Event Details

WEEKEND WORKSHOP: The Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

WEEKEND WORKSHOP: The Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern

Learn the alchemy and processes involved in making your own set of watercolour and gouache paints in this week long course with Daniel Docherty and David Cranswick PhD.

The roots, berries and minerals that we will be precipitating, grinding and binding, all

have layered correspondences that link to the planetary archetypes.

Using compasses and straight-edge we will create mandalas that also resonate with the planetary patterns.

The symbolism and character of colour in different traditions will be explored as we apply our paints to patterns to reveal works of dazzling beauty to adorn the home and nourish the soul.

We'll explore traditional palettes, colour theory and techniques and David will introduce course participants to the language of colour and their archetypal realities.
Discover how to compose with colour through the use of harmonic triads, and how, through the use of major and minor relationships, one becomes aware of the profound correspondence between 
chromatic structure and musical structure.

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The earth is the natural apothecary of the arts

The earth is the natural apothecary of the arts, hidden within its depths are all the variety of pigments as seen in great works of art throughout the world.

During this workshop students will explore the traditional processes by which pure pigments are extracted from their natural sources in the form of earth, rocks, roots and berries, and how these are then purified and transformed into pure pigments.

Working with the semi precious rocks: Malachite, Azurite, Cinnabar and Chrysocolla, as well as certain plants (Madder roots, brazil wood and Persian berry), students will discover first hand the miraculous processes by which these raw materials can be transformed into pure pigments and made into paint.

In the second part of this workshop students will learn about the traditional mediums and recipes used for making paints - watercolour (gum arabic), egg tempera, encaustic, casein and oil paint.
From this workshop students will gain a knowledge of how to make their own paints directly from nature and the integral connection of creativity to the natural world. (David Cranswick)



'This has been the most amazing week ... magical is not a helpful adjective, but how else can one express the quality of a time that expands and contracts in such a delicate and organic, comfortable and respectful way? A place in which the flow of the day can fit inspiring thoughts and practical learning with such truth and beauty? Were one learns so much from lines, forms and inner alignment? Gratitude and Abundance is what I take with me from these days and I'm sure my learning will follow for many weeks to come. Thank you for such a nurturing and vital experience. I bow to you for you are true masters!' Ana Paula (Brazil) Dec. 2017 course participant

'I feel inspired, overwhelmed, excited ... A wonderful therapeutic week, so much knowledge and new stuff and an array of beautiful colours. Thank you Daniel and David.' 

Molly Mahon (UK) Dec. 2017 course participant


'I feel on the Alchemy of Pigment and Pattern course that I was really entering into a deep organic process that was steeped in tradition and spiritually. I found it tremendously inspiring, nurturing and a deeply powerful experience - amazingly good!'  

Dec. 2017 course participant

'I wanted to write to you both following my weeks course with you doing the "Alchemy of Pigment and pattern' ... I wanted to express to you how truly inspiring I thought it was.

Through my work as an artist, a designer, and previously as a teacher of art and artistic therapy, I am very much interested in the processes of alchemy and inner transformation through imagination and artistic work with a connection to nature. However, I have experienced a very long period of disillusionment and creative lostness. Your course has helped me to regain a depth of meaning, enthusiasm and direction. As teachers you both have a combination of talent, modesty and authenticity for which I am most grateful, as well as a relaxed environment in your studio full of books, learning, good conversation and creativity. I felt so at home and have left with a huge book list and bags of inspiration.

I feel that you have helped me to re-connect with all that is important to me and I wanted to express my gratitude to you both for a most excellent week. I hope that in the future I will be able to attend more of your courses.'

Jane (UK)Dec. 2017 course participant