As part of the MA Art & Material Histories MATERIAL MATTERS collaborative project, Sabine Amoore Pinon talks clay and pigment.

As I queried how I could link pigment, my chosen material for this year in my MA in Art and Material Histories, with this Collaborative Clay Project, a few immediately came to mind, which, I assumed, were manufactured with clay as one of their components. Potter’s Pink, Celadon, and Ceramic White sounded promising anyway.

I knew for sure Maya(n) blue was the result of a fusion between indigo and a particular clay, palygorskite, but was curious to understand how a couple of paint companies had managed to bring on their shelves other Mayan colours. How were green, red and yellow produced? Did they also use palygorskite clay? And then, which colourant? Indigo’s role is exceptional in the production of Mayan blue…

Yet the revelation of the year was probably meeting Lucy Mayes, the pigment maker behind London Pigment, and discovering what beautiful and varied pigments she was producing from old London bricks and a few other intriguing clay-based materials. I decided to explore all options… and if you’re curious too, just click here.