Ochre Sanctuary is an evolving, living place that serves to engage and protect ochre, ie. iron-based earth pigments and humankind’s oldest art material. Currently based in a tiny rural cabin in far north Cascade foothills of Nooksack territory, Washington, USA.

Counsel of ochres includes hundreds of rocks and dusts, across the color spectrum, gathered and offered by citizens around Earth, including spiritual and cultural ochres such as kōkōwai from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and meaningful planetary ochres like GOE (Great Oxidation Event ) 2 billion+ years old goethite or wastewater vivianite from Taiwanese industrial plants.

Areas of focus

– Ochres from common, endangered, exhausted, sacred or urban places.
– Pigments, clays, soil, mud, sandstones and minerals of hematite, goethite, limonite, magnetite, maghemite, siderite, vivianite and other iron-rich minerals.
– Iron-based material from eroding or endangered regions, toxic waste sites, including banned countries and controversial regions.
– Ochres used and made by nonhuman lifeforms including microbes, elephants and vultures.
– The study of ochre terms across languages.
– Ochre behavior, spiritual significance and futures.
– Support Indigenous ochre knowledge, revitalization, land return and ancestral or cultural practices.
– Cross-cultural collaboration and connection through ochre.

See our Research page to learn more.


Ochre Sanctuary is a citizen-supported project, sustained through generous exchange, for the purpose of education and protection around Earth’s creative heritage materials. We rely solely on planetary friends and radical neighbors to support our work. Here’s how you can help:

1. Share earth. Get in touch with Heidi, heidi@earlyfutures.com to talk about, offer (or ask for) ochre or earth pigments from your bioregion or ancestral land.

2. Support a pigment. $26 helps with the labor and supplies to process one pigment. You will receive a note of gratitude and a bit about what pigment/s are being worked on.

3. Cheer us on! If this work is important, inspiring or meaningful to you, we’d love to know. Gifts of appreciation in any form (monetary, prayers, dreamscapes, candles, food, paintings, strange little found objects, worn rags, love notes…) are deeply beneficial and celebrated. Paypal: heidi@earlyfutures.com or email directly to ask for a postal address.

4. Fund Research and Collaboration. Interested or able to offer substantial resources, educational or travel/research funding or other forms of long-term project support? Send a note to Heidi, heidi@earlyfutures.com to share ideas about could be of greatest benefit during this time.

Many thanks to the following generous contributors + collaborators:
(list updated bi-yearly)

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
Jason Logan, 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
Alexis Joseph with Case for Making, San Francisco, CA, USA
Devon Deimler, Opus Archives at Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA
Dr. Steven Goodman, California Institute of Integral Studies, SF, CA.
Symeon Van Donkelaar, artist and iconographer, Ontario, Canada
Attila Gazo, Master 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
Dr. Claire E Gustafson, Stanford University, USA
Gregg and Jody Gustafson, Kirkland, 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 and Soil Scientist, 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
Amanda Brazier, artist, Tennessee, USA
Adam D. Haack, gem smith, Australia
Amy Fujimoto, Hawaii, USA
Madisen Hilligoss, artist + naturalist, Squamish territory, British Columbia, Canada
Sarah Hudson, Māori artist, Whakatāne, Aotearoa, New Zealand
Caroline James, naturalist + adventurer, Iceland
Angela Muller, prairie artist, Kansas, USA
Stella Maria Baer, painter + pigment worker, Colorado, USA
Karen Eisenstadt, nature journalist + observer, Berkeley, CA, USA
Patricia Belyea with Okan Arts, Tokyo, Japan and Seattle, WA, USA
Blossom Mertz, Wildland Press, New Mexico, USA
Madison Woods of Wild Ozark, artist + paint maker, Arkansas, USA
Buck McAdoo, mycologist + artist, Bellingham, WA, USA
Sky and Ben Peck, youth artists, Kenmore, WA, USA
Kuros Zahedi, Saku Tea, Vienna, Austria.
Margaret Griffin, ceramicist and wild clay researcher, Nova Scotia + Montreal, Quebec
Cyrus Kellick, meteorite discoverer, Wales, UK
Sibella Court, interior design alchemist + The Society Inc., Australia
Elissa Callen, artist + plant tender, Oakland, CA, USA
Stephanie Cosby, medical intuitive + plant keeper at PLANTS PLUS PEOPLE, Memphis, TN, USA
Kat Gosiengfiao, pigment forager and paint maker, PintaPH, Philippines
Alyssa Dennis, artist + illustrator, NYC + Mali, Africa
Helen Correll, artist + naturalist, South Carolina
Julie Kim, artist + pigment worker, Washington, USA
Dr. Tammy Hodgskiss, Ochre Archeologist and Curator, Johannesburg, South Africa
Tilke Elkins, artist and founder of Wild Pigment Project, Oregon, USA
Karla Sofía Claudio Betancourt, artist, Puerto Rico
Thomas Little, ink maker + alchemist, USA
Caroline Ross, wildcraft maverick, England
Elizabeth Ahlem Clark, artist + colorist, Bellingham, WA, USA
Sandy Zarszycka, Ochre archeologist, Powars II site, Wyoming
Wolfgang Schweizer, artist, Germany
Elaine Su-Hui, Inner Fields NY, USA + Australia
Agulis Pigments, Armenia
Leah Koransky, artist, Berkeley, CA, USA
Kimberly Boustead, artist, MN, USA
Melissa Dickenson, painter, California, USA
Lizz Aston, artist and natural pigment worker, Toronto, Canada
Mona Lewis, Waldorf teacher and artist, LA, CA, USA
Alan Salazar, Chumash/Tataviam elder and storyteller, CA, USA
Julia Norton, artist and pigment researcher, Harvard + Brooklyn, USA
April Luokkala, Colors of the Iron Range, natural paint maker, Michigan, USA
Sabine Pinon, Art materials researcher, In Bed with Mona Lisa, Australia
Evelyn Billo + Robert K. Mark, archeologists, Rupestrian CyberServices, AZ, USA
Rebecca Coffin Anderson, artist, USA
Linea Sundstrom, WI, USA
Jodi Gear, Medical illustrator, artist and paintmaker, Montana, USA
Mariana LaFrance, Chemistry and Craft, mnidoo mnis/Manitoulin Island, CN
Kathy Hattori, Botanical Colors owner, Seattle, WA, USA