Mountain pigment


Clay and mineral pigments collected in the Ambatofotsy region

Ceramics workshop, potter’s wheel

In collaboration with the French Development Agency (AFD), Anbatofotsy - MA

In Malagasy, the word loko stands for both “pigment” and “color”. In the Ambatofotsy village, there is a family of ceramists. Their pigments all come from natural resources. The mother is the head the workshop. One day, she told me: "you have to know the rock if you want to play with color, and you have to take the pigment without hurting the mountain".
In their workshop, there are yellow ocher sands (goethite) and red ones (hematite); orange, mauve and black iron oxides; brown mixtures of manganese and goethite oxides; greens derived from of iron protoxides; white cerusite, gypsum as well as calcite (known as "lime"). All are used for coloring clay, through heating processes passed down from generations.