2432. But that is only about one half the directions, and the remainder is no less complicated. Of all the colors the ancients used, this blue is the most complicated to prepare, and yet all the other colors are difficult as well in their own way.
2433. All the hours Faldoni spent mixing up mortar for
the masons and bringing it to them in a wheelbarrow was excellent
training for the work of preparing colors, because on a small scale it
was the exact same sort of endless drudgery. It had only one difference.
Anyone could mix up plaster with a hoe in a trough, but the grinding of
stones into powder took more skill and the result was more precious.
2434. It often happens with workmen in a crew on a
huge task, that an incompetent workman, thought to be of not much use is
simply ignored for long periods of time, and has to simply stand idly
by while everyone else is working with great intensity.
2435. This now happened to Faldoni. Whenever he finished one of the various tedious steps in the color making process, it would be two hours before he could interrupt the master to find out what he should do next, and how it was to be done. Finally he simply gave up and stood by like a lamppost, watching the work progress.