Early Futures Ochre Archive

World-wide archive of 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.
– Iron-based matter from eroding or endangered regions, toxic waste sites, including banned countries and controversial regions.


Pigments in the collection are used across multiple disciplines including: art practice, 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.

Mineral pigments are ground colors made from stone, soil and clay. Many stones used to make iron pigments are millions of years old, from geologic epochs long before humans existed. The oldest pigment in the collection is ~154 million years old.

Learn more About Ochre Minerals


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