The Ochre Conservatory

In a pine forest in Roussillon, the Conservatory of Ochre and Applied Pigments perpetuates the ochre tradition. Here, the buildings of the old Mathieu factory have been restored and the visitor can go through the different steps in the processing of the raw material: the washing process to eliminate the sand by way of stone pipes, the drying of the purified ochre in settling tanks, cutting the ochre into bricks to be fired in a kiln (depending on the firing, the ochre takes on different tones) and finally the grinding, filtering and packaging of the pure ochre. The Conservatory, a veritable treasure trove for colour and dye enthusiasts, does not just content itself with preserving the tools: it is also a centre for the passing down of the know-how. Throughout the year, artists, craftspeople and the general public can learn the different types of techniques that use pigments.

The Jardin des Teinturiers (Dyers' Garden) at the old Mathieu factory, today the Ochre Conservatory,  lets the visitor learn about plant dyes, of which the Vaucluse was a big producer.  
The buildings regularly host conferences, which, through rental of the space, can also be initiated by other organisations linked to the subject of colours.  
Through the Ochre Conservatory you can also visit the old quarries, the village of Roussillon and other ochre villages and sites in the Apt region. Several guided theme tours are offered by appointment.  
Activities for children let them discover ochre and its uses through hands on experiences!
How is paint made? How are the colours for clothing made? Why is dye put on skin? How do you make pastel crayons and food dyes?  
The workshops at the Ochre Conservatory are occasions for children to discover through practice the answers to these questions. We offer more than fifteen different workshops for children from kindergarten to high school age.  
From year to year, the Ochre Conservatory explores the themes of the applications used in colour and dyes, which enriches all its activities together. These colour networks increase your opportunities to discover more and visits are possible for each of the following themes: whitewashing and mural techniques, fabricated or decorated paper, painted or tinted wood, textile dyes and the Jardins des Teinturiers™, make-up for skin and the tanning of leather, the pigments, heat and ceramic techniques, dyes to drink and eat...  
The Ochre Conservatory offers courses with the themes: metal colour, walls, paper and ink, colour on wood, skin painting workshops, theory of colour, custom-organised workshops.  
The interdisciplinary thematic school for the colour of materials meets in Roussillon every month of March; this Ecole de Printemps® constitutes the scientific lung of the Conservatory of Ochre and Applied Pigments.

okhra - Usine Mathieu - 84220 Roussillon

+33 (0)4 90 05 66 69

Scroll To Top