View Full Version : Broken Panpastels?

02-21-2014, 06:08 PM
I recently dropped a stack of 5 panpastels that were all screwed into each other on a hardwood floor, and 4 of the pans completely shattered. They're pretty much dust now. :( So I was wondering, can I wet them and mold them back into the pans the way you can wet and re-roll stick pastels, or will that mess up the consistency? Has anyone tried to do this?

I would think it would be alright, but if anyone has any tips, I'm all ears.


02-21-2014, 09:14 PM
I would contact the PanPastel folks directly. Hopefully they can give you the answer. Here's a link to their contact page:



02-22-2014, 04:21 AM
Would love to hear their response, and/or your results. I have one that I also dropped. It's still pretty much usuable, but if I can make it solid again it would be perfect. (Honestly I have thought of doing this exact thing...but just haven't had enough time in the studio as of late.)

02-22-2014, 11:19 AM
Thank you for the link Don, I will contact them and post back.

Dania, they are still usable as you said, but messy! I basically thought there were three options: one, using them as is, two, reforming them back into the pan (but I was worried that might make them harder and difficult to work with, since I don't know anything about how they react to water), and three, making some pastel sticks out of them. I could actually mix my own colors that way, too, since I have quite a lot of pastel dust!

But I would rather have them back the way they were. I will update the thread as I know more.

02-22-2014, 11:57 AM
I've been using mine as is even though a couple have small cracks but I'd love to find out how to do that.

I'd guess that the ones in broken containers, you could use the slightly deeper empty sponge jars and put them into it carefully, to have a new pan to keep them in.

Mixing colors with broken ones would rock! More convenience colors!

02-22-2014, 03:21 PM
Good idea about the sponge jars, Rob! I think I will do that.

Boy, those Panpastel guys are fast! I just sent the email two hours ago and already have a reply. And on a Saturday! Unfortunately, the news is not the best. Here is their response:

Dear Saskia,

Thank you for your email and your nice words about PanPastel.

Unfortunately it isnít possible to reconstitute the pans once they are broken. It is possible to use them even in the broken form - but they are nowhere near as convenient to use that way unfortunately.

Sorry that I didnít have a more positive solution for you.

Warm regards -
[polite Panpastel rep., name redacted]

Well, I am still thinking of giving it try as an experiment. If nothing else, I will be able to see what happens. I think I will completely grind up a bit and make a tiny cake on a plate, then stick it in my Excalibur food dehydrator to dry. Since I will be using the no-heat setting, if my results are positive, you could almost duplicate this environment with a regular household fan. And if they are negative, well, they told me so!

Edit: On second thought, since I do want to use my dehydrator for food again without worrying about toxins, I will probably use the fan instead. :)

02-24-2014, 03:20 PM
Thx for the update Saskia,

I'm with you on possibly trying to fix it (And ya, if it doesn't work, well they told us it wouldn't....lol, but I'm a bit of a pain in the arse (my own, really) and I would like to try to prove them wrong)

Thoughts on trying this :

-I wonder if instead of water, (I have reconstitued my left over pastel dust into new sticks with just H2O) using Alcohol. It will dry faster, and I'm guessing, will completely evaporate, not leaving any impurities like water could.

-Will have to pull all the pieces/bits/dust outta the pan, and grind them down again to a fine powder. Add alcohol (just a drop or two), form into a workable mass and press back into the pan. Leave to dry for at least a couple days ( I have a spot near a heating duct I think I would use).

-I'm guessing their process of making Pans has alot more to do with compacting pressure on the pigment powders. There is a good possiblity that we could get a hard unusable Pan after adding liquid.

Not sure if and when I'd be able to tackle this, but I figured I would put my thoughts down cause they could be useful to ya (or anyone else for that matter). I only have one that's busted up, so it's not a big deal to replace if it doesn't work, but if I were you I would try one first, because at least the other 4 would still be "usable" if it doesn't work.

Anyone else got any thoughts or suggestions?

02-27-2014, 05:30 PM
Dania - Alcohol might actually be a great idea. They would certainly dry faster! The one thing I would wonder about is that since some things that don't dissolve in water do dissolve in alcohol (and vice versa), depending on the chemical nature of the pigments, you might end up with a harder cake at the end. Of course, if the ingredients are water and not alcohol soluble, it could turn out softer! Or there could be no difference at all. I guess the only way to find out is to try! :)

I think I will give your alcohol method a shot when I have time to devote to this. The only reason I've been putting it off is that I don't have a mortar and pestle (my first thought, too), and anything else I use is going to make a big mess. I do have an old, flat meat pounder somewhere, but I have to look for it.

You are right in that the manufacturing process might just rely on pressure rather than liquid. The bright side is, even if we do end up with a rock-hard pan after this process, we can always pry it out of the pan and use it in chunks with stick pastels. :)

02-27-2014, 05:51 PM
Saskia, if you don't have mortar and pestle, try a plastic bag and a hammer -- works well actually.

I've experimented with ordinary pastel sticks (crumbles, dust) and used both water and alcohol to wet the poweder. Water 'glued' the dust together better than alcohol did.

02-27-2014, 06:15 PM
That's good to know. Alcohol should be an improvement, then!

I will try the plastic bag.

03-01-2014, 12:41 AM
Yeah a mortar and pestle would be nice to have...

When I reformed my dust and chunkies to new pastels....I just used a small stainless steel bowl and the back of a spoon. It worked great. I then pour my dust onto a piece of kitchen plastic wrap, then added the water. I used the plastic wrap to work the dust and water together to form the "dough", then the sticks....hands stayed completely clean.

Edited to say : Come to think of it, this might not work for Pans though!! They might be a tad hard to break up with the back of a spoon. Bag and hammer might have to do.