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Author: Subject: Making ultramarine
Arcaeca
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Mood: brøthér, can you spare some B̲̺̹̙̑́̓́ͧ̎ͭ̈́͜L̰̦̼̻͈͖̺͔̇̇̿ͪ̓̃̽ͦŲ̘̲̻͔̀͌͑͑̊͛̑̀͊̕E̐ͮͯ͆̔̾͘͏҉̥̫

[*] posted on 14-12-2019 at 11:42


I don't have a practical way to measure the temperature. I mean, a pyrometer would be the most obvious solution, but I don't have a pyrometer.

I was thinking of building an electric furnace (since they tend to cost $2000 if you buy them), and I found a tutorial for doing so, but since I have no experience building anything electrical, I tried asking around for advice (stuff like "attach alligator clips to the heating element wire, connect alligator clips to the controller, connect controller to a surge protector, connect surge protector to the outlet, right?" and "does DC vs. AC matter if I just want to get a wire hot (and if not, would my 30V 10A DC power supply work)) - but nobody gave me any useful answers and just kept telling me not to do it. So I eventually gave up on it.

Anyway, the better fuel supply got the furnace so hot that:


  1. the bricks the furnace is made of are falling apart
  2. one crucible cracked and its lid shattered
  3. the water bath I put on top - to heat up a mixture of copper(II) sulfate and sodium metabisulfite to boiling, to make Chevreul's salt - got so hot that it literally smelted the Chevreul's salt and deposited a chunk of copper on the bottom of the vessel that I can't get out


I believe this is what we in the business refer to as "suffering from success".

Anyway, this last run was a catastrophic failure. I did two crucibles at once; one I spilled 90% of its contents while trying to retrieve it from the furnace, but what I had left had no trace of blue. The other one - the cracked one with the broken lid - had no blue either.

Why is ultramarine so hard to make what the hell
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G-Coupled
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[*] posted on 15-12-2019 at 00:31


Sounds like you're on your way to sucess. Keep at it!

It's not too hard at all to build an electrical heater - you're just shoving current down a resistance wire at the end of the day. So long as you've wound an amount of suitable gauge wire that's in the right ballpark in length and know its resistance, you can quite easily calculate what's needed.

A simple thermocouple would be sufficient to measure the temperature, or you could invest in an inexpensive IR thermometer.

[Edited on 15-12-2019 by G-Coupled]
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Arcaeca
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Mood: brøthér, can you spare some B̲̺̹̙̑́̓́ͧ̎ͭ̈́͜L̰̦̼̻͈͖̺͔̇̇̿ͪ̓̃̽ͦŲ̘̲̻͔̀͌͑͑̊͛̑̀͊̕E̐ͮͯ͆̔̾͘͏҉̥̫

[*] posted on 15-12-2019 at 13:44


I tried again with both crucibles, including the cracked one. I put a couple pieces of brick that chipped off the interior walls of the furnace in top of the crucible as a crude, loose-fitting lid and hoped for the best. It doesn't seem to have mattered and may have even helped, because the yield of useably-large blue pieces was larger than ever before. I also left the top of the furnace uncovered, which may have somehow affected it; the fire also nearly went out at one point (from what I can tell, because some non-flammable rubble blocked much of the oxygen intake) and had to be re-ignited, which resulted in some temperature swings that may also have affected it.

The yields was still not uniformly blue, but as said before, more blue was recovered than ever before. However, one crucible had a sort of greyish-blue-green, like a mix of charcoal and teal, vs. a nicer royal blue obtained from the other crucible (the cracked one without a proper lid).

There was a large variation of color within the crucibles. Certainly lots of offwhites, pale oranges and dark greys from where it didn't get hot enough, but also greens and especially reds. There were a couple large pieces with an almost ruby-red inset (color not captured well by the camera) surrounded by white that sort of reminded me of cinnabar.

Overall it seems the yield is rather fickle, both in quantity and quality of blue color. If I had more control over the reaction conditions, as in an electric kiln, I might try and play around and see what the optimal firing temperature is and whether the lid makes a big difference or not. For now though I think I just don't have enough control over the conditions to say one way or the other.

IMG_5491.JPG - 2.2MBIMG_5492.JPG - 2.2MBIMG_5494.JPG - 3.2MB
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rockyit98
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[*] posted on 15-12-2019 at 15:50


HTME The Joy of Painting From Scratch
"how to make ultramarine"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVI5TPz-VkA




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Arcaeca
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[*] posted on 15-12-2019 at 16:51


Yeah, that video is what gave me the idea to start making pigments in the first place; I saw it basically right when it was released. The problem is he doesn't say how much of any ingredient to use (although it looks like he's using a whole lot more charcoal powder than I am, since my unfired powder is off-white and his is grey).

[Edited on 12-16-2019 by Arcaeca]
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[*] posted on 16-12-2019 at 09:00


Below is a link to procedures recipes and discussion about the synthesis.

https://sci-hub.se/10.1371/journal.pone.0050364

Its got a chromaticity diagram showing the colour range for different procedures.

[file]7843[/file]

ultra-crom.JPG - 59kB

Just in case the link decays below is the file:
Attachment: ultramarine-synth-hamerton2013.pdf (664kB)
This file has been downloaded 165 times

[Edited on 12/16/2019 by wg48temp9]




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