Making paint from insoluble natural materials is an ancient art. Our research into this process has taken us deep into the world of paint. Through extensive research we have developed a watercolor medium that behaves superbly and stands up to the highest of standards.
One of our favorite ways to make art supplies is to find stones, research them, crush them, and turn them into pigment. We use hand-milled pigments to create paints and crayons.
Sometimes we mix our own pigment with commercial pigments to make unique creations. A great deal of research also goes into the commercial pigments that we chose to use. Companies must meet our standards of transparency, providing information such as lightfastness, pigment codes and the material safety data sheets (MSDS).
In regards to our classic line of watercolor paints, we only use high quality commercial materials and create classic single pigment paints.
Our paints are made on a glass surface with a glass muller, a tool created just for this purpose. This process distributes the pigment evenly throughout our medium.
Some pigments mix readily with medium, but some are resistant to it. Some paints take only an hour to mull, while others take several hours. In some cases we used a three-roll mill to insure that the pigment is indeed well incorporated into the medium.
One of the most important elements of our process is our testing procedure. Each of the components in our formulas performs a specific job in our paints.
PIGMENT- Pigment is the insoluble powder that gives paint its color and specific behavior. We test each paint's pigment to determine its lightfastness, granulation, transparency, and dispersion. When we use commercial paints we analyze the documentation provided for each paint to know how it is best used and to determine any possibility of toxicity. This information, as well as pigment codes is always available for each pain on this website, under the product section. Additionally we tailor the medium formula for each pigment to its specific gravity, or relative density.
ORGANIC GUM ARABIC- Gum Arabic is a tree sap from the Acacia tree. This soluble natural element has been used for centuries to keep pigment bound to watercolor paper. Once dried the gum arabic can be resistant to additional applications of watercolor and water, but also allow pigments to be workable. This creates an essential balance. We test every paint to insure it is capable of not only adhering properly to the paper, but also able to sustain layering and lifting.
HONEY- Honey was as component added in 1780 to act as a humectant. This integral ingredient is what keeps the paint from crumbling. We source our raw honey from local, family-owned apiaries that practice safe and humane beekeeping.
CLOVE- ANTIFUNGAL, PRESERVATIVE- We use organic clove oil as preservative. This natural oil helps to keep paints from having issues with mold development.
VEGETABLE GLYCERIN- Vegetable glycerin has a wonderful effect upon watercolor paints. This natural surfactant helps watercolor paints activate when water is applied to them and assists in breaking surface tension between the watercolor and paper. We choose to use only organic food grade vegetable glycerin in our paints.