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View Full Version : Heilman and other pastel box advice, please


HarveyDunn
06-14-2006, 09:50 PM
Hi all,

I am in the market for a new storage solution for my pastel collection. I've got two criteria: one, I want to be able to mix different brands together - NuPastels, Unisons, Diane Townsend Terrages and Sennies and Schminkes. Second, I don't want the sticks rolling around loose, becasue I like to keep broken sticks together-ish.

Advice, anyone? I've heard that the foam in the Heilman boxes is nice, and that it will cushion the sticks individually even though it does not have individual slots cut into it.

I need this for studio use only. However, some degree of portability might be nice, as I do not work in pastels exclusively so I'd like the option of putting the pastels in the closet while I'm working on something else.

Tatijana
06-14-2006, 10:47 PM
I bought the large Heilman box and love it. I asked around quite a few people here on Wetcanvas before I got it - they all loved it. The main reason I got mine was that I go to 2-3 classes a week and I wanted to be able to have as many pastels with me as I could, but of course I use at home.

HarveyDunn
06-14-2006, 10:55 PM
Do you think the Heilman box would do the two things I'm looking for: let me mingle various brands together, but provide enough cushioning to keep broken sticks roughly in the same place? I've heard their foam is interesting.

khourianya
06-14-2006, 11:30 PM
The heilman should do what you want it to - within reason. The foam is memory foam (like the pillows and mattresses have now) so it cushions the pastels and holds them in place when the box is closed. I don't know how wel it would hold them in place if the box wasn't quite full and it was bumped while open in the studio, though. perhaps one of the heilman owners could comment to that.

Of course - if the box is relatively full - they shouldn't shift at all I would think.

In my pochade that I take out for plein air (I build my own boxes) - I used upholstery foam and the pastels don't move at all. I think it also has something to do with the pressure holding the lids in place to how well the pastels will stay in place.

Karen Margulis
06-15-2006, 07:36 AM
I just got the Heilman box a couple of weeks ago. I've taken it back and forth to class annd on some plein air outings...I've bumped the box and dropped it and so far I am very pleased. My box is not quite full and nothing seems to shift.
Karen

KA Obee
06-15-2006, 08:01 AM
I LOVE my Heilman box. I needed it for pretty much the reasons you describe. I want to be able to put my pastels away and know they are safe, to carry them with me when I travel and to have them all accessable - all brands together. The way I had my pastels stored before, it was nearly impossible to see them when i was painting. This way they are all right there.
Really, it is wonderful.
It is expensive, and it is heavy. If you are handy at all you might want to look into building one of your own.
KA

Bringer
06-15-2006, 09:12 AM
Hi,

I guess that there are someones here that also bought this :

http://www.aswexpress.com/discount-art-supplies/online/3171/art-supplies/5

I just have two regular wood Rembrandt boxes that I bought for a good price here. I really don't know much about other options.

Regards,

Josť

KA Obee
06-15-2006, 10:55 AM
Harvey,
Check out this link -
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=337816
Go to the bottom of the second page and you'll see my Heilman with all different pastels in it. It will give you an idea of how much it can hold as well. Also, you can see other boxes on that thread. Mine is the large Heilman.
KA

Shari
06-15-2006, 10:55 AM
The Heilman box is the perfect solution for all your needs!!! I have an older Heilman box and I love it so much!!! I use it in the studio but it is easy to take to class or wherever. I have everything from Unison to Schmincke, sennelier, Great Americans, all mixed up in there.

Paula Ford
06-15-2006, 10:59 AM
I have 2 of these! LOVE THEM...
DAKOTA UNIVERSAL TRAVEL BOX - LARGE
http://www.dakotapastels.com/index_easels_boxes_boxes.shtml

Paula

HarveyDunn
06-15-2006, 11:04 AM
I have 2 of these! LOVE THEM...
DAKOTA UNIVERSAL TRAVEL BOX - LARGE
http://www.dakotapastels.com/index_easels_boxes_boxes.shtml

Paula

Do you use their die-cut foam? Becasue I use lots of brands, some odd shaped (Townsend Terrages, which are like matchboxes), I'm trying to find something that will hold things in place without having to conform to a pre-defined slot.

bnoonan
06-15-2006, 11:15 AM
I love my Heilman box and the foam that they use is "memory foam" - I think it's the same stuff they use on mattresses.

When it gets dirty from pastel dust - as it will - you just pop them out of their individual slots and hand wash them and let them dry for a day or two and then pop them back in. They still are stained but they don't have the dust in them.

I was told I can buy the replacement foam if I want. By the way I spoke to him directly on the phone and he was a treat. I have put in all shapes and sizes but not the Townsend so you need to ask him specifically about that size.

Barb

Tatijana
06-15-2006, 12:10 PM
I have a variety in my box - MT.Visions,GA's,rembrandt,senneliers,nupastels(i can doublestack them) diane townsend (not terrage), art spectrum - all medium sized stick(most broken in half, so I can fit more pastels. You can also fit the larger pastels in the large heilman case because there are 2 layers of memory foam on the bottom of the case. I think its in 2 of the divisions, but i'm sure you can request how you want your personal box outfitted. If you are going to open and close your case frequently, the heilman is great because their lids are very secure.

Paula Ford
06-15-2006, 12:10 PM
Do you use their die-cut foam? Becasue I use lots of brands, some odd shaped (Townsend Terrages, which are like matchboxes), I'm trying to find something that will hold things in place without having to conform to a pre-defined slot.

No, I don't use any of the foam in my boxes because I also have many kinds and shapes of pastels and everything fits wonderfully!

There are pictures of my pastel box here on WC. Let me go find it and I'll post a link.

Paula

Paula Ford
06-15-2006, 12:26 PM
Ok, here it is. Look at post #10

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=242353&highlight=Dakota+Universal

KA Obee
06-15-2006, 09:30 PM
You might also be interested in knowing that the Dakota box is on sale right now! As much as I LOVE my Heilman - that Dakota box looks wonderful and on sale is less than half the cost of the Heilman. That is certainly worth looking into!
KA

McSheri
06-23-2006, 11:14 AM
Heilman Box, I recently bought a large box and just love it. It holds all my pastels, of any size, in one place. I arranged them according to color and value and find it much easier to put away when I am finished.

This was an expensive box, but one I will have for a lifetime. It came within four days of order and is a beautiful piece of carpentry.

McSheri

JWebber
06-23-2006, 03:52 PM
Hi, so here is my one cents worth too!

I just bought the Dakota box that Paula has as I was at Dakota for a workshop 2 weeks ago and saw it there.
I think it is fantastic. I arranged all the different brands in there from NuPastel up to the larger Terrages and Ludwigs in Cool and Warm of each colour, it sure makes choosing a pastel easy now!

KA Obee
06-23-2006, 04:41 PM
That sounds fantastic! Can you post a picture when you get a second?
Thanks

Potoma
06-23-2006, 10:53 PM
Harvey,
I realize this isn't your goal, but I always look at things through plein air eyes. I saw the boxes at Dakota and I would object to their depth. At 18" deep, even the smaller one would be too large for my French easel, or even my lap.

I use a French Companion - almost bought one on sale online until I realized that it opened with the split going the long way on the long side, so it would have stuck way out on the easel. I found another that split open the other way, so it is wide on the easel instead of deep.

I suppose all this might matter if you have a narrow space in your studio for pastels. I guess I like my pastels right up under my nose!

HarveyDunn
06-24-2006, 11:15 AM
Potoma,

I'm not really in the market for an outdoor solution, but since you mention it, perhaps you can answer a question I've always wondered about: isn't laying an open box/tray across a french easel just asking for trouble? One big gust of wind, one inadvertant bump, and whoopsie, pastels all over the ground. No?

MChesleyJohnson
06-24-2006, 01:33 PM
You can usually rig up something to keep the box/tray on the easel's drawer. Bungie cords work well, and so do those "utility web straps" you can buy in camping stores. I have to say I don't secure my box. I've been painting for years outdoors with my box placed unsecured on my French easel's extended tray, and only once have I had an issue. (Two left feet, but that's another story!)

One thing I tell my students is this: If you EVER leave your easel, even for a minute, ALWAYS take the box off and put it on the ground. You'll be glad you did.

:)

Potoma
06-24-2006, 03:48 PM
Harvey,
I've only been doing it for a year, but I haven't had problems like that. I don't bungee mine down, either. The set up is so heavy, I wouldn't worry about wind very much - I wouldn't choose to be out on a day like that either. The OOPS factor would be larger, but knock on wood....

I also put carpenter's shims under the FE drawer to make that as secure as possible, with the main goal being that it not have a downward slope, which was problematic in the following scenerio.

The only real issue I've had with loss is the the front face of the French Companion under the handle flips open when everything else is unsecured. The first time I was using it outside, a number of pastels rolled off the front onto the cement. Very bad. After that, I put in a foam damn across the front; it works to varying degrees.

JWebber
06-25-2006, 03:27 PM
325923

325924

Hi again,

I took the photos as requested. The box has two covers velcroed on
to keep the pastels in place when taking the box on a journey. The covers
are white melamine on top and foam lined on the underside as you can
see in the picture. I came back from the La Conner workshop with this in the car, full to the brim with pastels because I had not yet broke them all in half as they are now (with the exception of Sennelier). I love the pastels being sorted in warm and cool, which Robyn at Dakota advised and helped me sort even! Now that they are all in half I can buy even more as there is lots of room in this one which is largest of their sizes. There are two spots that are left empty, I thought that if I were working away from the studio I could use these for the pastels currently being used on the painting with me.

Hope this helps,
Judy