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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.

How to Connect Cradled Panels

For artists working with multiple Ampersand DEEP cradle panels, bolting together their own panels is an inventive way to present their work. If you can drill a hole and have a little patience, bolting panels together and mounting hanging hardware is really no big deal.

Figure 1a


Bolting small panels together
(ex. 12˝x12˝ and smaller)

Bolting Materials List
Ampersand DEEP cradle panels
Crescent & socket wrenches
Electric or cordless drill
7/16˝ drill bit
3/8˝ x 2˝ hex bolts
3/8˝ nuts & washers
Pencil & ruler/tape measure

Step 1: Decide how the painting should be assembled.
Next, lay the pieces face down on a soft cloth or towel so as not to damage the painting surface. Caution! When turning the painting sections over, make sure you have arranged them correctly from top to bottom and left to right. Double-check again before drilling holes.

Figure 1b


Step 2: Measuring the placement of the holes. Line up the panels flush and hold them in place with clamps if necessary. Measure the center of the cradle frame and pencil-mark the two panels that are to be connected (fig. 1a). Unclamp the panels and measure the center of the side of the cradle from top to bottom using your center mark from the backs of the panel as your guide (fig. 1b). Placing the holes in the center of the side of the cradle will prevent the panels from pulling forward or pulling backward and will keep the panels perfectly flat.

Figure 2


Step 3: Drill the holes (fig. 2)
You may want to adjust the size of your holes and the size of your bolts depending on the size of your panels. For this demonstration on both the large and small panels, we used a 7/16” drill bit. Important: Drill the hole from the outside of the cradle to the inside. Repeat this process for all the cradles. The hole will be larger than the bolt so that you have some “wiggle room” for shoring up the panels. Sand the holes if necessary and vacuum or brush away any debris.

Figure 3


Step 4: Bolt the panels together (fig. 3-4)
We used a 3/8˝ x 2˝ bolt, one 3/8˝ washer and one 3/8˝ nut. Insert the bolt through the holes of both the panels to be connected. Put the washer over the end of the bolt and then attach the nut. Make sure the panels are flush together and adjust if necessary. Tighten the nut with a socket or crescent wrench while holding the bolt steady with a second crescent wrench. Repeat this process until all the panels are connected. Test the tightness of each connection to be sure they are completely secure. 

Figure 4


Bolting larger panels together (ex. 24˝x 24˝ and larger, fig. 5)
Larger panels may require more bolts if you’re assembling them into a straight line so as to prevent twisting. A general rule to follow is one bolt every 12˝-16˝. For this demonstration, we used two 6˝x 24˝ panels mounted to one 18˝x24 panel, creating a 24˝x30˝ panel in three sections. Since the piece was tall and narrow, two bolts seemed a logical choice. When you are working with larger panels, keep the panels clamped together tightly while drilling the holes through both panels simultaneously as illustrated in Figure 5. Follow the same step 4 above (fig. 3-4) to bolt the panels together.  

Any technical questions you might have about this process, feel free to contact me. Thank you for using Ampersand panels for your art; we appreciate your support!

Andrea Pramuk
Marketing Director & Artist
Ampersand Art Supply 

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

Collective Sense Opening Tour

Andrea Pramuk


Andrea Pramuk


Collective Sense presented by Generousart.org opened this past weekend during EAST.  I thought it best to show you how beautifully these three artists came together with their styles, all on Ampersand panels, I might add:  Ampersand’s Andrea Pramuk working on Claybord, Artists Panel and some Encausticbord.  Kerry Schroeder working on Gessobord and Judith Simonds 2D work on Claybord.

Ampersand and Jerry’s Artarama  co-sponsored this event to benefit several Austin area non-profits.  In turn, 40% of each purchase of art will go to the non-profit of the collector’s choice.  For more information on the whole show, you can view the “Ampersand is Generous” post.

Andrea Pramuk


Collective Sense will continue through this weekend during the East Austin Studio Tour,  both at the Center61/PeopleFund building in Austin and online at:  Generousart.org.  Take note that you can make a purchase online as well as in person, so you don’t need to show up in Austin to see the whole show and support your favorite non-profit.  Show ends Sunday 11/18.

To view all of the works online, have a look at the Generousart.org website:

Kerry Schroeder


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.

Kerry Schroeder


Kerry Schroeder


Judith Simonds work


Judith Simonds


Judith Simonds


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.

Ampersand Faces: Andrea Pramuk

Andrea in her studio, working on Aquabord


Ampersand has several talented artists on staff, so it is high time that I share with you the art they are making.  

Andrea Pramuk is the marketing director for Ampersand, and many of you may know her via our social networks, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Or, you may have met Andrea when you’ve called Ampersand to ask questions about the boards, about advertising, about workshops or just wanting to share your art.  She wears many hats, both with Ampersand and on her own as a full time working artist.  Since Ampersand is a young company with a smaller staff, many people play a lot of roles.  Andrea has been with Ampersand now for 16 years, moving into the marketing director and graphic designer role straight from graduate school.

“Call me Baby”, alcohol ink, wax paper image transfer on Claybord


Andrea’s art began in utero it seems, as she hails from an active art family and was in the studio at her own easel by the age of two.  Her father’s way of guarding his own time to paint was to set Andrea up nearby so that he could work and she would find the studio a comforting place.  She has painted continuously since then, studying art at Kansas City Art Institute, earning a BFA and moving to Austin to study at the University of Texas for her MFA.  

Her career is blossoming, as Andrea regularly sells and shows her work around the country,
developing her style both with the mediums she is using and with where her art takes her.  Earlier works see Andrea’s skill as a figurative painter, tapping into oils and acrylics.  The most recent abstract works are watercolors, alcohol inks, oils and a range of mixed media.  In her profession at Ampersand, Andrea comes across many art materials and hones her own practice based on testing and trying new products and gathers inspiration™ from other artists along the way. But even in the midst of all the materials she could try, Andrea chooses Claybord™, Aquabord™ and Encausticbord™ for most of her work because each is so well suited to mixed media and experimentation. She says “I never worry about the surfaces getting overworked or damaged with my heavy handed treatments and unorthodox use of materials. It’s also important to me that I use the most archival materials and practices for my art.”

“Resonance”, alcohol inks on Claybord


To connect further with Andrea, friend her on Facebook or her Facebook Page, follow her on Twitter, or check out  her blog.  

Right now Aquabord™, Pastelbord™, Scratchbord™ and Artist Panel are on sale at local dealers around the country.  Click on the banner to be directed to a participating dealer near you.