red ochre - Rawlins Red, the pigment used in the first coat of paint on cables of the Brooklyn Bridge - set of 5 tubes of this natural pigment
This is the Rawlins Red, which is embedded in the Flathead sandstone near Rawlins, Wyoming. It is slightly coarse, so if used as an artist's pigment, it will take a bit of effort to grind. This is not difficult if you have a mortar and pestle. Or we can mill it for you at no additional charge. It is slightly brighter than the other red ochre that we offer.
This red ochre was used as a pigment in the initial painting of the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge. Currier & Ives made a number of lithographs around 1883 that show the bridge with Rawlins Red on the cables. We would be happy to send a jpeg of a detail from two of these early lithographs showing this use. Click on either of the images and click again for an even closer view.
Red ochre forms from the weathering of hematite. It becomes earthy and powdered with advanced weathering. Because it was forming in an arid region, it was not leached or washed away from the original deposit of hematite. When used as a pigment it contains clay.
We also have yellow ochre. You can purchase it separately, or you can ask us to substitute yellow ochre for any number of the tubes of red.
Artists! An artist customer milled some of our red ochre in his coffee grinder (!) and was happy with the result. He found it slightly redder. We are now milling ochre, so if you would like red ochre with a fine powder-like consistency and a slightly redder shade than what we mine, please request the artist's version. You can ask for some tubes milled, others not milled, to get a mixed set of 5 tubes. Just let us know how many of which type you want us to ship.
Photos show the New York Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, ca. 1883, from a Currier & Ives lithograph, The Great East River Suspension Bridge. At least 19 versions of this print were produced, some showing the cables as red, many showing the cables painted gray. The red may have been used as an undercoat. Would you like a copy of this? We would be happy to send a jpeg.
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