In bed with… Ochre

Another share-worthy post from Sabine Pinon (‘Still at the Centre,’ Byron Bay.) This time she has written a fascinating overview of the ancient earth pigment OCHRE, enlivened by anecdotal musings about her relationship with this primal pigment. Enjoy!

in bed with mona lisa

Ochre? Ocher? I’ll choose the first spelling…
No offense intended, ochre is simply more visually pleasing to me, in all probability only because it’s the same as the French spelling I have always been familiar with. Oddly in English (being the baffling thing it is) ochre and ocher are pronounced the same. Personal taste will make me chose again the more mineral sounding French ochre. The h being inaudible, that “cre” screeches like raw Earth crunched in a rough mortar. I can virtually hear in this cre the ochre pigment being separated from the sand and other earthy bits that held it together as a colourful mass. The patient and relentless grinding, that slightly annoying sound can be heard again in “cr-aie” (chalk… think of it on a blackboard) or in “cr-ayon” (pencil… being sharpened on sandpaper perhaps?) Strangely, I find it also…

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