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Pigment Workshop

The Thursday Creative peer support group at the Banbury Wellbeing Hub recently took part in a Pigment Workshop, delivered by Susan Griffiths from the Oxford University Museums outreach team. Rebecca, an Oxfordshire Mind wellbeing worker, discusses the session:

“The aim of the session was to create a mini fresco on a plaster surface using egg tempera paint.

To begin with the group were shown a selection of rocks from which coloured pigment which were created by grinding the rock to a fine powder. Azurite and lapis lazuli made beautiful blues, malachite a glowing green, umber created an earthy brown pigment.

We made the plaster surface by dampening plaster of paris bandages and layering and smoothing them onto a board, we put them in the sun to dry. This created a surface similar to the walls that ancient Greek and Roman artists would have created their murals or frescoes on.

The next stage was to make our paint – the egg tempera.  Susan had brought along a number of pre ground pigments in pots (which saved us a lot of hard work with a pestle and mortar). We separated eggs and used the egg yolk to mix with the ground pigments, creating a permanent, fast drying slightly shiny paint.

We talked a little about the history of wall painting from cave painting, to hieroglyphs, Roman murals to Indian frescoes, Aboriginal rock drawings to Renaissance religious painting. So the group had a varied approach to their own plaster panels.

We would like to say a really big thank you to Susan and the team and are looking forward to their next visit.”

Contact the Oxfordshire Mind Information Service on 01865 247 788 or email info@oxfordshiremind.org.uk to find out more about our open peer support groups across the County.