The Cyprus Palette

$40 + Shipping

The Cyprus palette is made using two natural earth pigments originating in Cyprus. Both pigments are increasingly rare and are carefully sourced to be able to bring you these beautiful and historical colors. 

High in the mountains of Cyprus, far from tourist spots, one can find round, fist-sized rocks strewn among the olive groves and small ravines. Some of these gray-white rocks contain a light, pure, green color, with a core of a hard brown substance. The brown silicate is slowly weathering into a green earth in the hot, semi-arid climate. The green earth from Cyprus originated mainly in the Turkish part of the island, however political and judicial problems make the collection of the earth illegal. Only on the borders of the historical sources can a few rocks be found. A Grecian monastery commissioned the production of green earth from these stones, and they have supplied a small amount to be shared.

Jarosite is a yellow lemon ocher pigment which creates the clearest yellow ocher occurring naturally, without the deeper tone of the French ochers. Because of the political situation of Cyprus the mining of this rare and beautiful earth has been neglected, but now a small amount of manual production is once again available. The Cyprian Jarosite has always been famous for it’s unique hue and exceptional clarity. 

+ Specifications

The Cyprus palette consists of 2 half-size pans of handmade, professional grade watercolor. All pigments receive a permanent lightfastness rating (8, on a scale of 1 to 8) and are non-toxic.

The pigments of the Colonial Palette include:

  • Cyprus Green Earth
  • Cyprus Jarosite

Each pan is magnetized and packaged in a metal travel tin. All orders are shipped with a handwritten swatch card, reusable hand dyed silk ribbon, and a small sheet of 100% cotton rag handmade paper to test your watercolors with.

+ Pigment Information

Cyprus Jarosite

  • Country of Origin: Cyprus
  • Composition: PY 43.77492
  • Lightfastness: 8 (1 is poor, 8 is best)

Cyprus Green Earth

  • Country of Origin: Cyprus
  • Composition: PY 23.77009
  • Lightfastness: 8 (1 is poor, 8 is best)

+ Color Swatches & Charts

The image below shows color swatches true to the color of the paint. This photograph was taken in window light and has not been edited by color filters or in any way that would alter the true color of the paint.

Mixing and color charts coming soon.

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+ The Process

During production, pigment is mulled by hand on a glass slab with a combination of gum arabic, honey, and food grade preservative. Each pigment has it’s own unique recipe that has been tested over time to ensure the perfect balance of pigment to binder. All pans are hand poured and dried in thin layers which minimizes cracking and prevents air bubbles, ensuring the pan is as full as possible. However, some cracking is normal and will appear depending on the climate and the pigment. Cracking in the pan will not affect the use or the ability of the paint to re-wet.