November 27, 2012

Gamblin Colors

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Gamblin got its start in a humble garage in 1980 by founder Robert Gamblin; who sought to make sustainable, safe, as well as contemporary oil-based paints and inks for painters and printmakers. Now located on the East bank of the Willamette River, Gamblin continues to create beautiful paints and inks made in small, quality-controlled batches by a close team of only 25 people. It seemed amazing to me that such a well-known, nationally recognized company was still comprised of so few people and that they manage everything so perfectly (and are pretty fantastic people to boot). Walking around Gamblin headquarters is a visual bombardment of color - colors staining all of the fantastic machinery, being mixed in vats, covering everyone's aprons, and on the shiny labels carefully put on each tube of paint. One of the aforementioned color-stained pieces of machinery is used to fill paint tubes, though it is actually a vintage toothpaste-filling machine! While I was visiting, Gamblin was in the midst of judging their annual "Torrit Grey" competition, in which they invite artists to submit work that has involved their Torrit Grey paint - a color made by recycling all the trapped pigment dust in Gamblin's air filtration system. I was also able to check out the color lab Robert Gamblin uses for "Conservation Colors," a line of oil paints he specifically developed in order to restore the works of old masters such as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael. Such a multi-layered and fascinating place! As you can see, below.

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click to visit Gamblin's website