15 May, 2011

Homemade Pastels

From 2007 at pastelsblog.

Registering My Colors

Red, Yellow, Green, Ultramarine Blue, Blue-Green, Gray & Violet. I must have either skipped Orange, since I have several hand made ones that were done at a Kitty Wallis Workshop, or else I just can't find where I have them. I did make a color chart when I made them, but we had a basement flood and had to quickly put away my pastel making station, so I'm not sure where that is either!

This photo will help me decide where to go next in making my next set of sticks. I may have actually made a few more than this, but they are nubs by now and indistinguishable from my Diane Townsends and other store bought ones.

Use this post as a motivator to start exploring the craft of hand making your own pastels. Pigments differ in their qualities, and it can be a hit and miss process, I am told. With the method I use, though, I have been making consistent sticks that I prize.


Sonya Johnson said...

Thanks for reposting the links to this, Casey. As a long time DIY'er, I've always wanted to try making my own pastels, but the information to do so has been skimpy at best and makes it sound like an epic project.

I feel more encouraged to give it a try now, especially since it the binders don't appear to be as crucial as originally believed.

Celeste Bergin said...

I got to make pastels with Kitty Wallis about 3 times. It is a very fun process. I would have found it so daunting to have tried it on my own. Kitty always wound up her workshop with a pastel making day. I love your photo of your handmade pastels---a work of art itself!

Casey Klahn said...

Sonya, it is something to try out, and don't be afraid.

I have Kitty to thank for showing me the finer points of forming the sticks, and opening the door, as it were. Celeste - the picture is fun to examine. I don't have very many left from that batch, so I'll be making sticks again, soon.

Sara Mathewson said...

thanks for posting this again Casey. I go back and forth on making my own.

How does it work out as far as money goes? Is it cheaper than buying the high end softies? I know that isn't your motivation but I am curious.

Your pastels are lovely.

It does make me want to try it!

Casey Klahn said...

Sara, I penciled it out the first time I did it, but now I cannot remember what I decided. It must have been close in cost, although a little cheaper than basic artist's pastels.

Thinking it through, there is your labor. But, it's fun.

Also, the highly pigmented handmades one can buy are expensive, so it is possible to make your own very blue pastel, and in several tints and tones, for much less. The range continuity, and what you learn, are a huge value to you.

Casey Klahn said...

The bags or jars of pigment are costly.

Jala Pfaff said...

Lovely butte painting. It gives me a sense of vertigo.
P.S. I made my own pastels in a class in art school. It was very cool. They turned out to have a wonderful texture. I'd like to do it again someday.

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