17 Nov 2007

Inorganic Chemistry and Art

In-Class Activity

Submitted by Lori Watson, Earlham College
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Description: 

This activity provides a fun way of examining the historic use of inorganic compounds as pigments. Students learn about some of the pigments used in paintings, optionally researching particular artworks that use these pigments, and then make and use paints based on these inorganic compounds. This ­is an excellent “last day of the semester” activity.

 

There will be nice slides of the structures of some of these pigments and slides of famous painting which use them as soon as I can figure out how to upload a 66 MB file!!!

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Microsoft Office document icon notesart.doc40.5 KB
Equipment needs: 

Inorganic Chemistry and art:

Chemicals

Various inorganic compounds that are generally available in ores, or simply made from historically available ingredients. Some suggestions:

Pb3(SbO4)2

Pb3O4

Celadonite or Glaucinite (often the geology department will have plenty of this to give you): K[(Al, Fe3+)(Fe2+,Mg)](AlSi3, Si4)O10(OH)2

CdS

PbCrO4

Ag2CrO4

BaCrO4

ZnO

BaSO4

CoO×Al2O3

CoCl2

This is a good opportunity to “use up” some of the ancient bottles of inorganic salts that are not used in any current experiment that are in your stockroom or dusty cabinets.

Materials and equipment

Mortars and pestles

Plastic or glass stirring rods (some metals will discolor the paints)

Small canvases (purchased at a craft or art supply store)

Inexpensive paint brushes, several sizes (purchased at a craft or art supply store)

Lots of newspaper to protect lab surfaces

Eggs

Linseed oil (purchased at a craft or art supply store)

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