Nuno Júdice (Portugal, 1949)
Recipe for making the Colour blue
If you wish to make the colour blue
take a piece of sky and put it in a pot
large enough to place on the flame of the horizon.
Stir into the blue a pinch of early morning red
until it dissolves. Pour everything
into a brass bowl that has been well washed
to eliminate all the afternoons impurities.
Finally, sift in a few smidgens of gold from the sand
of midday until the colour adheres to the bottom of the bowl.
To prevent the colours from separating with time,
drop a charred peach pit into the liquid.
It will disintegrate, leaving no telltale
sign, not even from the black ash an ochre trace
on the golden surface. You may then raise the colour
to eye level and compare it with genuine blue.
The two colours will look so alike
that you cannot distinguish one from the other.
This was how I did it I, Abraham ben Judah Ibn Haim,
illuminator from the town of Loulé. And I left the recipe
for whoever, one day, would imitate the sky.
Translated by Richard Zenith.