A chromium-bearing mineral that is part of the smectite group, volkonskoite is a clay mineral found in sandstones, conglomerates, and red beds, commonly filling voids from the decomposition of organic material. The largest deposit of volkonskoite is found in Mt. Efimiatsk and elsewhere in the Okhansk region, Middle Kama River area, Perm Basin, Ural Mountains, Russia. We get our pigment from mineral sources near the village of Efimiata in the Perm Basin. The pigment was named for Prince A. Volkonskoi, Minister of the Imperial Court, Russia, in the 19th century. Its masstone varies from olive green to bright emerald green. Ours is a deep forest green edging towards an olive green. Usually the mineral is free from impurities and is ready for use as a pigment without much preparation.
Origin and History There is little known about the use of this pigment in ancient art. There is some evidence of a green chromium oxide pigment in some European works from the Renaissance. Pablo Picasso especially liked this pigment, which he imported from the former Soviet Union.
Source Ural Mountains, Russia
Permanence and Compatibility Volkonskoite is considered to be a permanent pigment. It is unaffected by exposure to light. There are no known incompatibilities with other pigments and paint binders.
Oil Absorption and Grinding:
No data has been published on the oil absorption properties of volkonskoite. A unique characteristic of the mineral volkonskoite is its high adhesive property, which complicates pulverizing it for use as a pigment. One method to eliminate this difficulty is to add a small amount of quartz to volkonskoite while grinding or mulling the mineral. The addition of quartz does not detract from its qualities as one of best green pigments to use in glazes.
Toxicity Volkonskoite is somewhat toxic and care should be used in handling the dry powder pigment so as not to inhale its dust.
Copper Carbonate Hydroxide
ASTM Lightfastness Rating
Natural Pigments is a limited liability company based in Willits, California. We manufacture and distribute rare and hard-to-find materials for fine artists and decorators. We specialize in supplying artists' materials that were used in historical painting since pre-historic times up to and including the nineteenth century.
We constantly search for materials and products of the finest quality so that we can bring them direct to you from the source. To do so, we travel the world to find materials specifically for use by professional artists and decorators. We obtain minerals from mines in Afghanistan, Chile, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, to name a few places, processing these into natural pigments. We purchase resins, gums and plants from India, Kenya and Malaysia to make natural varnishes and painting mediums.
Our mission is to provide the largest variety of natural pigments, paints and other professional artists' supplies, enabling us to bring you a selection that makes shopping for rare and hard-to-find art materials easy. Our objective is to promote the education and use of these materials among artists by providing detailed information for their employment in encaustic, fresco, oil, watercolor and tempera painting.
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