On a recent trip to Sweden, I was struck by the rich earthy red that adorns many buildings and fences all throughout the region. After some inquiries, I was told that the red was called Falun Red (or Falu) which stems from the town where the pigment for the color is mined.
After some research, I discovered that Falun is home to several copper mines and that the earth surrounding these mines is naturally rich with iron oxide. Ironically enough, the hematite earth gained from the southwest region of the United States is also home to copper mines which produce earths rich in iron oxide (hematite and caput mortuum) and Malachite as a by product of the mining process.
What really struck me about the Falun Red, were the variances in shades of red, when the paint is examined up close. While from a distance the paint appears to be one shade of earthy red, a closer examination reveals an array of rich oranges, ranging down to deep purple shades. That is when I had my “aha” moment and decided to blend our hematite with our caput mortuum pigments to create a similar effect. The results were more than I could hope for and I am happy to add this hue to the Sinopia Milk Paint Palette.