Ampersand Art Supply is the leading manufacturer of painting panels in the United States.
Ampersand’s first coated painting panel was invented by Colorado fine artist, Charles Ewing.
Charles loved the scratchboard drawing technique but found he needed a surface that would readily accept water media and that could be varnished and framed without the need for glass.
For 10 years Charles made claybord panels, one or two at a time, for his own use. With a vision to reach national and international markets he partnered with Ampersand in 1994.
Over the years, Ampersand has added many wonderful painting panels with unique surface coatings and profiles suitable for all media from oils to pastels.
Ampersand is committed first and foremost to supporting artists in their creative process by providing surfaces that are not only a joy to paint and create on, but that will also withstand the test of time.
Ampersand’s commitment to quality and archival principles led them to engineer the only archival sealed panels on the market today. Artists using the full range of panels from Claybord™ to Gessobord™ to the Artist Panel™ can rest assured that every step has been taken to ensure quality and performance.
Not only are Ampersand Museum Series panels made in the US, they are also eco-friendly and artist-safe. Ampersand takes great pride in manufacturing their products to meet the exacting standards of artists while also placing the safety of artists and the environment at the forefront of their concerns. Ampersand is also very pleased to help further the arts and education by manufacturing the highest quality art materials possible.
1. Superior Quality Materials and Attention to Detail
No other panel on the market protects an artist’s work like an Ampersand™ panel. Every coated Ampersand™ Museum Series panel is protected by proprietary Archival-Seal™ barrier technology, the most advanced formula for sealing wood that prevents support induced discoloration and makes Ampersand panels archival. Only Ampersand uses true high density hardboard made from US-grown renewable Aspen wood fibers and constructs their cradle support frames using 13-ply birch plywood.
2. Responsibility to Artists and the Environment
Central to Ampersand’s mission is to ensure that their products do not harm the environment or the artists who use them. Ampersand true artist hardboard is made from FSC certified forest products that promote sustainable forests. FSC certification is considered the most effective environmental standard for the protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water. Ampersand’s hardboard supports are formaldehyde-free and do not contain organic compounds that generate harmful gas emissions. In addition, they routinely test the raw materials they use to ensure artists safety and consistency in quality. Ampersand Museum Series panels manufactured in the US from US sourced raw materials.
3. Knowledge, Experience and Education
Before painting on any unprimed wood panel, you should seal it first to prevent support induced discoloration. Then, coat it with an oil/alkyd primer or acrylic dispersion ground. If you are mounting paper or textiles, you must have a barrier seal between the fabric or paper and the bare wood panel. We recommend using PVA size; many conservators consider it superior to traditional hide glue for sealing wood. However, if sealing, priming and sanding sounds like too much work, all Ampersand Museum Series prepared panels are pre-sealed, pH neutral and ready to use.
Ampersand extraordinary surfaces are available in our stores and online.