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All Things Ampersand

Artist Profile: Doris Vasek

Ask Doris Vasek about what inspires her, and you’ll immediately hear her passion for creating intense, beautiful, and custom color.

“I feel as though color is like music. In music, there are only so many notes to work with, but look at the variety that you can create.”

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Project: Show-Off Squares Claybord Box

When I saw the Claybord Box Kits from Ampersand Art Supply I knew just what to do with some of the star-shaped buttons, canceled stamps, found objects, pieces of dichroic glass and other small items I’ve been collecting over the years: Get them out of the drawer where they’d languished, paint some boxes, and show off the collectibles on the lids! Continue Reading >>

Claybord Box Kits

Work by Joyce Hazen

Available in 5”x5” and 5”x7”, each box kit comes with Ampersand’s signature Claybord™ surface on the lid and unfinished wood sides for a completely customizable fine art box. The Claybord top can be painted with any type of water-media, collaged, photo-transferred onto, and more! All sides are custom paintable and made with Ampersand’s premium quality wood materials. Hinges are packed inside to attach later. Use the box kit to extend your art, for home decor, or to make someone an artful gift.

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.

Featured Artist: Kendra Ferreira

Box Lids for the upcoming show at the Providence Art Club


Rhode Island artist, Kendra Ferreira, is currently working on a series of Claybord™ Boxes for an exhibit at the Providence Art Club in Providence, Rhode Island.  The show opens this month, but you can take a sneak peek here of both the lids and inside images.  These works on the lids are image transfer and colored pencil.  

Inside images for the boxes


Kendra found Ampersand through the Colored Pencil Society of America.  There is a chapter in the New England area that meets regularly and discusses ideas about their work, materials, etc.  Someone shared Pastelbord™ and Kendra tried it out.  Since about 2004, Kendra has worked on Gessobord™, Pastelbord and Claybord for her artwork, trying them with the various mediums she uses– oils, pastels and colored pencil.  Her galleries asked her to move away from framing with glass, so Kendra needed a viable substrate that would hold up archivally and protect her work.  With the right combination of panel and varnish, Kendra found a solution.  Since Kendra’s works are so vibrant, people often mistake her colored pencil work for paintings.  Kamar varnish and Golden UVLS polymer varnish create the perfect finish for her pieces.


Even though Kendra has a full background in printmaking, oil painting, pastel and figure drawing, plus loads of foundational drawing, her love is colored pencil.  With it, she can do experimentation in both drawing and painting.  Gamsol odorless mineral spirits, applied by brush, open the door for the medium to become fluid and work like paint.  When working on Gessobord, Kendra primes it first with a sanded pastel primer, Colorfix, and then she can use a brush to push the pencil into the grooves.  With a Claybord substrate, Kendra often mounts the work with double tack mounting film after preparing the image on illustration board or paper.  

Besides a full time career as an artist, Kendra also teaches workshops in colored pencil, pastel and drawing.  She is starting an Art Boot camp this month, in fact.  To find out more, you can contact her directly:  Art Boot Camp

To learn more about Kendra and see her upcoming works as well as read about her process, follow her blog or check out her website:  www.kjfdesign.com.

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.

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