Pastel Palette Box
I love my cats but they are a hazard in the studio. They are so fond of sitting on my work table which means trampling my palettes.
My pencils are safe in boxes, and my oil paint palettes are in air tight food storage tubs. I paint my gouache portraits upstairs in my bedroom on my other easel. And that paint palette is also in a food storage tub. That left my pastels.
Many years ago my dear brother made me a wonderful storage palette for my pastels. He got a nice chunky piece of wood and routed pastel sized grooves in it. It is brilliant. It keeps all my colours separate so my pastels don’t get dirty.
I had the palette in a big box which sat on my cupboard. But then I got cats. Actually I got Fliss and Jet. Pumpkin never put a paw wrong.
Although the box fitted nicely on top of the cupboard and would fit in the cupboard, it wouldn’t fit in the drawer where I could reach the pastels and they would be safe. I had to make a smaller box for it.
So I bought a sheet of plywood and left it leaning against my bedroom wall for a couple of weeks. Yesterday I got my saw and a ruler and marked out the shapes and sizes that I needed.
I also cut a piece of wood to hold my reference photos on the downstairs easel. I have one that works fine when I am painting on an A3 canvas in portrait mode but it is too big if I am painting in landscape mode. So I marked that out as well.
All the pieces fitted beautifully into one end of the plywood. I have a nice tidy piece of plywood left. I may use it for paintings.
I have my parents to thank for my practical woodwork skills. My wonderful father taught me how to use a saw (you let the saw do the work) and many other skills. My mother encouraged me try everything saying that I could do anything anyone else could do even if it took me longer (referring to paralysis left from my catching polio). So I have more confidence in my skills than many able bodied people.
My sawing was slow but I got it all done.
I had two problems with my new box, but they both had the same solution.
The plywood was thin so my plan was to stick it with “No More Nails” glue. I have the glue but I can’t find the gadget that pushes it out of the nozzle. Maybe it is in the attic?
The other problem was that the wood isn’t flat.
So I used Sugru. I am a big fan of Sugru and always have some in. It is a glue that you can shape and it sets to a firm rubbery consistency after 24 hours. I used that to stick the pieces of plywood. I was generous with it because of the gaps with the wood being slightly bent, and the Sugru packets were a number of colours so I have a messy looking box (see above) but I don’t care and it keeps my pastels safe in the drawer. I will paint it one day.
If you don’t know about Sugru check it out. I am not getting any money for advertising. It is so useful and I just like to be helpful.