Hello and welcome to the first episode of Behind the Scenes - Meet the Manufacturers!
I'm very excited about this new series and I'm thrilled to present to you the first manufacturer today...
We are talking to Bernadette Ward from:
Only this last year I discovered their products and I instantly fell in love with them!
If you have ever worked with PanPastels you know what I am talking about, if you haven't... boy oh boy, you really missed out! So sit back, enjoy reading the interview and don't forget to take your chance of winning today's awesome give-away!
Thank you so much Bernadette for participating and for the wonderful give-away!
Please introduce yourself:
My name is Bernadette Ward, I'm the Co-founder/Owner of Colorfin LLC. We are a small business so my responsibilities cover many areas…although my primary focus is anything on the commercial side of the business and especially related to sales/marketing.
I love to travel, which is lucky as I travel quite a lot for work. Creatively, while I get to work with PanPastel all the time in many ways and never get tired of experimenting and creating with it, I also love to paint in other media and am currently experimenting with encaustics which I discovered through using them with PanPastel Colors. I also love to knit.
By who and when was your company founded?
I founded the company with my husband, Ladd Forsline, 7 years ago. We had been developing our new ranges (PanPastel & Sofft) for a few years by then and set up a manufacturing facility to make the colors. We are based in a small rural town in Eastern Pennsylvania, close to the Appalachian trail, but not far from the cities of New York and Philadelphia. A great location.
I have been involved in the art materials industry since 1988, on the product management/sales & marketing side of things. Ladd is a trained artist, his background includes sculpture and ceramics, so he really understands materials. He had also previously developed two other significant new products for artists: OilBar® and ColourShaper®.
What are the kind of products PanPastel develops and how are they being produced?
We develop and manufacture a unique range of artist’s colors called PanPastel®, alongside a new range of applicators for art & craft called Sofft®.
We developed our products for fine artists, and they are now being used with impressive results by mixed media artists. Mixed media is a very experimental area with no limits so PanPastel works great for so many techniques with almost any other medium.
PanPastel Colors are artist’s pastel colors manufactured in a pan (cake-like) format instead of a stick. The pan format is unique and holds the color like paint; making PanPastel the world’s first dry color medium that functions like a paint. Sofft Tools are tools and applicators made from a specially formulated micro-pore sponge, to be used with PanPastel and with any water-based media.
PanPastel had never existed before we created it we had to develop everything from scratch including manufacturing equipment. We have a small team that helps us in production.
How are new products developed?
Ladd & I develop everything ourselves. It is a very organic process that starts in the studio.
We work together on everything 100% but we each have our own strengths (as explained previously). It is a really good combination of skills with just enough overlap to make it work.
It’s hard to describe our process, it comes from a deep understanding of materials, how artists work and what the trade customers need also. It’s one thing to come up with an idea for a cool product, but it's a whole other thing to work out the best way to make it, and then make sure it works through the distribution chain to the retail store and eventually to the artist.
We are not interested in re-inventing the wheel. We also do not want to replace existing materials, our aim is to enhance the process of making art by offering completely new materials to artists that will help stimulate artistic expression and solve problems for the artist.
We are really enjoying seeing how mixed media artists are using PanPastel. We recently launched some new kits including new mixed media kits (with Donna Downey) these are shown here.
Where can we find you?
Our YouTube page has a good selection of videos:
Like this one about Color Mixing Techniques:
Or this one on Paint Backgrounds and Color Washes with PanPastel:
And here is today's give-away:
Wow, who would not want to win such an awesome set of colors!
Now, what do you have to do to be able to win?
First visit PanPastel's website and/or You Tube Page, then come back here and tell me what your favorite product and or video is and why. Comments close on Thursday, January 10 at midnight (GMT+1). The winner will be announced in the next Behind the Scenes on Friday, January 11.
Next week's manufacturer is Scrapbook AdhesivesTM by 3L! Don't miss it! :)
Thank you for stopping by today!