The Quest for the Blackest Black Paint
An exploration of the bizarre world of color snobs and the possible application of the blackest black to enhance talismans.
Timeline: Present Day 2021
It's a Personal Demon; I Can't Let it Slide
I have always preferred to make my own stuff. Electronics, software, and of course magical objects. Aesthetics are important to me and so I prefer quality materials. I can obsess over minutia like you wouldn’t believe. I see the details. Poor work, poor materials, shitty tools, all drive me crazy. So it’s well worth the time and expense to me, to get it right when I’m making anything. In particular I really scrutinize any talismans or other ritual objects that I produce.
The scepter pictured below may not appear impressive, however it is worth noting that it was created from the splinters left by exploded wood. A special piece of wood that met a terrible fate with a quarter stick of DIY dynamite. I sifted the site and made the Tcham from the smoldering splinters.
There are few things in this world that I can appreciate more than a beautiful talisman. Talismanics have a big role in my magical work and they always have. In the early days I took right to it. In fact my first magical operation was the creation of the talisman.
Learn more about my work.
My ideal talisman begins with a perfectly black background and from there I build the design on that canvas of perfect potential.
There is something inherently magical about a truly black surface that refuses to reflect light. Within the depths of its blackness many secrets can be found. It stands out like a hole punched into another dimension (more on that later). It looks alien. It seems to float within the surface on which it resides. Painting everyday objects with truly black paint can have bizarre and disorienting effects for the uninitiated, the idly curious, and those that have meandered into the twilight zone of black magic.
Black Paint is a Thing
Some years ago I became a black paint snob. I’m a snob for other paints as well, but black paint has a whole culture attached to it as well as some interesting ongoing intrigue. To find the BLACKEST, black paint is the goal. Always. The goal post gets moved around quite allot so you gotta stay current. Artists (and magicians) have sought out the purest, truest black mediums and materials for centuries. The innumerable possibilities for creative applications makes very black media, paints, and materials highly desirable to both groups.
What is True Black?
The Blackest black paint (or any material for that matter), is that which absorbs the most light, reflecting the least. So we are talking about a perfect matte finish.
Accordingly any object coated with black that absorbs all or nearly all light; will lose all visible features. It really is just breathtaking to behold the awesome power of true darkness to conceal, to collect, to mystify the eyes/mind.
This is a fun experiment I have performed many times. Because light isn’t being reflected, details disappear. What was once a complex and detailed object becomes a simple perfectly black silhouette. It’s amazing and has magical implications as we will see.
The Vantablack Heist
In recent years there have been some interesting developments in the quest for the blackest black paint. Here’s the abbreviated story.
The ultra black paint race began with the invention of something called Vantablack in 2014. The creation of Surrey Nanosystems in England, it is not a paint but a material made of carbon nanotubes that can be used as a coating. The product absorbs about 99.965% of visible light.
Vantablack should have been the ultimate solution for a million use cases. Hooray the world now has true black to work with for everything from art to magic!
Then along came a man named Anish Kapoor. Mr. Kapoor is an artist who like many artists is very interested in the newly created Vantablack.
He was so interested that somehow he purchased the exclusive artistic rights to Vantablack from Surrey Nanosystems! Locking out everyone else, literally denying access to anyone interested in Vantablack for artistic use. He will be the only person on Earth allowed to use it creatively.
Many people were less than pleased, and Kapoor has become something of a pariah in the art world because of this. In my opinion it was a dick move by a shrewed business man/artist.
One artist in particular took great exception to Kapoor’s exclusive rights to Vantablack; Stuart Semple, so he started experimenting. Eventually producing Black 2.0 in 2017 which was billed as “the world’s mattest, flattest, black art material.”. At the time it was a true revolution for connosoirs of true black paint. Boasting a visible light absorption rate of 95%.
From there Semple launched a very successful kickstarter for Black 3.0 which produced a usable paint that absorbed 97.5% of visible light.
Black 3.0 Colored My World
When I first got my hands on Black 3.0 it was a revolution for me artistically and magically. This extremely usable paint was so damned black that it literally enhanced certain magical effects. Not only was it stunningly black but it enhanced the effect of talismans that were created using Black 3.0 as a background.
I first noticed the effect on a healing talisman. A design and activation process that I have used reliably for years. It is a simple black circle with a silver sigil on top. When I created the same talisman using Black 3.0, the speed and supernormal healing effect was dramatically improved. This effect was also noticed with a gambling talisman design that I have used for years. I asked a handful of trusted magicians to try to replicate the added effect and they all reported similar improvements in function.
I am reluctant to stand firm behind these theories at this time, because I am uncomfortable with the physics implications; it’s too salient. But we will see with better experiments.
There Have Been Others
Other superblack materials have come along like Singularity, another carbon nano tube material, this time cooked up by MIT back in 2019. It was introduced as part of an art exibit by Diemut Strebe which coated a 2 million dollar yellow diamond with the material.
Singularity however required extreme heat and other industrial processes for application.
Nano Lab has produced Singularity LT, which is a carbon nano tube paint that will absorb 98.75% of visible light after being heated to 212F.
Along Came Musou
A few months back I became aware of a new black paint that was supposedly easier to work with than Black 3.0, and boasted a visible light absorption rate of 99.4%!
Musou Black is made by a Japanese company Koyo Orient Japan. Of course I went bat-shit crazy, cursing Black 3.0 for its lowly absorption rate as I became scary obsessed with obtaining the new black paint that threatened to make all my works so far just a lighter shade of black. An almost black. The stuff of public humiliation. I could see myself being carried away by an angry mob chanting “Not the Blackest Black Paint!” while children threw rotten cabbage at me as I was whisked to the outskirts of town.
I had to have it; NOW! So I set to it and put other people on acquiring it for me as well. The main problem, aside from the long shipping time, was getting it into the United States. According to their website:
Guess what happened with my order? It definately ranks in the top 5 most pissed off times of my life.
Fortunately I am resourceful, and before too long, I had the bottle in my hands. I did have to take a different route altogether to obtain the paint.
So after all of this was it worth it? Did it really blow Black 3.0 out of the water and set a new standard for blackest black? You can decide:
What's the Point?
- Chasing the darkest materials and paint can be a rewarding and stressful hobby.
- it may be possible to enhance the effects of your magical objects by incorporating the darkest materials.
- Regardless, the aesthetic effect of true black is quite magical in its own right and well worth the switch to the more exotic paints.
If you would like information about working with any of the products described in this entry, or about creating ultra-potent talismans as described, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time.