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All Things Ampersand

Ampersand Celebrates 20th Anniversary with International Art Exhibit

Ampersand Art Supply GalleryWe will host an art exhibition featuring over 50 well-recognized national and local Texas artists to celebrate 20 years since we launched our business in 1994. Steve Hanks, Luana Luconi Winner, Louise LeBourgeois, Ali Cavanaugh, Roi James, Sally Maxwell and Amado Peña are just a few of the artists whose work will be part of this historic exhibit.

Seggebruch encaustic
Life on Fire, Encaustic by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch

A public art opening will take place Thursday, October 2 from 6:00–9:00pm in Ampersand’s new manufacturing facility and art gallery located in Buda, TX.  According to company President and CEO, Elaine Salazar, “We felt that the best way to celebrate our 20 year journey, was to show a collection of work from some of the many amazing artists throughout the country who have been faithfully working on the surfaces we produce.” 

The exhibition will continue throughout the month of October and will be open to the public Mon-Fri between the hours of 9:00–5:00pm.

In 1994, Ampersand Art Supply began its mission of reviving the time-honored tradition of panel painting with the creation of Claybord™, their very first coated painting panel. Colorado artist and inventor of Claybord, Charles Ewing, partnered with Ampersand to develop it further and see its commercial success. Today, Ampersand’s product line has expanded to ten different surfaces in a variety of profiles and sizes. Ampersand sells its panels in all major art supply stores throughout the US. More recently, Ampersand launched its products in Germany and Great Britain. Marketing Director, Andrea Pramuk, who has been with the company since 1995, says Ampersand will continue to launch their line in key countries throughout Europe, Australia, and Japan in 2015. 

Spotted, Scratchbord
by Sally Maxwell

According to President and CEO, Elaine Salazar, “we are so grateful for those early pioneering artists who tried our panels and freely offered to help us refine each surface that makes the Ampersand family of “bords”. This family of artists still help us today.” She went on to say that a few key dealers played a critical role in the early years as they launched the line. Salazar remembers sending a piece of Claybord in a priority mail envelope to Allen Shefts, who then worked at Pearl Paint on Canal Street in New York. “A buyer called within days expressing an interest. It was that first order from Pearl for 1000 pieces of Claybord that officially launched Ampersand into the market in 1994.” According to Salazar, Meininger’s and Guiry’s, both Colorado dealers, were also a few of the earlier retailers who agreed to carry some of the product. “These were the days when Charles Ewing and his wife Barbara had tried to market Claybord under the brand, “Clayboard–real neat stuff” “, she adds.

In 1994, with the help of several local angel investors, family, and friends, the company set up its manufacturing facility at 1500 East 4 St in East Austin where it operated until 2013 before moving its entire operation to its current location in Buda. According to Edwin Ramos, Chief Operating Officer, Ampersand had completely outgrown the old 13,000 sq. ft. space in East Austin. The company had been operating out of two locations in Austin for over 5 years before moving to their current location in Buda. The company purchased and renovated the old shrimp farm metal building, “Big Blue”, for its new home, located about 20 minutes south of Austin. The new facility houses approximately 60,000 sq ft of manufacturing, warehousing, and office/gallery space. Backing from the local Buda Economic Development Council, Hays County, First State Bank of Central Texas and the SBA made the move possible for this small business. Salazar also shares, “As a small business, it has taken the hearts and hands of so many people to make it all happen. We are so grateful to both the Austin and the Buda communities and to the artists worldwide who use our products.”

Our building in Buda!

The gallery is located at:

Ampersand Art Supply
1235 S. Loop 4, Suite 400, Buda, TX 78610

Public opening on October 2, 2014 from 6-9 p.m.
The show will be open daily M-F from 10am-5pm through October 31, 2014.

Andrea Pramuk,
Marketing Director
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Ampersand Art Supply Sampler Packs

If you are new to Ampersand panels, or if you’d like to introduce an artist friend to Ampersand, then the Sampler packs might be just what you need.  

You can find the Museum Sampler pack including Aquabord™, Gessobord™, Pastelbord™, Claybord, Hardbord and Scratchbord™ in a 5″ x 7″ or 8″ x 10″ size.  Or, you can try the panels individually in smaller sizes, like the Aquabord starter pack which includes a 3 pack of 5″ x 7″ and singles of 8″ x 10″, 9″ x 12″ and 11″ x 14 flat panels.  There are also starter packs of Claybord, Gessobord, Encausticbord and Artist Panel with variations on cradle size.  Lastly, the Stampbord samplers are great deals for those that need miniature size panels or work in crafting.  

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

New Retail Store for Ampersand Art Supply panels in Germany!!!

Ampersand Panels have settled in Germany full time!  A boost for all of you artists who are in Europe wanting to order our products.  Kunstpark is now listed on our International Retailer page on our website as well as several other social networks.  Since they are primarily an online dealer,  you can connect with Kunstpark on Pinterest, Twitter, Google, Facebook and their blog.  Kunstpark (The Art Park) is a wonderful art store selling all sorts of fine art supplies of the highest quality.  The website is a beautifully built resource for explaining how to use products and keeping artists up to date on what they have as well as upcoming workshops.  Kunstpark has done a great job of showing our products on their site and explaining the best uses for each type of panel.  Thanks for joining us Kunstpark!

Ampersand Panels in Deutschland Vollzeit besiedelt! Ein Schub für euch alle Künstler, die in Europa wollen, um unsere Produkte zu bestellen sind. Kunstpark ist jetzt auf unserer International Händler Seite auf unserer Website sowie mehrere andere soziale Netzwerke aufgelistet. Da sie in erster Linie ein Online-Händler, können Sie mit den Kunstpark auf Pinterest, Twitter, Google, Facebook und ihrem Blog verbinden. Kunstpark (The Art Park) ist eine wunderbare Kunstspeicher für alle Arten von feinen Kunstzubehör von höchster Qualität. Die Website ist eine großartige Ressource zu erklären, wie Produkte zu verwenden und halten Künstlern auf dem Laufenden über das, was sie haben und kommenden Workshops.  Kunstpark hat einen tollen Job zu zeigen, unsere Produkte auf ihre Website und erklärt die besten Anwendungen für jede Art von Platte. Vielen Dank für Ihre Teilnahme Kunstpark!

If you haven’t had a chance to purchase panels yet this winter, now is the time as select panels are on sale up to 50% off at dealers around the US and Canada: www.ampersandart.com/retailers2/promo-retail.html

All things Ampersand, 
Karyn Meyer-Berthel 
Artist & Social Media Specialist 
Ampersand Art Supply 

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Ampersand is Generous during EAST

Shadows in the Ash by Andrea Pramuk

Ampersand Art Supply is proud to co-sponsor a special exhibition entitled Collective Sense that opens during the upcoming East Austin Studio Tour. This initiative is part of a new outreach program designed to give back to the local Austin arts community. Organized by Generous Art, an online gallery that supports both artists and non-profits, the exhibition features three of their artist members:  Andrea PramukKerry Schroeder, and Judith Simonds. These artists present a cohesive look at how the power and fragility of life can be seen and expressed from three unique points of view, each drawing inspiration from the natural world.

All three artists are contributing members of GenerousArt.org and eagerly accepted the invitation to participate in this show. Founded by Austin artist Jennifer Chenoweth as a way to bring collectors, artists and non-profits together, Generous Art donates 40% of each sale to the collector’s non-profit of choice and another 40% goes to the artist.

All three artists created work on a variety of Ampersand panels including Claybord and Gessobord specifically for this fundraising event, a good number of which are presented in frames provided by Jerry’s. Both the panels and frames used in the exhibition are available for sale at both the Jerry’s store in Austin and online.
By purchasing a work of art from Collective Sense through Generous Art, 40% of the sale will benefit these fantastic non-profit organizations. Artwork can be purchased both in person and online, either option will benefit the participating non-profits listed below.

[Preview the art here]

Collective Sense is jointly being sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama, PeopleFund and Center61. Jerrys Artarama is an art supply store for painting supplies, picture framing and more at discount prices. Jerry’s can be found both locally in Austin and online. PeopleFund provides small business loans as well as business assistance and education to people with otherwise limited access to such resources such as artists and creatives. Center61 serves Austin-based nonprofits and social entrepreneurs through access to collaborative workspace and professional facilities.

You are invited to see the exhibition, meet the artists, and enter to win great raffle prizes from Ampersand and Jerry’s like free custom panels and art supplies.

Exhibition Details:

November 10-11
November 17-18
11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
both weekends

2921 E 17th St
Austin, TX 78702
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Andrea Pramuk
Marketing Director
Ampersand Art Supply

Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.

Claybord™ Box for Trinkets: How-to by Vickie Kammerer


This project was originally created by designer Vickie Kammerer for our Stampbord™ line of products. We are republishing it here since these techniques can also be applied to our Claybord™ Box Kit. This trinket box idea was inspired by techniques included in Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch’s book Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax. Be sure to check it out too.


• Hot Plate
• Teflon Pan – small, to melt beeswax
• 2-3 Foam Brushes (hardware store)
• Phillips head screwdriver for box hinges
• Electric or cordless drill with small drill bit for hinge screws
1. Using the blue painter’s tape, mask the edges of the Claybord™ Box lid surface and the top of the box base. Using a foam brush, paint the sides of the lid and the base sides with the Iron Surfacer from the Rust Kit. Let dry completely. Then paint a second coat and let dry over night. 
2. Using a clean foam brush, paint a coat of the Rust Antiquing Solution over all of the Iron Surfacer painted surfaces. Let this dry and cure and then paint another coat. If you want a uniform shade of rust, paint subsequent coats with the foam brush. If you want a more random rust finish, use a sea sponge and sponge some areas lighter and some areas heavier. Let each coat cure in between. Repeat layers until you are pleased with the finish. Do not seal. Let the box and box lid dry completely over night after before moving onto next step. 
3. Remove all of the masking tape from Claybord™ surface. Plug in the hot plate and heat the Teflon pan. Place several pieces of natural beeswax in pan to melt. While the wax is melting, cover the wooden sides of the box lid with painter’s tape. Pre-heat the lid’s Claybord surface by running the heat tool over the surface until it is warm. Using the hake brush, paint a single layer of beeswax over the entire box lid surface then fuse (reheating with the heat tool until surface just appears shiny). Allow to cool. 

4. Paint a thick layer of shellacover box lid with a new foam brush. Let dry.
5. Using the butane torch, burn “spots” into the shellac on the box lid. Do this by first placing the flame directly onto the shellac and when it begins to burn the shellac, pull the flame away when the spot is the size and shape you wish. Repeat this over the box lid, moving the torch to where you want a new spot to be, until you are pleased with the pattern. Let the lid set overnight.
6. Spell out the word “trinkets” with copper letters and glue into place on the front of the box lid. Attach the enclosed hinges to complete the box–be sure to pre-drill the holes for best results. 

Caution:  Please use extreme care when using heat and open flames in the studio and always keep a fire extinguisher on hand.

Step 1:  Mask the top and inside edges of the box


Step 2:  Paint on Rust Antiquing Solution


Step 3:  Apply beeswax


Step 4:  Apply shellac


Step 5: Burn spots onto the shellac with butane torch”


Step 6:  Apply copper letters to the front of the box