Skip to content

AlphabeThursday … H is for Hematite

January 9, 2014

Hematite is red often  called the blood stone; it is a strong and solid stone, it used to burnish gold for this is required a black and dense colour as dark as adamant (a legendary rock or mineral to which many properties were attributed, formerly associated with diamond or lodestone)


It must be sound; without grain.  Then ground on a millstone until it looks like an oversized lipstick with handle that fit comfortably in the palm of the hand. Then it can be used for burnishing gold or silver.  However, when not in use Cennini recommends it is kept in ‘your bosom’ so it will not get  damp; this is not good for the gold.

But also  used when painting frescos. The pure stone is purple but has the structure like vermilion. Once it has been pounded in a bronze mortar it is worked with water until the colour become perfect.  Cennini goes on to say that the colour compares with cardinal, purple or lac but cannot be used with temperas; I wonder why?

alphabet thursday

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 9, 2014 5:40 pm


  2. January 10, 2014 1:14 pm

    How interesting!

  3. January 10, 2014 1:26 pm

    stones were used for so many other things, before man started many plastics and all. What a contrast of occupations for hematite! {:-Deb

  4. January 11, 2014 12:58 am

    Thank you for the lesson!

  5. January 30, 2014 5:56 am

    There sounds like a lot of steps here…

    You always do such a wonderful job finding all of the history behind things!

    Thanks for linking to the letter “H”!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: