Being that it’s World Watercolor Month. I thought it might be nice to make a few glass palettes to share. So, I used my 4th Holiday to make one kiln load . . .
This whole thing started back in 2015, when I had just gotten involved in fused glass and tried a little experiment. I have always wanted a glass palette so I could see what a color would look like in a painting – without painting it onto the painting. AND also so my palette would not stain and would clean up like a breeze.
There is no such thing as a glass watercolor palette in this world (even the ones called bullet “glass” are actually a form of plastic).
I made a handful of silly looking little palettes and took them to a journaling retreat I was hosting in Tubac, AZ. They looked like this, and even had a brush-resting slot (which did not work) on one end.
Well, my students didn’t think they were silly and bought them all for $24 each.
Back home, and almost a year later, I set about making myself a “Big-Daddy” palette based on this idea. I went for a size of 10″ x 10″ because that was just how much desk space I was willing to give up to a palette, no matter how cool it was. I also knew a lot more about the fired glass process by this time, so this turned out well. It wasn’t one bit silly. . .
I made another one with only two mixing areas so I could have three more color wells, and I started filling them with M. Graham fabulous watercolors.
I like to thin my color as I work, so I put a dollop of paint at just one end of each well, rather than filling them, and I can thin by pulling the wet paint toward the empty end of the well with a wet brush.
I wanted to see the color against white as well as having the clear glass choice, so I made a cover from thick white Fun Foam, that could sit under the palette when not being a dust cover. And, being Fun Foam, it was totally washable.
Next, to avoid having to reach to the far side of the palette, especially because I like to pull the paint toward me, I got a lazy Susan doo-dad and attached white Fun Foam to the top. The foam makes it non-slip so the palette can just sit on the lazy Susan without having to be attached.
Here’s my well used palette sitting on the lazy Susan so the white shows under the mixing wells. . .
Pretty sloppy now, because I have used it every day for almost a year and a half, but so easy to clean those edges up with a damp paper towel.
I printed a matching color chart on 140lb watercolor paper . . .
I love having this because that is a lot of color to keep track of.
When my friends saw this, they went nuts. When my palette ended up in a blog post and in my journal posts (because it holds my book open for photos), I got lots of messages asking whether I could sell them. My answer was “I don’t know” because they are very time consuming to make, and I am already pretty busy.
But I figured if I am ever going to make up my mind, I have to try the process and see if it kills me, right? That’s how I usually decide things – probably not the good way.
SO, since it is World Watercolor Month, I spent the Fourth of July making a small kiln load of smaller palettes. Did not make big ones because they will not be affordable, and if someone can afford it, they can order and I will make them.
There are only a few of each size. If they run out, you can order anyway – but ONLY during World Watercolor Month because this is still an experiment.
I have not put pages on my website for these for that same reason, but I will describe them here. If I decide to do this, I can move this info to pages on my site.
Here they are.
All are 1/4″ thick clear glass with a toothy surface to hold the paint and rubber bump-on feet so the palette will not slide around – and you can safely set the palette on your work. All wells and mixing areas are 1/8″ deep.
By the way, there is NO beading up of paint on this glass because of the way it is textured.
This I am calling “The Traveler”. It is very similar to the original from the retreat but much neater with more color wells (9) and a nice mixing area. Overall size is 2.5″ x 5″. Wells are 1″ x 1/2″ each, and the mixing area is 2″ x 3/4″. Price is $25.
There is also a 12 well version of the Traveler . . .
This Traveler is $30 (more wells = more handwork = more time). The 12 color wells are 1/2″ x 3/4″, and the mixing area is 1/2″ x 2″. Overall size is 2.5″ x 5″
This one I love and use all the time along side my big palette. I call it the “Paint Strip”. . .
The measurement is 2″ x 10″ and there are 10 wells that measure 5/8″ x 1.25″ each. These are the same size as the wells on my big palette. The price is $40.
I use my Paint Strips in a few ways. . .
I have one that holds my extra M. Graham colors that won’t fit on my big palette.
I use them to create a series of values of a color when I need that.
And, I use them to put together what I call “project” palettes – gathering and mixing the colors for a specific flower or landscape painting, for example. And, of course, I can test the colors by holding my Paint Strip over the painting.
Paint Strips are just cool. They feel very nice to hold and you could hit somebody with one if need be. (It’s usually better just to think about that last use).
And the final small palette I made is the Five-by-Five . . .
Five inches square, obviously – 12 large wells 5/8″ x 1.25″ and a mixing area 1.25″ x 2.25″. This has a small desktop footprint and makes a lovely everyday palette for journaling or painting at home. The price is $50.
If I decide to build this business, there will be a 5″ x10″ available as well, and custom layout and well size options for the two bigger sizes.
For now, there are a few available of each of these in my shop. If you are interested, you probably shouldn’t wait long, but just for World Watercolor Month (July), you can order an out-of-stock item and I will make it for you.
If you are not in the US, please make your order privately with me by email (email@example.com) so we can figure the best shipping options for your particular order.
Shop for Glass Palettes:
Absolutely LOVE the glass palettes. You did a great job.
Thank you much, April – hope I can keep up – lots of orders coming in!
Thanks for making these!!
Thanks to you, Delores, for buying some!!
Theses are brilliant! Having been a framer I made pallets from the left over glass, I just taped the edges, perfect for acrylic, but THESE, are awesome with the water color wells! I am just not doing any art now, but had to tell you just how much I love them! You never cease to amaze me!
Hey, Nancy! Thanks. And thanks for having your friend book the house! Would be great to have lunch sometime and catch up.
Oh, these are precious! I love the 5 by 5. I will be ordering one. I would love to see one that size that is simply used for mixing. I so dislike my plastic mixing palettes when the color beads up!
LOVE my glass palettes! Since these are only being made during Watercolor Month (July) I decided I should go ahead and pick up a couple of other sizes I do not have yet. Thanks again for all of your hard work in providing these for us!!
I LOVE these glass palettes! What a great idea! I placed another order. These are really well made! Thanks!
I love these. The 5 x 5 is my favorite. Never a dull moment in your mind!