A Statement from Michael Harding, October 2012
As you may know there has been considerable difficulty in getting a high quality lead white into the market. To address the concern I have taken two approaches. One approach is to make the pigment myself and the other is to buy the best industrial available lead. I have opted to take both options so that I may provide artists with the price and quality to suit their needs.
In order to achieve handmade “stack” lead white I follow the old masters formula. Lead is suspended over vinegar in a container and then buried in horse dung. This method is repeated layer after layer hence the term “stack”. The process itself takes many months to create the highest quality lead pigments. My process began spring of 2012. Initial findings of my handmade stack appear to be a great success as trials are going extremely well. We will be scaling it up here in the UK and will have limited quantities available in December with commercially available supply in January 2013. My good friends, portrait artists Leo Mancini-Hresko (Boston based) and Rupert Alexander (London based), have tested it and in their words they found it “awesome” and “oh joy of joys.” David Leffel and Jeremy Lipking are currently evaluating my handmade stack lead white also.
To address a commercial grade Cremnitz and Flake white we have (at last) found industrial produced lead carbonate that meets our standards. We hope to have stock available by January 2013.
I have also found a Rose Madder I will be adding it to the range along with lead tin yellow and red lead also known as "minium" and several other new colours. And don’t forget my Lapis Lazuli, as my latest supply from Afghanistan appears to be our bluest to date!
Michael Harding Paint is a popular oil colour made in the UK that comes highly recommended.
"These are the best oil paints in the world today."
Howard Hodgkin 1996
"Michael Harding oils are beautifully honest paints - for the beautifully honest act of painting."
Chris Ofili 2004
"The first quality oil paint Excellent!."
David Hockney 1998
What Michael Harding says about his oil colour ...
My paints are made by hand, using techniques which date back to the days of the Old Masters. There is a very simple reason for this painstaking process. As an artist and painter I wanted to create colours that were true and vibrant, and paint which was beautiful and durable.
The greater the pigment content of a paint the greater the resistance it has to fading. Nearly all manufacturers use various fillers to extend the volume of the oil paint. It may increase profits but it compromises on quality. I totally refuse to do this. Why make something exceptional and then dilute it?
I will not claim that my paints will turn you into a great painter, but I can promise they will have a profound effect on your work. Your colours will be stronger and richer, and you will find the texture of the paint incomparable. You will love working with them.
Try them. You will be amazed.
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