A Paint Muller

Some tasks have just vanished from life. Once commonplace activities now have no place in anyone’s life. Mulling paint is one of them. Actually, artists do still mull their own paint sometimes.

The idea of mulling is to produce pigments in a very fine powder form and mix them with ‘oil’ to produce a usable paint.

Our muller dates from more than 100 years ago and is made of wood. It looks like a large darning mushroom (perhaps something else which has vanished from everyday life).

It was used in a kind of sweeping, circular or figure of eight motion to get a really good dispersion of the pigment in the oil. It could take hours so no wonder we are willing to let industry do the hard work these days.

A nineteenth century paint muller at Market Lavington Museum

A nineteenth century paint muller at Market Lavington Museum

This is our muller.


The well-worn mulling surface

It has a lovely, comfortable handle and then the head which, as we see, was well worn.

This is a lovely reminder of past times when painters had to produce their own paint.

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