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Newsletter 02-2018

Kremer Pigmente

Dragon's Blood Emzolo

The resin known as dragon’s blood or “Sanguis draconis” is the product of a large species of rattan palm, Daemonorops draco, a native of the islands of the Indian Archipelago, but principally produced in Sumatra and Borneo. This variety is knows as “Palm dragon’s blood”.

Socotra dragon’s blood derives from Dracaena cinnabari and is produced in Socotra, South Eastern Asia and the West Indies.

Dragon’s blood is imported in the form of cylindrical rolls about 2 - 3 cm in thick and 25 - 30 in long, wrapped in palm leaves, in small balls, lumps. The constituents of dragon’s blood are resin acids, alcohols and esters of very complex constitution.

The red resin was used as varnish, medicine, incense and dye in ancient times. The dragon's blood known to the ancient Romans was mostly collected from D. cinnabari and is mentioned in the 1st century Periplus (30: 10. 17) as one of the products of Socotra. Socotra had been an important trading centre since at least the time of the Ptolemies. Dragon's blood of both Daemonorops draco and Dracaena cinnabari were used as a source of varnish for 18th century Italian violinmakers.

The resin is quite dark, red in color and opaque and is used principally as a stain or red spirit varnish. When powdered it yields a crimson-colored powder. It is entirely soluble in alcohol, except for the presence of a small amount of mechanical impurities, such as vegetable fiber or sand.

According to Dietrich, palm dragon’s blood, which is the finest variety, alone answers to the “draco-alban” test, which thus discriminates between Sumatra and Socotra dragon’s blood. The test is as follows: ten grams of powdered dragon’s blood are extracted with ether and the ethereal extract poured into absolute alcohol. If the resin is Sumatra dragon’s blood, a white resinous precipitate is formed, which is not the case with Socotra resin.

The saponification value of dragon’s blood varies from 135 to 145. Colophony can be detected by the Storch-Morawski reaction.


*NEW: Mortar 100 mm + Pestle 120 mm

made of porcelain, dish with pouring lip, 110 ml + pestle Ø 37 mm

Available with order number #883323 an issue price of 18,45 €
(incl. VAT plus shipping costs)

We clean our own mortars, marble slabs and mullers with an abrasive cleaning agent or with marble dust and water. Tools soiled with materials like organic pigments or Milori Blue can be cleaned with Olive Oil Soap and a scouring pad .

Olive Oil Soap, block (#78045)

Olive Oil Soap, liquid (#78046)

Marseille Soap, needles (#78050)



04. - 06. March 2018, Dallas, USA

The International Art Materials Association - NAMTA® is dedicated to promoting the art/creative materials industry. Members include retailers, manufacturers, distributors, importers, and independent reps from around the world.

Salon Leeuwarden

03. - 06. May 2018, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Annual gathering of decorative painters

Salone dell'Arte e del Restauro di Firenze

16. - 18. May 2018, Florence, Italy

Pip Seymour: The Artist's Handbook

A complete professional guide to materials and techniques. The Artist’s Handbook provides artists with in-depth, practical information on the materials, equipment and skills necessary for all areas of artistic practice. Topics covered include advice on how to select appropriate art materials, including paints, brushes, canvasses and drawing materials, techniques for making your own pigments, glue, varnishes and paper, advice on how to achieve the best results from both manufactured and hand-made materials, the best methods of storing and preserving finished artworks, and health and safety precautions.

Available with order number #99210