Our Extrafine Handmade Watercolor Genuine Smalt is prepared with Genuine Smalt inorganic mineral pigment. This is actually a cobalt-doped glass, i.e. potassium and cobalt silicate. The history of this pigmens goes many back many centuries: it likely was part of the blue color of some glasses of ancient Egypt. During the Middle Ages anyway artisans began to produce it to be used as a pigment, but it was mostly used during the 16th and 17th century. Its production involved the fusion of cobalt oxides (extracted from minerals) with sand and potash (potassium carbonate). The smalt is thus obtained: it’s then ground and used as a pigment.
The Extrafine Handmade Watercolor Genuine Smalt is made in Italy by Nila Colori and is an intense blue color tending to violet, with low tinting strength and really high transparency and lightfastness.
Genuine Smalt pigment is milled with just the right amount of a mixture of Kordofan gum arabic (binder) and vegetable glycerin (humectant and plasticyzer). These are the ingredients which are historically the main characters in the production of the watercolors and which give the best results regarding ease and pleasantness of painting. We don’t add any filler or any other organic compound, which might alter the color over time.
Colouring agent: Potassium cobaltous silicate
Lightfastness: BWS 8/8