Daniel Smith Artists Materials
“Art is a gift,” says John Cogley, owner of DANIEL SMITH Artists’ Materials and Manufacturing. Even though his mother
and sister are artists in the traditional sense, John’s art is manufacturing and the production of artists’ materials.
Six months out of the year John is traveling the world telling the story of how paint is made. In his demonstrations
to artists, they get to actually hold the minerals in their hands, the minerals that become the pigments squeezed from
tubes onto a palette and brushed onto paper where artists create their own story.
The story begins by sourcing for material. Pigment comes from two sources: minerals from all over the world and the laboratory – which would be synthetics like the Quinacridones. Minerals are found in nature. Paints created in the lab are high performance
pigments designed and used in the automobile and other industries.
Recently John was in Tasmania to pick up serpentine, a beautiful luminous green color. The town of the serpentine mine
had a population of 2,000 until it was shut down and now there are five people. “It’s almost like being in Oz when
walking down the road because of the veins of serpentine. ”Mike, the miner, one of the five remaining people, sells
serpentine to sculptors, who turn out to be another source for minerals.