Permanent pigments on a coal-tar base, p. 599
PERMANENT PIGMENTS ON A COAL-TAR BASE entrance to his grounds. He elected to mold four massive posts of concrete, each one, say, 30 inches square and 6 feet high. He built box forms with these inside dimen- sions, running the narrow boards of the sides horizontally. He left small cracks between the boards and upon pouring the wet mass of concrete, some of the mixture flowed out through these spaces. He let the posts harden and carefully removed the box forms. Instead of going over the sur- face with a rubbing brick and smoothing it off, he left all these little "fins" molded in the cracks in the forms. The result is a massive, rugged gateway that looks like no stone or brick that was ever made by Nature or by man. Green vines trailing over the rough background of gray-the result is artistic and legitimate. The posts are con- crete and only concrete. So we see that not only in the home, but in the garden, the lawn and the wood, con- crete may be used to produce effects at once artistic and satisfactory. The uses of con- crete about the home make a list too long to reproduce here. Besides my purpose has been merely to give concrete the square deal that it merits-to indicate in a small way its artistic possibilities and to acquit it of the common charge of deception. That Craftsman homes are excellently executed in concrete, there can be no argu- ment. In all forms except stucco, the latent values of the material are easily and won- derfully brought out. In stucco construc- tion there has been small chance for decep- tion. The many surface finishes given to stucco make it a favorite form of residence building, owing to its comparatively low cost. A Craftsman home of concrete, with green things trailing over the grays and dull reds and deep blues of the exterior, and an interior at once sanitary, cool in summer, warm in winter, fireproof and damp-proof- can more be asked? PERMANENT PIGMENTS ON A COAL-TAR BASE HE fading of oil paintings is one of the most serious difficulties with which the artist has to contend. In spite of all the searching for the secrets of the old masters whose colors still remain fresh and glowing, ten or fifteen years is sufficient to make a marked dif- ference in the color of almost any modern painting. Especially has this been the case with pigments of a tarry origin, and many efforts have been made to produce either a paint or a dye based on coal tar that would hold its color as well as the more primitive products. The greater brilliancy of the coal-tar colors, their clarity and the flexibility with which they lend themselves to subtle shadings, has tempted many a hapless artist to attempt their use, but in spite of all efforts to fix permanently the bright and delicate hues, they have faded and altered with discourag- ing swiftness. Therefore it is interesting to learn that at last a preparation of coal tar has been de- veloped in three colors that are said to be as permanent as the best of the natural colors. These are violet, red and yellow, very rich and clear, and exhaustive experi- menting has proven that even the well-tried alizarin reds, hitherto supposed the only trustworthy colors obtainable from coal tar, must yield to them in the matter of dura- bility. A process that can be applied to one set of colors can surely be extended to in- clude others, and if this new discovery is as good as it is said to be, it means the solving of a great many difficulties for the artist. So far the question of durability has been the great stumbling block in the way of experts who have been instrumental in de- veloping the modern methods of paint- ing and dyeing. The widespread prejudice against coal-tar dyes is based almost en- tirely upon their lack of stability as com- pared with the more primitive vegetable dyes which either retain their color value or, when they fade, give a softer and mel- lower color that grows more subtle and beautiful with each succeeding year. The immense range of the coal-tar colors, and the ease with which they are prepared and used, have always held forth a promise of greatly increased power to both the painter and the artist in dyes, so that experiments to develop the one lacking quality of dura- bility have been practically unceasing. These have been much more successful with re- gard to dyes than they have in the case of painters' colors, and the possibilities that lie in the right use of these modern dye- stuffs will be remembered by those of our readers who followed the interesting series of articles on dyeing by Professor Charles Pellew, published in THE CRAFTSMAN dur- ing the years 1908-9.
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