Recently my other half asked me ‘What’s the deal behind the phrase “As mad as a hatter”?’
Well, he was asking the right person, I actually know the answer. Years back when hatters where hatters, mercury was used in the process of hat making. So this was all before people knew that mercury wasn’t good to handle and lick your fingers after, get it on your skin and such. So hatters would handle mercury and get mercury poisoning, which would become evident in them going nuts. Hence the phrase, as mad as a hatter!
In a similar vein, here are some of the nasty things that artists – or art handlers – have to take risks with.
As I say to my students. Once you get the temptation to lick your brush, wash your brush in your wine or drink it after, remember that one of those pigments might be phthaloCYANINE blue.
I thought This Article about Edward Munch’s color theory was really interesting. Red is interpreted more quickly by the brain than blue because the wavelengths are slower!
And the quote “Quantum mechanics has been very well correlated with the emergence of non-representational art.” – Bober – shows you just how much science there is in art. So if you want to be an artist, don’t skip chemistry or subatomic physics in school.
Came across this article from one of Artnet‘s regular emails that I get. I’m looking forward to trying this new blue – ‘YInMn blue’, though I think there’s still time to rename it to something more pronounceable such as ‘Mas Blue’, ‘Subramanian Blue’ or ‘Oregon Blue’.
I’m not knowledgeable about art conservation, but found this an interesting article about how supposed masterpieces can be verified based on the chemistry of the paint, and why there is a collection of old paint (outside of artists’ studios….).