Week 1.5 – Stuck at Home and Studying

Mar 20, 2020

Hello everyone and welcome back to my Senior Project blog!

As you can probably guess, I don’t have anything super exciting to report for this week. I decided to not take off for Spring Break, but I’m still working from home, which means I’m mostly doing independent research. Most of my time this week was spent doing surface-level background research for a bunch of pigments in the Library of Congress’s collection — not just yellow! I tried to find information like alternate names, chemical formulas, materials, beginning date of use, previous uses, etc.. The LoC has hundreds of pigment samples, so I was only able to collect information on a fraction of them. I’ve made a lot of progress, so I’m moving on for now, but I may return to this task later on if my site continues to be restricted by the coronavirus outbreak.

The other pigment research I started this week was in deciding what my focus pigments will be. I am choosing five yellow pigments to focus my tests on if/when I return to the lab and will create a final report on the data and background research I gather for them. The five pigments I chose are:

  1. Chrome yellow
  2. Indian yellow
  3. Lead-antimonate yellow
  4. Lead-tin yellow
  5. Orpiment

I plan on doing more in-depth background research for these five for my final report to include things material sources and production recipes. The only problem I may have with these five pigments is that they are all toxic, so I will need to get approval before I can work with them in the lab. 

The final bit of research I did this week was refreshing my knowledge of some of the equipment/methods of analysis. I had meant to do this before starting my internship, but now I have a better idea of what I will be working with so I can focus my efforts. Luckily, I already have sources to read for most of them. 

That’s all I have for this week. I hope everyone is doing well in this uncertain time!

One Reply to “Week 1.5 – Stuck at Home and Studying”

  1. Ethan H. says:

    Wow! Who knew studying the pigment color yellow could be so dangerous?
    It’s really unfortunate that the Library of Congress has temporarily closed. Hope you’ve collected enough information from the pigment samples you examined.
    Great progress. Looking forward to next week’s post!

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