Although I am not a practicing ceramicist anymore, I am still very interested in minerals and oxides. Making today’s guided tour a real treat.
On this 4th time we joined the Mazarrón Tourist Agency, the trip went to Las Minas de Mazarrón. Mines that were exploited already in the Roman era and in the 16th century, but of which the visible remains are from the 19th century.
The delved materials varied in those different eras, depending on the state of the technical skills. Mazarrón is specifically famous for its alum. I know that from my youth as a rinse aid when I had wounds in my mouth and also as a component in ceramics. In Mazarrón they mainly used it as an ingredient for skincare.
The colors you can see nowadays on the slopes of the mines are stunning. I think it is mainly lead, iron, and sulfur, highlighted by the alum. It would be no surprise if the terrain is polluted, given the smells and the presence of heavy metals.
Either our Spanish is improving or the guide of today made it easy on us. Either way, we understood more this time than before.
Although there might be flaws in the information above, in which case they are solely my fault! (Disclaimer :))