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Are Natural Earth's actually natural?

16 March 2015

Did you know that the warm tones of our Natural Earth set contains pastels whose pigments are literally dug out of the ground? Each one, from the rich beech brown NE1, to the golden NE5, right through to the delicate pale stone of NE 18 have come out of the earth. We buy our pigments from "Dolci Colori" based in Verona who have been quarrying from the surrounding Italian hills for four generations. However these colours can be traced back as far as 30,000 year old rupestrian inscriptions, and to ancient Greek-Roman frescos. So they stand the test of time!

Earths also have an unusual quality in that they can be mixed with many different carriers. This gives them a great versatility. Favoured especially for wall colourings due to their stability, resistance and brightness, these natural earths have many uses from restoration, lacquering, plaster, and art materials.

Most of the colours, except for the black earth, contain iron. After quarrying and drying, each earth needs a different working process. Some of them are coarsely crushed, impurities removed and then made finer by hammer or ball mills. Other earths are burnt, which changes the mineralogy and gives many tones. Different colours are caused also by natural processes such as rock dissolution by water, volcanic activity, or calcination. Each batch is controlled using a scanning spectrophotometer.

These beautiful tones then really are 'natural'. And having been tried and tested throughout history, why not try a set for yourself?

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