me with close up photos from an exhibition showing many of the old Brescians.  I don't recall which exhibition it was but it was from these photos that I started to experiment with different yellows.Buckthorn and aloe came the closet to my eye.

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

Too bad it is known for fading. I have some Williamsburg dry Stil de grain pigment that I bought before the company was purchased by Golden.

I have used it on a few of my fiddles trying to reproduce the golden yellows of the old Brescians. A little goes a long way.

Somewhere I have a CD that a friend sent to me with close up photos from an exhibition showing many of the old Brescians.  I don't recall which exhibition it was but it was from these photos that I started to experiment with different yellows.Buckthorn and aloe came the closet to my eye.

If you ever find that CD, I would buy a copy from you.  I have the Brescian bug.  If you still have it -- the bug, that is -- and would like a set of photos I took of the NMM Maggini, PM me your email addy.

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Most colorant are subject to change, I always suggest making samples intended to be mocked up with all layers of coatings final and then immediate prolonged exposure to sunlight. Many colorant take a year or two to show their true colors. Many changes can become very predictable but also quite dramatic. To this day one of my favorite natural  colorants that I extract into alc is purple thundercloud plum leaves , it goes on purple green and then changes into a very stable chestnut brown over a short period of time and remains very stable.

Joe Robsons yellow is another example of a colorant that has a dramatic color shift, thankfully, and somewhat magically very quickly. For anyone who has not used Joe's system with the yellow, all I can say is it can be shocking when first using it, if not told differently, you would swear you ruined your piece as it turns bright yellow, but then fades into it's desired effect. It's now one of my favorites, I love showing someone the work after its just been done and drying, they're like "oh ya, th,thats real nice" lol, and then they see it the next day and its completely changed 

I think finding and cataloging natural colorants is one of my favorite parts about it all 

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52 minutes ago, jezzupe said:

Most colorant are subject to change,....

Yes, more or less- and often, as you tell, it can even be a fine thing. However I believe yellow/orange buckthorne is different :

Under UV/Sun-exposition it mainly not fades but changes into greenish very fast , but partially reversely !(after exposition). I never observed this behaviour in any other natural dye. In "Schweppe" one can read, that buckthorne-pigments are mordantized different depending on mordantization-temperature. Now I am afraid, that UV initiates (partiallly reversely) transitions between several buckthorne-dyes - sadly preferring the greenish direction.

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5 hours ago, jezzupe said:

To this day one of my favorite natural  colorants that I extract into alc is purple thundercloud plum leaves , it goes on purple green and then changes into a very stable chestnut brown over a short period of time and remains very stable.

Jezzupe,

I have four of these planted in my yard. When do you think is the best time to use the leaves, spring, fall or summer? I would love to have a chestnut brown fiddle!!!

Have you tried making a pigment from it rather than a tincture?

Can I buy some from you?

Edited by lpr5184

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21 hours ago, lpr5184 said:

Jezzupe,

I have four of these planted in my yard. When do you think is the best time to use the leaves, spring, fall or summer? I would love to have a chestnut brown fiddle!!!

Have you tried making a pigment from it rather than a tincture?

Can I buy some from you?

No, I haven't , but what I do is very simple and would require no purchase from me. Simply take the leaves when they are their most purple, going into fall seems to be best out here, and then dry them out well, stuff them into a container with some alc and just let them soak for a couple weeks, then strain...

You'll end up with a very dark purple liquid that when looked at in a clear container,with the light passing through shows a dichroic effect in that in the dark purple you will see green. It is the exact color and color shift that one see's in a " purple green Color change sapphire" ...

Now I do not claim that the dichroic effect seen in the alc translates in a visible way once on the wood, but the bottom line is that several coats can be applied to the raw wood, or on top of a compatible non film building ground to achieve a rather purplish base color that once varnished and allowed to be uv exposed takes on a nice brownish color

A similar look can be achieved using red wine, but must be more careful as there is water in it.

The antithicins { spelling} or purple pigment found in all purple plant things is fairly universal in the way it behaves, it is more lightfast than many would think once 1. it has been coated and 2. has gone through its color shift from purple to brown.

Again sample sticks can give you an idea...for example, on a stick, several coats of the either red wine, or the thundercloud juice alone, then a spot with that with 2 coats of varnish ontop, then one with just varnish....generally what you will see over a prolonged period of time is....the spot that is just raw wine or juice will be very faded light brown spot, however when observing the juice/varnish compared to just varnish, you will see the juice/ varnish one will be darker and have a more pronounced/altered/brown color

if you are to use this on an instrument

1. do not do too many coats in succession, particularly with wine, but repeated soaking with alc has its issues to, so if you want to apply many,many coats for deep saturation, you must do it over the course of several days with the applications spread out.

2, expect to be concerned with the look after it has been done, it may be very blotchy and purple, resist trying to touch anything up, just soldier on as if it were a clear colored ground and you will see in short order the base and top coats will even the look out and the browning will start to happen fairly quickly.

About the thundercloud juice, you will know you juice is right once you take a leaf out and see that the purple color has been extracted into alc and the leaf is more green than purple. I am not sure how the natural purple pigment and the green chlorophyll suspended in the alc works with the light refraction to demonstrate a color change shift, but it does, again, I do not see the optical effect transferred to the wood, but it does make for a neat parlor trick...

edit; the juice may also be mixed into shellac to tint it, but only advanced varnishers should attempt multiple colored spirit coats

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Still had enough on the trees to fill a paper bag...This should be a fun exercise.

Thundercloud ornamental flowering plum tree leaves...

003.thumb.JPG.68d5534bcb13a9241706ced1095cb05e.JPG

Now I'm wondering about chestnut skins...we have entire road lined with them. The name of the road is...you guessed it, Chestnut Street.

 

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1 hour ago, lpr5184 said:

Still had enough on the trees to fill a paper bag...This should be a fun exercise.

Thundercloud ornamental flowering plum tree leaves...

003.thumb.JPG.68d5534bcb13a9241706ced1095cb05e.JPG

Now I'm wondering about chestnut skins...we have entire road lined with them. The name of the road is...you guessed it, Chestnut Street.

 

Yup thats the stuff...you can pretty much extract the color out of anything this way.

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3 hours ago, Julian Cossmann Cooke said:

Brings to mind eggplant peelings...But then I see dye/pigment possibilities in just about everything around me.  My dog's coat is a lovely color.  And no, I'm not kidding.  Though I quickly dismissed the dog idea.

:lol:, ya that'd be a tough one to explain

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