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All Things Ampersand

Ampersand 101: Unprimed Basswood Panels

For our third installment in our series of “101” articles about Ampersand “bords,” we are going to look at our most popular Value Series panel, The Artist Panel – Unprimed Basswood.  With so many new artists discovering and using our wood painting panels, the back-to-basics Ampersand 101 series is designed to introduce and explain the features and benefits of our different panels. But even if you are a seasoned Ampersand veteran, you will find information in these articles to inspire and hopefully encourage you to try or revisit a panel that you don’t normally use.

There is a plethora of raw wood panels on the market these days. In fact, the market has grown so much since Ampersand’s first commercial panel, that many manufacturers, large retailers, and distributors who were not in the panel business have introduced their own raw wood panels. Unfortunately, most of these panels are rough, poorly made, and contain inconsistencies that can ultimately compromise your artwork.

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New Products from Ampersand previewed at NAMTA

This year’s booth at NAMTA

At NAMTA last week, Ampersand introduced three new products that will be available at retailers in July.  I thought you might like a sneak peek at these goodies to wet your appetite for their arrival.

For those of you unfamiliar with NAMTA, the International Art Materials Trade Association, has an annual convention in the States every year attended by manufacturers, retailers, distributors and associates from around the world.  It is a gathering place of art material gurus, seminars, dinners, awards and a handful of new products that enter the industry.  Usually the convention is several hundred people and a large hall of product booths with artists demonstrating new materials.

This year, Ampersand introduced two new styles of the Artist Panel– a premium select Unprimed Basswood and a Primed Smooth panel that is completely primed on all sides.

The Unprimed Basswood accepts all types of painting grounds and is great for encaustic, mixed media, collage and wood engraving. Compared with other wood panels on the market, the Unprimed Basswood is sanded perfectly smooth and lacks plywood seams, knots or raised fibers providing the cleaner, more professional look artists’ want.
The Primed Smooth panel has a fully primed white paintable top and sides that is ideal for all painting styles. The Primed Smooth wood panels are ready to use for painting with oils, acrylics and mixed media and also for mounting papers or canvas. Now artists can wrap their images over the edge without any extra prep work.

In addition to the current line of Artist Panels with canvas texture, both new Artist Panels are available in two standard cradled profiles, 7/8” and 1.5”, that are simple to hang or frame. Ultra-stable, these wood panels will not give, bend or flex and like all Ampersand’s panels, they are made with quality materials that have been tested not only for durability, but also for performance with artists’ paints. 

Keep in mind that all wood should be sealed and primed. For instructions on the proper way to prepare a panel for painting, visit www.sealandprime.com

Also at NAMTA, Ampersand revealed the new 1.5″ profile in both Claybord and Gessobord surfaces, which will be available at a number of retailers at the end of this month and more retailers at the end of July.

In the upcoming months, I’ll be able to share with you where the panels will be available and how you can purchase your own as well as some exciting new tools for panel users coming out in the summer.