The Iron Rainbow: The Mars Suite of Colors in the Chemical Theatre


The pigments derived from iron will be explored through the lens of alchemical philosophy.  Using simple chemistry, Thomas Little of A Rural Pen will explain the methods of making colors from cold iron while drawing from the realms of myth and philosophy to better illuminate the nature of the ferrous substances that we use for mark making.  This class will explore the qualities of these pigments that extend beyond the artists palette and into their various utilities, both esoteric and scientific, and hopefully leave those attending with an appreciation of the power of materially informed pigment.  Participants will leave with a sample of pigments made from firearms to use in their practice.

Date: August 5-6, 2024 2 days

Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm

Place: Long Ridge Farm, 116 Paine Road, Westmoreland, NH

Thomas Little is an ink and pigment maker who explores mystic and scientific concepts through the lens of ink and our relationship to mark making.  He gathers threads from alchemical imagery, chemical phenomena, mystic observations and incorporates them into a holistic synthesis theory of art-science-magic.  Thomas makes the pigments he uses and sells from firearms he takes out of circulation and dissolves in acid.  He has contributed pigments to university material libraries, including the University of Massachusetts and the University of Pennsylvania.  Thomas has curated exhibits on pigment histories and taught numerous workshops in museums, institutes, art studios and botanicas.  He operates a small ink making business out of a van customized to be a mobile ink lab.

Instagram @a.rural.pen

Don’t like using a credit card? You can pay by check. Mail to Long Ridge Farm, 116 Paine Rd, Westmoreland, NH 03467 and include your contact info with payment.

The workshop setting at Long Ridge Farm takes place on a New England farm in the Southwest corner of New Hampshire, within 2 hours of Boston, MA; 1.5 hours of Hartford, CT; and 20 minutes from I-91, Keene, NH; Brattleboro, VT; and Walpole, NH. The workspace is set in a great hall within a chestnut post and beam barn with an open environment yet protected from the elements. Foraging is at our fingertips! A portable toilet and washing area are within a few steps of the workspace. The space is spectacular and welcoming.  Although we do not have onsite lodging there are plenty of options within 15-20 minutes of the farm.

Workshop Cancellation Policy

Late cancellations are really difficult on planning, preparation and travel costs for instructors.

All cancellations 60 days or more, prior to the start of a workshop, can receive a full refund (course fee) less a $25 cancellation fee, per workshop.

Cancellations within 60 days from the start of a workshop are non-refundable.

If Long Ridge Natural Dyes cancels a class for any reason, registered students are refunded fully (course fee) less $25 cancellation fee. Once a class begins, there are no refunds or credits for early departure, late arrival, or missed class for any reason.

No pets are allowed and only the enrolled student is allowed to attend.

Thank you for understanding our policy.

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