Life on Fire, Encaustic by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
A public art opening will take place Thursday, October 2 from 6:00–9:00pm in Ampersand’s new manufacturing facility and art gallery located in Buda, TX. According to company President and CEO, Elaine Salazar, “We felt that the best way to celebrate our 20 year journey, was to show a collection of work from some of the many amazing artists throughout the country who have been faithfully working on the surfaces we produce.”
The exhibition will continue throughout the month of October and will be open to the public Mon-Fri between the hours of 9:00–5:00pm.
In 1994, Ampersand Art Supply began its mission of reviving the time-honored tradition of panel painting with the creation of Claybord™, their very first coated painting panel. Colorado artist and inventor of Claybord, Charles Ewing, partnered with Ampersand to develop it further and see its commercial success. Today, Ampersand’s product line has expanded to ten different surfaces in a variety of profiles and sizes. Ampersand sells its panels in all major art supply stores throughout the US. More recently, Ampersand launched its products in Germany and Great Britain. Marketing Director, Andrea Pramuk, who has been with the company since 1995, says Ampersand will continue to launch their line in key countries throughout Europe, Australia, and Japan in 2015.
|Spotted, Scratchbord |
by Sally Maxwell
According to President and CEO, Elaine Salazar, “we are so grateful for those early pioneering artists who tried our panels and freely offered to help us refine each surface that makes the Ampersand family of “bords”. This family of artists still help us today.” She went on to say that a few key dealers played a critical role in the early years as they launched the line. Salazar remembers sending a piece of Claybord in a priority mail envelope to Allen Shefts, who then worked at Pearl Paint on Canal Street in New York. “A buyer called within days expressing an interest. It was that first order from Pearl for 1000 pieces of Claybord that officially launched Ampersand into the market in 1994.” According to Salazar, Meininger’s and Guiry’s, both Colorado dealers, were also a few of the earlier retailers who agreed to carry some of the product. “These were the days when Charles Ewing and his wife Barbara had tried to market Claybord under the brand, “Clayboard–real neat stuff” “, she adds.
In 1994, with the help of several local angel investors, family, and friends, the company set up its manufacturing facility at 1500 East 4 St in East Austin where it operated until 2013 before moving its entire operation to its current location in Buda. According to Edwin Ramos, Chief Operating Officer, Ampersand had completely outgrown the old 13,000 sq. ft. space in East Austin. The company had been operating out of two locations in Austin for over 5 years before moving to their current location in Buda. The company purchased and renovated the old shrimp farm metal building, “Big Blue”, for its new home, located about 20 minutes south of Austin. The new facility houses approximately 60,000 sq ft of manufacturing, warehousing, and office/gallery space. Backing from the local Buda Economic Development Council, Hays County, First State Bank of Central Texas and the SBA made the move possible for this small business. Salazar also shares, “As a small business, it has taken the hearts and hands of so many people to make it all happen. We are so grateful to both the Austin and the Buda communities and to the artists worldwide who use our products.”
Ampersand Art Supply
Click here to explore the full selection of Ampersand panels and tools.