Florence Paintmakers is a small co-operative, based here at Florence Arts Centre, which is producing hand-made artists’ materials with the haematite from Florence Mine. The now-disused mine was renowned for the quality of its iron ore and was the last working deep mine in Western Europe when it closed in 2008.
Four Cumbrian artists: Jill Davis, Margie Foots, Jenni Payne and Liz Redmayne have experimented with various formulae to create a niche range of high-pigment art materials. They are embracing traditional paint-making methods and locally-sourced natural materials at a time when artisan products are increasingly valued.
The current range includes Egremont Red watercolour and oil paint, pastels, watercolour pencils and artists’ dry pigment. They are available in art shops and galleries throughout Cumbria and can also be bought online. Egremont Red has been laboratory-tested and is completely light-fast. Egremont Red drawing ink is in development this year.
To find out more, view their products and to order online visit: www.florencepaintmakers.co.uk
Many artists, in varied media, have used the Paintmakers’ materials or the raw pigment in their works – you can see a selection in the online gallery.