Friday - last day of workshop, arrival in Salisbury

I'll have to catch up with the blog tomorrow. We were so busy yesterday and today making pigments, panning them etc. Today was spent with Lily who gave us a massive amount of information on colors and their relationship, triadic colors, associatation of colors with night and day, dawn and dusk, mercury and venus, sun and moon. I have a lot of color harmonies to post but have to wait until tomorrow

I'm at the Alabare Guesthouse in Salisbury, lying in bed, grateful for wifi in my room. Bathroom is still down the hall but it's on the same floor which is a vast improvement. Still, I loved my time at Emerson College in Forest Row. My workshop colleagues were fantastic - such a wonderful group of talented, spiritual beautiful women who I learned all sorts of things from and links to interesting travel, art, and friendship. This workshop is the main reason I came to the UK this summer - I feel like I regained my soul skin, my mojo, my artistic self.

Looking forward to a lovely and abundant English breakfast tomorrow morning at 8 am. Put in my order for eggs and bacon, hash browns, tomatoes along with the yogurt, toast and other breakfasty things. There was no breakfast at Emerson so I often ate fruit and biscuits provided by Daniel and Fia Docherty. Daniel was so lovely in making us coffee and tea; he is a most generous, gracious and absolutely fabulous teacher and human being. I will miss him as much as my new female friends. Fia had a quiet nature but very soulful and I gained a lot from her color meditations. And the three children were so cute. Albion with his great curiosity and forthright nagture, Celeste the middle girl who prefers to be called Este or Estia, and the oldest girl Salvi (not sure of spelling).  Este was happy to make more soot black - she was much more successful than we were yesterday holding our spoons over a candle flame and scraping off the black soot to create a soot black watercolor. We barely made enough to fill three half pans. We made bone black with preground burned bones which of course, yielded a lot of thick opaque blue black dense watercolor pigment.

The cinnabar, after much grinding and preparation which seemed to take days, I guess it did take two days was finally able to be mixed with the gum arabic/honey mixture and panned - in our previous 6 or 7 pans so we each could take one home with us. The cochineal (yes, ground up cochineal insects from s special type of cactus, the prickly pear0 was actually tougher to grind up than the azurite mineral. It didn't look like it would end up being the color that it did. And it smelled as did all the organic dyes that we got from the buckthorn berry (half ripe), the madder root - another difficult one to efficiently grind up. The rest of the process was more circuitous than simply grinding up the earth and mineral pigments. Since they were organic, they had to be ground up, made into a lake (watery dye before the actual lake process) with the dye released via alum and then precipitated out with beech ash. Kind of like an elementary school experiment where when you add two things together they bubble up. Because the process takes so long, we got to that point and then used the previous year''s lakes to make our pigments.

It's all very technical but what made the workshop interesting was the sacred geometry part - I won't explain it here but I learned a lot with Daniel's patient explanations and demonstrations with the compass and straight edge to make intricate designs based on geometry and alchemy.

More tomorrow so that I can catch up on my writing. Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum on tomorrow's schedule. Sweet dreams.

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