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In 1672, the great scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, shone white light through a triangular prism. He found that wavelengths of light refracted at different angles, enabling him to see the rainbow. Much has been written and speculated about colour way before Mr. Newton, though, and even more after. From its physical aspect to its psychological effects. One thing is for sure, we live in a full coloured world. Pastels, CMYK, RGB or good old Technicolor – from our clothes to the screens we stare at each day, it is hard to find a drab nuance nowadays.
We have been creating pigments for as long as we can remember. Grinding up clay, burnt bones, animal fat and soil provided the earliest masters – yes, cavemen – a lively but pretty basic palette of colour to adorn their stone walls. The invention of new pigments has ever since gone hand in hand with developments of Art History’s greatest movements, as artists were able to experiment with colours that had never been seen before. Red was one of the first and oldest pigments ever used, obtained from natural plants, clays and even squished little bugs called Cochineals; these last ones were once so popular, that their price rivalled that of gold at a certain point. It's safe to say pure pigments equalled most precious materials for a long time, as they were pretty costly to obtain. Purple pigment was once painstakingly crafted from thousands of mollusc shells. While Ultramarine blue was made from precious lapis lazuli stones – until iconic artist Yves Klein created a synthetic version of the stuff, aptly calling it Yves Klein Blue and promptly devoting his whole oeuvre to a colour, he declared, “Has no dimensions. It is beyond dimensions.” Other colours have less stainless stories to accompany their names. Take green; it might seem natural and perfect to depict bright emerald plants. But all in all, green pigments have been some of the most poisonous in history as they were mostly based on not so healthy mixes of lead, arsenic and copper. A certain Paris Green coloured wallpaper has even been accused of causing the death of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1821.
It is easy to see why colours have inspired artists, royalty and even revolutions through each new shade. How surrounding ourselves with colour says a great deal about who we are or what we like. And considering that nowadays we spend the greatest part of our time indoors, immersing ourselves in colour can be something that has a big impact on our daily life. Even on our daily health. While it is true that we do not lace our paint with lead or arsenic any more – which means no more deadly shades the likes of Paris Green – they usually still have a couple of harsh chemicals mixed in.
That is where Keim paint is different. Taking inspiration from vibrant colours throughout the ages, the mineral paint company proposes a new and healthier way of painting your walls. Keim paints are made from pure pigments blended with a natural silicate wash, giving the paint a very deep hue and a natural finish. Just the way we like our colours at The Loft. No chemicals added, no plastic textures. The natural components of the paint mean it is also highly breathable, resistant to mould and will outlast most of us – developed in 1878 by A.W. Keim, the emulsion has been around for well over a century and with that many facades and fresco’s painted with it.
Nowadays, Keim is a supplier to architects, interior designers and can be seen tinting many state of the art interiors. We’ve partnered up with the century-old house to give our upcoming Loft a very special hue. Come see for yourself, click here to attend the event. See you there?
Pictures by Aico Lind.
Words by Sara Martín Mazorra.