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La Maison du Pastel

From Business Insider’s series Still Standing, a look at La Maison du Pastel, a 300-year-old French company that makes pastels for artists by hand. Back in its golden age, the company supplied the likes of Monet & Degas but fell into neglect near the end of the 20th century. The newest generation of ownership has restored the company and they now offer over 1,900 different pastel colors.

Seriously, take a look at their online shop…there’s all sorts of amazing stuff in there. Like this antique watercolors set โ€” get a load of these color names: Violet Lake, Burnt Lake, Carmine, Venice Red, Vermilion, Orange Chrome, Gamboge, Zinc White, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Umber, Van Dyck Brown, Lamp Black, Payne’s Gray, Indigo, Celestial Blue, Blue Ash, Prussian. You can even order a full set of their pastels for only โ‚ฌ29,450.00 (the set comes with a custom-made chest of drawers).

I am not at all an artist but these colors all look so amazing that I’m eyeing one of the smaller sets for myself… (thx, caroline)

Discussion  6 comments

Matthew Battles

Spectacular. I think of the Forbes Pigment Collection at the Harvard Art Museums, which also is a feast of wild names and materials, as well as offering a vast spectrum of colors. Here's a good overview; you can browse the pigments via this search.

Matthew Battles

Oh! Also, their shopping cart is the best ever: you can choose a bunch of colors in open stock and then click "view colour palette" to see color smudges that you can drag around and rearrange!

Matthew Battles Edited

Finally, one of the strangest (and certainly the most troubling) pigments in the Forbes collection (Harvard gets in trouble for this kind of thing all the time).

Jason KottkeMOD Edited

Whoa: "from remains of Egyptian mummies embalmed with asphaltum"

Also, that's the most unique online shopping cart interface I've seen in forever.

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This is the dream job I never knew I wanted. The entire process feels so soothing, like being in a constant flow state.

Jason KottkeMOD

The NY Times profiled the company in 2022.

"Our fate is intertwined, in a sense," Ms. Zayer said of the house's relationship with artists. "They allow us to make something better by showing us the way sometimes, and we allow them to make the work."

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