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Heidi Gustafson

Book of Earth

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Art meets science in Book of Earth, artist and ochre specialist Heidi Gustafson’s guide to creating color with Earth’s extraordinary pigments, exploring their fascinating uses today and throughout history and culture.

Part anthropological study, part art book, and part how-to, Book of Earth is an immersive introduction into the world of ochre, a naturally occurring mineral used to make pigment. Each chapter delves into Heidi Gustafson’s rare pigment archive and provides a thorough exploration of natural color, while challenging our notions of the inanimate world. Featuring practical advice and techniques for creating your own pigments and applying these skills in everyday life, Gustafson also includes contributor essays offering historical and cultural perspectives on color cultivation and the meaning of pigments to various cultures.

Gustafson was called the “ochre whisperer” by American Craft and noted as the “woman archiving the world’s ochre” in the New York Times. Her personal collection of more than 600 pigments from around the planet is a unique treasure, and her passion and field experience will captivate you from the first page to the last.


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