The constituents and history of ochre make for fascinating reading in this post from the inimitable Stuart Shield. In other news, I’m still without my computer and my patience is wearing very thin! But I shall take care and keep laughing, as I hope will you all!
Sarah x



Ochre ((pale yellow, pale), also spelled ocher, which ranges in colour from yellow to deep orange or brown. It is also the ) is a natural earth pigment containing hydrated iron oxidename of the colors produced by this pigment, especially a light brownish-yellow. A variant of ochre containing a large amount of hematite, or dehydrated iron oxide, has a reddish tint known as “red ochre”.

Ochre and the earth pigments

Ochre is a family of earth pigments, which includes yellow ochre, red ochre, purple ochre, sienna, and umber. The major ingredient of all the ochres is iron(III) oxide-hydroxide, known as limonite, which gives them a yellow color.

  • Yellow ochre, FeO(OH)·nH2O, is a hydrated iron hydroxide (limonite) also called gold ochre
  • Red ochre, Fe2O3, takes its reddish colour from the mineral hematite, which is an anhydrous iron oxide.
  • Purple ochre, is…

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