Archive for December, 2008

New MacPherson’s Catalog!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Who’s cutting back in hard economic times? Not MacPherson’s! In the now famous words of our illustrious customer John Wiseman from Searle/Artmax in Monterey, CA, “we refuse to participate in this recession!”

The MacPherson’s 2009 Art Supply Sourcebook goes to press next week, and we’ll be mailing copies out starting on January 19th. This humongous catalog has more than 500 pages featuring 30,000 items from over 200 vendors, as well as the “Getting Started” section and our Helpful Hints. Watch your mailbox, and Happy New Year!

Industry News

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Highly respected industry veteran Tim Fallihee has announced his retirement from Pentel after 30 years with the company. The company has named Mike Cappadocia, the current Director of Sales, as Fallihee’s successor.

Higgins Ink is in full production at Chartpak’s Leeds, MA facility. In less than a month’s time from the initial acquisition of Higgins Ink from Sanford Corporation, Higgins Ink manufacturing is 100% integrated and running full time. Chartpak purchased the Higgins brand as a part of its strategic expansion in the ink product line; to accelerate organizational competencies and ink production synergies; provide broader market access as well as position the Higgins, Koh-I-Noor and Pelikan brands to take advantage of emerging trends in the marketplace. Tom Richards, VP of Sales and Marketing, states, “The Higgins acquisition provides Chartpak with higher production capacity, as well as improved utilization of our engineering and marketing departments. For the full line of Higgins, Koh-I-Noor and Pelikan inks please contact your MacPherson’s Rep, or Steve Rossney ( for details.

Art Attack in Ypsilanti, MI has decided to close its doors.

The Charlotte Regional Air Quality Board has awarded Elmer’s Products Inc. in Statesville NC the 2008 Outstanding New Partner for Clean Air Works! This award is given to the company who best uses available resources to influence employees to use various commute options, reduce trips, and retool operations and maintenance activities promoting clean air. Applicants were judged on the robustness and effectiveness of their first-year programs, their effort, and commitment to the Clean Air Works. In addition, new Partners of the Clean Air Works! recognized Elmer’s Products Inc. with an innovation award for the company’s high efficiency light bulb purchase program.

Last month we announced the addition of Seth Golden to Golden’s sales team. Seth is responsible for the activities of all accounts in the Rocky Mountain and Southwest territory.  Here is his contact information:
Seth Golden
740 Pearl St. #505
Denver CO, 80203
Cell: 607-353-2735

The New York Times recently published an article entitled “For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help”, spotlighting the fact that the arts and crafts retail sector may be benefiting from cash strapped consumers this holiday season. Making your own presents is not only cost effective, but also reflects something very personal about the gift givers.
Check it out For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help

MacPherson’s European Brands Going Green!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Companies across the globe are stepping up their efforts to become more environmentally responsible in their practices and products. Leading the movement in the art supply industry have been several well known and trusted brands from Europe.

In Italy, RGM has taken action by using varnishes on its wood-handled painting knives that are gentler to the environment. Italian easel maker MABEF has also taken environmental responsibility into their own hands in recent years, starting with the easel production process itself. 100% of all wood production scrap is recycled into wood pellets, which are used as environmentally friendly fuel to heat the company’s entire facilities. Since 2004, MABEF has been producing their easels with only high-quality solid beechwood that comes from controlled areas where prompt reforestation is ensured. In that same year, MABEF also obtained FSC certification.

The FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is a non-profit, non-government organization that oversees responsible management of the worlds forests. Its goal is to preserve natural forests and their inhabitants.  FSC certification is awarded to companies that meet the strict requirements set for day to day manufacturing operations to help achieve these goals.

In 1998, German company STABILO was the first pencil manufacturer in the world to gain FSC certification. For over a decade, STABILO has been striving to find ways to use natural resources such as water and wood in more responsible ways, save energy, and step up recycling efforts. From 2005 to 2007 alone, STABILO reduced overall company energy use by 30%, increased use of FSC-certified wood by 2000%, and increased recycling rates by over 30%!

For 2009, STABILO will be launching its new line of GREEN products, including FSC-certified colored pencils, dry highlighters and graphite pencils. Come preview these exciting new products at the MacPherson’s booth at CHA (booth # 2213).

The Last 2008 News from Golden

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Golden Artist Colors closes 2008 with great momentum for 2009!

New Fluid Acrylics
The versatility of GOLDEN Fluid Acrylics continues to inspire artists everywhere. Building on the strength of this category, GOLDEN is introducing five new Fluid Acrylic colors that include two Fluid Historical colors and three Fluid Interference colors. Expanding the Fluid Historical offering, Viridian Green Hue and Van Dyke Brown Hue join the collection of six colors already in the line. As the next generation of Fluid Interference colors, Color Travel Interference colors shift dramatically when viewed at different angles, revealing not just one shift, but multiple tones between two points on a spectrum. For quick expansion of an existing 1 oz. 24″ cabinet, GOLDEN is offering a 2009 Fluid Bundle Pack. For further details, contact your MacPherson’s sales representative.

New Book
Working Artists program director, Patti Brady, publishes Rethinking Acrylic, Radical Solutions to the World’s Most Versatile Medium” with North Light Books. In it, Patti explores the versatility of the acrylic medium and its ability to mimic oil paint, watercolor, gouache and encaustic. She demonstrates how it can be applied in subtle transparent washes or troweled on as a heavy thick impasto; making the medium as transparent as glass or as dense and black as tar. Because of its ever-changing state, Patti Brady covers the most popular techniques for acrylic, making them accessible to the contemporary artist through a variety of mini-demonstrations followed by full demonstrations that show how to transform those techniques into finished paintings. The book will be available near the end of first quarter 2009.

GOLDEN Eliminates Fuel Surcharge
Golden Artist Colors announced recently that effective December 15, 2008, the energy surcharge which was instituted in July will be eliminated. Thank you for your continued support during these volatile economic times and if you have any questions about these changes, please feel free to contact Sales Director Bill Hartman at 1-800-959-6543, ext. 204.

Discontinuation of Garnet Gel

In the last couple of years, finding a consistent supply of the garnet raw materials used in Garnet Gel has been difficult, particularly with the coarse and extra coarse grits. With Garnet Gel (Coarse), our supplier is no longer able to provide the raw material in the grit size and color we’ve been using. After careful review of two potential replacements exhibiting a significant color shift, and with consideration for continued raw material supply and consistency problems, we have decided to discontinue production of all grits of Garnet Gel, effective the end of 2008.

Elmer’s December 2008 News

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Check out MacPherson’s January SMIAB for new product introductions from Elmer’s:

Krazy Glue 4 Single Use Tubes/Color Change Formula. These popular single use tubes allow the user to have glue ready when it’s needed. The convenient plastic carrying case provides great mobility, as the tubes of Krazy Glue can be carried in a purse, briefcase, backpack or stored at home in the office, kitchen garage, basement or studio. Color Change Formula goes on purple and dries clear.  It’s easy to use for goof-proof fixes and forms a strong and long lasting bond.

Krazy Glue 4 Single Use Tubes/All Purpose Gel. Same great packaging attributes as the Color Change formula. All Purpose Gel is a no-run formula to glue up, down, and sideways with less mess and is ideal for porous surfaces.

Both of these brand new carded products are ideal for use on clip strips and will deliver those extra impulse sales that are so important for overall top line volume and profitability.

Also, be on the lookout for extra discounts and promote the following items, which are featured in the MacPherson’s Winter BTS Promotion:

Bienfang Fine Art Pads – Raritan, Take-Me Along, Nelson Bristol, NoteSketch and #100 Parchment

Elmer’s Glue All and School Glue

X-ACTO #1 and Gripster Knives and #11 Blades

Elmer’s 1-Ply Project Display Boards – White and Colors

Mike adds, “If you have any questions on the above products or promotions, or need assistance of any type, please contact your MacPherson’s sales representative or contact me, Mike Mankowsky, at: And, best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful new year.”

The First “STABILO Only” Store

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Here is an interesting retail “field trip” report from Lisa Slauson, our intrepid global marathon runner and Exclusive Brands manager. She was recently in Japan where she caught a glimpse of the first STABILO store in the world, located in Osaka. According to Lisa, “The store was located in the most elegant and most high-end mall I have ever been to in Japan. STABILO was in there right along with Gucci, Coach, Tiffany’s, and Louis Vuitton to name a few.”

The STABILO store-within-a-store is in the very front of the greater store. The greater store featured high-end stationery and household items offered by the Japanese distributor, Etranger di Costarica. Check out the flat screen TV used for high-tech merchandising punch!

Who says there’s no adventure in retail sleuthing? Says Lisa, “I asked the sales person managing the STABILO section if I could take pictures and he told me no. So I then re-introduced myself as the US Brand Manager for STABILO, and told him that I had come all the way to Osaka just to see the store. After a visit with his manager and a few phone calls, I finally got permission. Sorry for the bad quality pictures, but I was in a hurry as the sales person was still watching me somewhat nervously!”

Industry News

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

ColArt USA has announced some pending personnel changes: Customer Service all-star Marlene Upchurch has decided to retire after a stellar 25 years with the company. She will be truly missed by all those who had the opportunity to work with her over the years and especially by those of us at MacPherson’s. We wish her all the best! Also Customer Service Manager extraordinaire Kathleen Slaski has resigned her position effective December 18th. She accomplished a great deal at ColArt and is leaving the Customer Service Department with an excellent foundation. We wish her and husband Erv all the best.

Lyra: MacPherson’s is delighted to report that our E’ Brand Lyra Pencil, imported from Germany, will continued to be offered by us for the foreseeable future. FILA of Italy who owns both Lyra and Dixon/Prang had original planned for Prang to take over the North American distribution. That has all changed and we now are pleased to report that there will be no interruption in service.

Here’s a great art supply story in the news. The headline is “Small Business Owner Defies Recession, Keeps Employees”, the man is John Wiseman and the store is Searle/Artmax in Monterey, CA. The story was reported in the Monterey Herald and then picked up by the news wires and CNN! Here is the what they reported: “Small businesses are also feeling the impact of the recession, but while many of them are shutting their doors, one man in Monterey, CA is coming out of retirement to save jobs this holiday season. John Wiseman walked away from his art supply store after he sold it 14 months ago to an investor. When he heard last week that it will be closing, he took action, buying it back. Some 16 people have their jobs back because of Wiseman. He plans to hire more people as the business grows.”

Click here to play video

Wilson Zhu, Sr. Vice President of Strategic Sourcing for Michaels, will be the keynote speaker Friday morning, May 8 at the NAMTA Annual Convention & Trade Show in Louisville, KY. He will discuss the challenges of importing from China as well as the viability of the Chinese domestic market for art materials in the most populous country in the world. Also speaking at the convention is Sunil Iyengar, the Director of the Office of Research & Analysis at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), on artists in the workforce. Renowned marine life artist Wyland will also discuss how art can play a vital role in inspiring people to become more aware of the issues facing our planet. There is no charge and the Thursday and Friday General Sessions will be well worth your time in what you will learn and experience. Be on the lookout for the 2009 Attendee Brochure, which goes in the mail in January, and…see you in Louisville!

MacPherson’s and Guerrilla Painter, makers of pochade boxes and plein air supplies, have decided to end the exclusive distribution arrangement effective December 31, 2008. Going forward these fine products may be purchased directly from Guerrilla Painter:

Mailing Address:
Phantom Canyon Ranch Co.
Old Schoolhouse Road
851 CR76H
Livermore, CO 80536

Toll free: 1-877-493-0217
Phone: +1 (970) 493-0217
Fax: +1 (970) 221-9045

In a bold move reflecting our tough economic times, Princeton’s Howard Kauffman has announced that he is rescinding his winter price increase. This courageous move is explained in the letter you see here:

Elliot Shulman of Exaclair, makers of the best selling Rhodia pads, reports that this French-based company will be holding the line on pricing for 2009. “Due to the current economic conditions we have re-evaluated our pricing for 2009 and have decided to bite the bullet and keep 2008 retail prices, when at all possible. The recent strengthening of the dollar versus the Euro has also been a factor in allowing us to do this.”

New Items Report #219 “Heads Up”

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

We just published the latest New Items Report; you can check it out by clicking on this link: New Items Report #219. In the meantime, here’s a quick peek at some of the great new items:

Odorless Turpenoid P.O.P. Counter Display from Martin F. Weber
Artists’ favorite turpentine substitute for over 50 years, Odorless Turpenoid has the same painting properties and drying time as turpentine, but is free from the strong characteristic turpentine odor. It is compatible with oil colors as a painting vehicle, either alone or in mediums. Turpenoid is also excellent as a solvent or paint brush cleaner and for use in removing paint spots from clothing. The assortment includes twelve 4 oz. bottles, six 8 oz. cans and six pint cans in a P.O.P. counter display. And the deal you ask? 50/20% off (60% off) ’til 12/31/08 and you must request “SI” pricing.

Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies Set
Small markers with big color, Crayola Pip-Squeaks Skinnies are shorter and thinner versions of full-size Crayola Washable markers. Easier for little hands to hold, they are AP certified, washable and non-toxic. This 64-marker set includes traditional colors plus eight colors picked by kids. It also contains a surprise inside: two stampers that fit over the pip-squeak skinnies marker caps and can be colored with markers. $15.95 retail and great intro pricing as long as you order before the end of the year. 50% off, and you must request “SI” pricing.

Quattro Artist Blank Journals from Global Art Quattro Journals feel comfortable in the hand and slip easily into your pocket. The rounded corners help the journals resist damage and wear and the specially laminated cover resists dirt and stains. The cover can be folded all the way around to the back, revealing the full sheet for use. These blank journals contain 60 acid-free, micro-perforated sheets of 110gsm paper with a subtle tooth, ideal for both ink and pencil. 6 different size/styles to choose from. Order before the end of the year and get 50/10% off. Oh, and you must request “SI” pricing.

527 Multi-Use Glue from Beacon Adhesives Great for use on china, ceramics, metal, tile, shell, gems, leather, paper, cork, glass, wood, cardboard and more, this fast-drying, multi-use glue dries crystal clear, flexible and waterproof. Suitable for a wide variety of home décor, repairs, art and craft projects, this glue dries in approximately 2 hours and will achieve maximum strength in 24 hours. Order before the end of April 2009 and get 40/5% offwhe you request “SI” pricing.

ColArt News: December 2008

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

As we begin 2009 ColArt would like to express sincere thanks for all your support during 2008.

Faced with the challenges of the current economic conditions, we will all be seeking the strategies to not only survive, but thrive as well. Industry retail experts suggest a grassroots approach focusing on core product brands and ranges that insure consistent positive cash flow.

Variety and diversity attract customers and stimulate interest, but the tried and true is what you take to the bank!

ColArt’s current WBTS promotion focuses on essential core product savings providing high value to your customers with the margin necessary to drive your business.

Take advantage of 60% discounts on open stock of:
•    Artist Oil Colour 200ml tubes
•    Galeria Acrylic 200ml tubes
•    All Artisan Water Mixable Oils, Mediums & Brushes
•    Liquitex BASICS 250ml tubes
•    Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks & Large Painting Knives

And a 70/10% (73%) discount on open stock of:
•    All Artisan Brushes

Saddle Up for Louisville

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Rev your engine, grab your helmet and get ready for the ride of your life! The NAMTA Foundation is once again offering an alternative method of travel to the NAMTA 2009 International Convention and Trade Show in Louisville – the motorcycle!

With various starting points across the country, groups of riders will arrive in Louisville by May 6, 2009 to kick off the N.A.M.T.A. (Nocturnal Animals Meet Together Annually) party the night before show opening. The “Biker Bash” will be held at the popular night spot, City Block Live and all attendees will meet in the Fox Den, Louisville’s first and only ride through bar.

“Saddle Up For Louisville” is being held in memory of Scott MacPherson Stapleton and will serve as a fundraiser for the NAMTA Foundation.  Last year’s event, Ride to Reno, raised $40,483 for the Foundation. Ride organizers are currently seeking riders, those interested in sponsoring riders and corporate sponsors. Groups of riders will be leaving from various locations across the country.

For more information and to sign up to ride or to be a sponsor, visit, or you can email Leah Siffringer at Let’s ride!

Red Hot Winsor Canvas Deal!

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Industry News

Friday, December 5th, 2008

At Michaels, Carmen Vilceanu has been promoted to Category Director, Art Supplies. In related news, Nancy DeGeeter, former Senior Buyer at Mervyn’s in Hayward, CA has joined Michaels’ art department merchandising team as a Category Manager.

Chris Wraight, former Managing Director at ColArt in England, is planning to retire from the company at the end of March 2009 to pursue personal interests. His current duties managing manufacturing in China will be taken over by Paul Aston, the worldwide group’s managing Director of Operations.

Congratulations to Stacey Smith, Senior Buyer at Sam Flax in Atlanta, on the birth of her son Jarren Sailor Smith. Born on Thanksgiving day, and  weighing 6.5 lbs., he and mom are doing great!

We are sorry to report that a fine art materials retailer will be closing her doors. Gwen Sowray, owner of Olympia Art & Frame in Olympia, WA has announced that she will be quitting business during the month of December. She has hired a firm to conduct a Going Out of Business sale.

Juan Agualimpia has been promoted to head Sanford’s global art and children’s products. Formerly manager of the company’s Colombia operation in Bogata, he now works at Sanford’s headquarters in Oak Brook, IL. Look for a great new direction in the Prismacolor brand as Juan rolls out his vision over the next few years.

Price Increases 2009 – Addendum

Friday, December 5th, 2008

MVSS – SideShow Collectibles
There is an increase for the MVSS1201 and MVSS1202; the male and female Art S Buck Manikins are going up immediately at the supplier due to cost increases in Asia. Our retail will increase from $25.32 to $31.19 – a 18.82% rise, but we plan to hold the current price until 01/01/09.

Walt Glazer at Speedball wants to clarify information that we previously published about Speedball’s February price increase. Here it is, in his own words:

“Below is the price increase for Speedball, broken down by category.  The overall increase is 5.0% effective February 1, 2009. Our first priority is to reduce cost through improved product design, production efficiency, and raw material purchasing.  We did not have any price increase at all last year, and higher costs finally caught up with us.”

Video of the Month: Claymation Musings on the Meaning of Art

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Kathy Brennan of Preston Art submitted this interesting animation. Who knows, it could have been created with VanAken Clay

Don’t forget you can post your comments. We welcome your thoughts!