Melonie Ancheta

Photo by Melonie Ancheta.

Photo by Melonie Ancheta.


At Native Paint Revealed Melonie Ancheta uses more than 25 years of research and experimentation with pigments to analyze, properly identify pigments, and to assist museums, conservators, collectors, artists and scholars to determine the materials, tools and techniques used in traditional Native American paints. This information is used in the restoration, conservation and appropriate storage and care of Native American artifacts, and to teach contemporary artists how to use traditional materials.

Through her extensive, multidiscipline research of pigments and color use, Melonie is recognized by such prestigious institutions as the Smithsonian Institute, the American Museum of Natural History and many others as the sole keeper-of-knowledge and authority on traditional NW Coast Native pigments and paint technology. She has also become one of the leading experts on the blue mineral pigment, vivianite, and its diverse formations, characteristics and behaviors. 

As such, Melonie bears a responsibility to share what she has learned; through tutorials, presentations, workshops and mentoring she is able to share her knowledge of:

• Traditional pigments

• How to process materials

• How to make paint 

• Methods of paint application

• How to make traditional style brushes

• The cultural significance of color

• The importance of paint technology to understanding cultures

• The importance of paint technology to the proper storage and conservation of artworks and artifacts

You can find Melonie’s article Coloring the Native Northwest Coast, published by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian at https://www.americanindianmagazine.org/story/coloring-native-northwest-coast.

In press at this time is Revealing Blue on the Northwest Coast, an in-depth paper about vivianite. She is also working on a book about the relevance of color to NW Coast Indigenous people and pigment and paint technology of the NW Coast. 

To engage Melonie for consultation, analysis, or for presentations and workshops please contact her at copperwomanstudio@gmail.com.

For more information on her work, and to read more of her publications, please go to: 



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