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robertsloan2
05-20-2014, 08:01 PM
Most of the good artist grade pastels come in good sturdy boxes with slotted foam to protect them. This isn't something new. Unisons come in good cardboard boxes with slotted foam and they're well designed.

They also did this thing of the fancy aluminum box with a clear plexiglass window, which if you order one of the aluminum box fancy sets, a cardboard box set is inside the aluminum case. One step more protection and a clear lid. I lucked years ago and got 72 Assorted Unisons on sale in the aluminum box at the same sale price as the 72 set without the aluminum box. This solved the question of whether to pay $30 more for a cool aluminum box with a clear window on it. Which I desperately wanted but also thought was expensive and frivolous compared to $30 worth of more good pastels.

It wasn't frivolous. That aluminum box has gotten me using my Unisons more than all my other pastels over the years, because when it's at home, I put the cardboard lid and top foam under the pastels and can see them through the clear lid.

They have that aluminum box set available in three sizes, I think you can get 18 or 36 stick sets in that size of box. I'm not sure if the smaller half stick sets actually fit in those boxes.

But I found out today when my 120 Half Sticks arrived that yes, the box they come packed in is exactly the size of a 72 color set Unisons box. So if you get Unisons in a set, watch for sales on the aluminum box assortments because that thing really turned out to be nice.

And it's convertible.

I was hoping this would work and now that it does, it's fantastic.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-May-2014/70184-Unisons_120_Half_Sticks_Post.jpg

The 120 color set also filled every gap in my 72 color assortment, with violets, turquoises and many more browns and greens. There's lots of gorgeous greens and enough good violets both warm and cool to balance them, plus a lot of good oranges. Not as many as if I got the Orange Set but enough for me. This set is perfect. I am so happy with it.

Had to share that and especially that it fits in the aluminum clear lid box, since I love that thing so much. I'm not getting rid of the 72 assortment but I'll probably use it more for replacements since I think everything in it is included in this assortment.

Incidentally, the 18 and 36 color sizes of Unisons boxes are really good in themselves for plein air. They fit easily into my Anderson Easel and can hold a lot more pieces than just the number of colors in the slotted foam. Depending on size of pieces you could use it for over 100 or if you take out the slotted foam and just use flat foam to hold it down. I've seen people section the Unison boxes with cardboard or balsa too in order to turn them into plein air boxes, it's just a good thing to rubber band it if you don't have the latched aluminum box version.

The clear lid has been a little scratched in the years and it got very dusty, had to be cleaned, but it's still inspirational. It'd be cool if someone did studio trays with a clear dust cover like that.

sketchZ1ol
05-21-2014, 05:17 PM
hello
good adaptation , and tip !

Ed

mudfish
05-22-2014, 10:43 PM
I made myself studio trays w/ clear lids for $1 each. Picked up the clear plastic lids that go on large restaurant buffet pans at the local restaurant supply store - they were in the sale bin for $1. Art is everywhere!

robertsloan2
05-23-2014, 11:49 PM
Thanks, Ed!

Wow, mudfish, that is a cool idea! You're right, that makes sense! There's always something useful in a different market.

Jason1616
05-25-2014, 01:22 AM
Hi Robert!

WOW that's a great set of Unisons! I'm so glad you got them. Don't you love it when things work out perfectly like that? :)

SueNM
05-26-2014, 10:05 AM
That's really neat Robert. Just looking at those makes you wanna paint.

getdusty
05-26-2014, 10:31 AM
beautiful colors!

Grinner
05-26-2014, 11:09 PM
What a beautiful set! Thanks for sharing the photo, and the info about the box.

Mamalynn
05-28-2014, 12:22 AM
Gorgeous set Robert. How do you keep your pastels so clean? I have been using a bag of rice to clean but been meaning to ask about this. Of course my friends call me "peppermint patty" so I'm probably the only one who has very messy sticks.

jakertanner
07-09-2014, 06:59 PM
I just got a few Unisons myself...the ones that come in individual boxes and apparently are different prices according to the color...lol Some colors were $2.50 more...anyway, I got a few of those sample pastel boxes that the art stores give you to carry your pastels in, and lined them with felt from Walmart. I can't for the life of me find that foam that comes with pastel sets so I decided to use felt..works out great.

Commenting on the cleanliness of pastels...I never really understood why your pastels would be in such bad shape or dirty that would require a rice bath..lol If an expensive pastel like a Unison or worse yet, a Roche gets dirty, gently wipe it against a paper towel, then place it back gently in your box. Save a lot of time later, and keeps things looking neat for next time.

allydoodle
07-10-2014, 04:00 PM
I just got a few Unisons myself...the ones that come in individual boxes and apparently are different prices according to the color...lol Some colors were $2.50 more...anyway, I got a few of those sample pastel boxes that the art stores give you to carry your pastels in, and lined them with felt from Walmart. I can't for the life of me find that foam that comes with pastel sets so I decided to use felt..works out great.

Commenting on the cleanliness of pastels...I never really understood why your pastels would be in such bad shape or dirty that would require a rice bath..lol If an expensive pastel like a Unison or worse yet, a Roche gets dirty, gently wipe it against a paper towel, then place it back gently in your box. Save a lot of time later, and keeps things looking neat for next time.

:lol: :lol: :lol: In the frenzy of a painting, who has time to wipe after each swipe?? You should see my pile of pastels after a painting, no way I could fuss over them as I'm painting. It would take me out of my game, and I'd be concentrating on the cleanliness of the sticks, rather than my painting :lol: :lol: :lol: .

That's me anyway, and I'm a neat freak when it comes to my pastels, but not while I'm painting, things can get a bit messy..... :eek:

robertsloan2
07-10-2014, 06:22 PM
I stop when they get too messy and wipe them all down, the first time in a painting that I slow down to see what I'm doing. Cleaning them off is a way to relax and think the painting through while it's across the room.

But I was doing that with a paper towel or toilet paper, not shaking them in rice or corn meal. That works, I've done it, but if I'm just in the middle of a painting I just use the toilet paper.

robertsloan2
07-11-2014, 02:44 AM
Jake, mine get dirty pretty fast as I change colors quickly while painting. Also because I will blend by using the next color stick - I might be blending a blue and a green passage with a pink stick of the same value and muddy hands from handling a dozen more. When I have trouble seeing what color I'm using I stop to clean them.

The felt works! I have one set in a short narrow sliding wooden drawer and I just used some felt I had to line it, that kept those pieces from sliding about and kept them clean. But when I traveled I put more felt over it until it was solidly packed, just like foam.

Dakota Pastels sells the memory foam in strips and one size of slab. With your collection mostly being open stock it might be worth it someday getting a wooden box like the Dakota Traveller or the Heilman or something. If it outgrows the trays with felt.

jakertanner
07-12-2014, 03:37 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: In the frenzy of a painting, who has time to wipe after each swipe?? You should see my pile of pastels after a painting, no way I could fuss over them as I'm painting. It would take me out of my game, and I'd be concentrating on the cleanliness of the sticks, rather than my painting :lol: :lol: :lol: .

That's me anyway, and I'm a neat freak when it comes to my pastels, but not while I'm painting, things can get a bit messy..... :eek:

I agree in the moment you can't stop and clean, I was just thinking that they could be placed back in their slot, but I see not many work this way...lol. I guess because I still try to keep them in boxes as I am short on room, that it's easier for me to return them back to their segregated spot. But I see your point.

Potoma
07-12-2014, 03:43 PM
Great find!

I find wiping down my pastels to be very zen and therapeutic.

I use an old Rembrandt box to store many chips and pieces to go plein air until I finally get my wooden box.

jakertanner
07-12-2014, 03:43 PM
Jake, mine get dirty pretty fast as I change colors quickly while painting. Also because I will blend by using the next color stick - I might be blending a blue and a green passage with a pink stick of the same value and muddy hands from handling a dozen more. When I have trouble seeing what color I'm using I stop to clean them.

The felt works! I have one set in a short narrow sliding wooden drawer and I just used some felt I had to line it, that kept those pieces from sliding about and kept them clean. But when I traveled I put more felt over it until it was solidly packed, just like foam.

Dakota Pastels sells the memory foam in strips and one size of slab. With your collection mostly being open stock it might be worth it someday getting a wooden box like the Dakota Traveller or the Heilman or something. If it outgrows the trays with felt.

Thanks for the tip from Dakota. I've been searching high and low for a universal foam to create my own neat box.

I hear you about cleaning with paper. I try and keep a paper towel in my left hand and paint with my right. As I return the pastel, I wipe...of course dirty finger marks are unavoidable, but I don't think pastels should be so dirty by the end that they need a rice bath...lol a paper wipe, cleans them better...just my experience.

Perhaps maybe because I don't rush through that I feel I have the time to clean between pastels. I make a mark, then step away...generally not under any time restraints..lol

getdusty
07-12-2014, 09:57 PM
I have a couple of old microfiber cloths that I keep right by my pastels when painting. When a stick seems too dirty to use (like I can't even tell what color it's supposed to be...lol), I give it a quick wipe on the cloth. Works wonderfully and when I'm done, I throw the cloths in with a load of laundry.