- question of the week - color of the week  


Blue colour is associated to calmness, tranquillity and spirituality. Is it because of that the favourite colour of adults perhaps? Over 40 % of european and american adults have said to prefer blue to the other colours.

The range of blue tones familiar to Finnish people includes e.g. cobolt blue, sky blue, Prussian blue, Fazer chocolate blue and the blue of HK sausages. All the names have their own stories. As the blue tone of the week we present Ultramarine blue, or Lapis lazuli blue which is a very bright blue. In the Middle Ages, the source of ultramarine blue, a mineral called Lapis lazuli, was imported to Europe from the area of the present-day Afghanistan. The word "ultramarine" derives from the location of the deposit - ultra mare meaning beyond the sea. This name was gradually established to denote the pigment. The name Lapis lazuli blue can be traced back to a Persian language word for blue, lazhward.

Natural ultramarine is an expensive pigment, because grinding the pigment from the genuine material is difficult. Synthetic ultramarine was developed in the 1820's. In the synthetic pigment, unlike the genuine one, there are no impurities, but it has not as stable a quality as the genuine material. The difference in price is considerable: the genuine pigment is approximately a thousand times more expensive than the synthetic.