Early Futures Ochre Archive

World-wide archive of ochre, ie. iron-based earth and pigments.

Areas of focus

Ochres from ancient, sacred and commercially significant landscapes and sites.
– Pigments, clays, soil and stones of hematite, goethite, limonite, magnetite, maghemite, siderite, vivianite and other iron ores. See Ochre Minerals to learn more.
– Iron-based matter from eroding or endangered regions, toxic waste sites, including banned countries and controversial regions.
– The study of Ochre terms and historical uses from around the world


Ochre bearing minerals are contain two essential elements: iron and oxygen. These primal elements are the building blocks for life itself, as well a essential player in coloring our worlds.

Our archive of ochre pigments conserves this basic (and profound) material for study by artists, scientists and researchers.

Pigments in our collection are used in modern times across multiple disciplines including: art, medicine, science, evolutionary biology, cosmetics, remediation, wastewater resource recovery, anthropology, pedology, chemistry, history of language, poetry, literature, ecology, climate change history,conservation, geology, geography, mining and many others.

See our Research page to learn more.


We welcome material contributions, collaborations, sponsorship and exchange.

Get in touch with curator, Heidi Gustafson, to share: heidi@earlyfutures.com or via IG @heidilynnheidilynn.

Contributors and Sponsors

Many thanks to the following generous contributors:

Melonie Ancheta, Native Paint Revealed, USA
Scott Sutton, Pigment Hunter, USA
Crystalynn Tarr, Rendered Earth Studio, Canada
New Riverside Ochre Co, USA
Hormuz Powders , Iran and Canada
Promindsa, Micronox Pigments, Spain
Toronto Ink Company, Canada
Ricky Priambodo, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
Leon Korving, Mark van Loosdrecht, Philip Wilfert , Wetsus, Netherlands
Dorieke Schreurs, Netherlands
Morgan Williams, Applied Soils, University of Berkeley, USA
Devon Deimler, Opus Archives at Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA
Attila Gazo, Masters Pigments, USA
Andrew Zipkin,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and Zambia
Phil Sibrell, USGS, USA
Tim Runde, Des Moines WWTP, USA
Book/Shop, USA
Earth Pigments Distributors, USA
Kremer Pigment, Germany
Natural Pigments Distributors, USA
Claire E Gustafson, Stanford University, USA
NW Rockhounds, USA
Kitt Repass, USA
Sintija Strode, Artist, Latvia
Lydia and Kurt Scherer, Stonehouse Artifacts, USA
Elin Glærum Haugland, Artist, Norway + Brazilian Amazon
Zeide Furtado, Civil Engineer, Brazil
Anja Slapničar, Slovenian Ceramics, Slovenia
Catalina Morales Christensen, artist/architect, UK and Columbia
Stoneworks Mill, Baltimore, MD, USA
Hana Louise Shahnavaz, traditional Persian painter, London