My newest pet research project is about pigment's origin. I've always been interested in how the old masters procured colors and how much trouble it was for artists in various regions to get the different colors. Before the invention of paint companies and art stores each painter had to hunt down each color's raw material and grind, boil, burn and stew up their ingredients. For a good description of the tedious and all consuming nature of creating a palette to paint with you could check out the book Girl with Pearl Earring (skip the movie though lol)
So I bought a book on the it, 'the origin of pigment,' but was disappointed when the author meandered off topic and talked instead mostly about the anthropology of autrailian aboriginal society and their socio economic structure's reliance on the color ochre etc, Sooo now i'm compiling research on the topic from the internet etc, seeking out the book i'd supposedly already purchased, though said purchase was mislabeled.
Color is such an intriguing story, a story i'll share with you once i've gathered all the pieces.