Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday 13th June

@ Bodleian Museum. Detail MS Arab d98 .follb
Fascinating article here by the Bodleian Museum on Exploring Ultramarine, the pattern reminds me of knitting patterns, especially fair isle, the manuscript almost looks like felting.   Lapis lazulis rock from which the colour is ground,  can only be found, and here I quote, in the following places....

 Since ancient times lapis lazuli has been sourced in this remote region, north-east of modern Afghanistan, and exported over vast distances. Its mines on the steep Hindu Kush Mountains, above the Valley of the Kokcha River, can only be reached through a tortuous and dangerous route. At present only the mines of Sar-e-Sang have reserves of the highest-grade lapis lazuli. Other historical sources are near Lake Baikal in Siberia. The other locations where lapis lazuli can be found in commercial quantities are in the Andes Mountains of Chile and in Colorado, USA. There are smaller deposits on Baffin Island, Canada, in Lazio, Italy, and in the Pamir mountains of Tajikistan.

At first I thought the Japanese dyes that LS has so carefully collected  had the same colour but this is the mineral Azurite, and if you look at the bottom middle compartment you will see the beautifully coloured Tamamushi beetle.  One of my favourite stories is captured here as well, the monk feeding himself to the hungry tigers below the cliff at the Asuka temple, the shrine originally was decorated with the wings of the beetle.

This photo is taken from Japanese Dyes
Which all brings me back to wanting to dye some wool, several thing dictate against this, I threw out my dyeing pot when we moved to Yorkshire, have no soft white wool only silk to dye, and my dyes are somewhere hidden in the garage.


  1. Why is it that when we move we always seem to get rid of things that we suddenly wish we had kept? Happened to me several times and yet if we kept everything we would be inundated wouldn't we?

  2. Yes we would be inundated that is true, but one does have regrets, especially the two earthenware jugs I used to make elderflower 'champagne' in!

  3. Lapis lazuli is a beautiful healing crystal for it works well on developing the throat chakra allowing us to fully express our inner feelings.
    I used it frequently when doing energy healing with crystal layouts on recipients with excellent the results.

  4. It is also a beautiful colour and hard won by the look of things. Never knew it was a healing crystal, something new learnt every day.