Main Information

Caroline Nicolay - Director, Pario Gallico
Charlestown Workshops, KY11 3EN
Start Time
9:30 a.m.
End Time
4:30 p.m.
£80.00 + VAT
(£96.00 incl VAT)

Technical Details

Individual Learning Accounts (ILA)
Requires C1 & C2?
Technical Level
Practical Level


This course explores the tools and techniques used many thousands of years ago

We always hear about cave paintings and roman frescoes.. but very little about what was being painted in between. Prehistory wasn't a just-brown-and-green world at all, and modern archaeology started to prove it! With a focus on Iron Age painted walls and objects, this course explores the tools and techniques used many thousands of years ago and throughout History to turn colourful minerals into paints, make paintbrushes and choose what mediums to use on various surfaces.

All is based on historical techniques, natural materials and basic principles: you do not need ANY prior experience to join this course, just enthusiasm! All tools and materials will be provided.

After a short introduction to the archaeology of paints, we will spend the morning learning how to extract pure pigment from locally foraged minerals, from collecting to processing. Following lunchbreak** participants will discover how to make paintbrushes from natural materials, then explore different kinds of binders / mediums necessary to turn pigments into paints suitable for various surfaces. The day ends with a short session to test out the paints we made on watercolour paper.

Everyone is expected to go home with several handmade brushes and samples of natural pigment to finish or use after the course!

Please note: Course fees are payable upon booking and are non refundable.

About the Tutor:

Caroline Nicolay is an archaeologist and living historian specialising in bringing historic techniques and crafts to life, from paint and mineral pigment making in early history to open-fire cooking using clay pots. Mainly working with museums and open air heritage sites, she has been running courses for a number of years, hoping to share widely some techniques that are both thousands of years old and very much used by 21st century artists and in traditional or natural construction.

Caroline's research was focusing on wall paintings and clay plasters in Iron Age houses (= before the Roman conquest of Britain), but evolved towards the production and use of paints from the Stone Age to the Medieval period... and how looking at ancient techniques can help us work towards a more sustainable future in the built environment and artistic practices.

£80.00 + VAT
(£96.00 incl VAT)

Contact me when a new date is scheduled