Show and Tell

show-and-tell_2Each year during the first day of NAMTA’s trade show, retailer Andrew Preston and his posse of scouts fan out across the exhibit floor to track down innovative new art materials, equipment and tools. Later, they present their findings to other retail buyers in a session aptly titled, “What’s Exciting in the Exhibit Hall.” The results of this year’s treasure hunt – collected by retailers from Muncie, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Buffalo, New York; St. Paul, Minnesota; Reseda, California and Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada – reflect the diversity of art their customers are creating. Here’s the list.

JACQUARD ( launched a new and improved MARBLING KIT (1) and Class Pack with reformulated colors for easy marbling on paper, fabric and more. Also from Jacquard is IDYE POLY (2), for easy dyeing of any synthetic fabric. It comes in a dissolvable packet that you simply drop into a pot of water, add the fabric, and bring to a boil.

GIFTSLAND INC. ( offers eco-friendly DECORATIVE PAPERS (3), garlands, journals, rosettes and other craft items and stationery, all handmade in Nepal. Innovative and ergonomic PALETTES (4) from NEW WAVE ART ( are made from furniture-grade maple, and come in either natural stain or in a neutral gray surface. New Wave’s POSH tabletop palettes feature silicone footings for traction on any surface.

CREATIVE ART MATERIALS ( offers ADULT COLORING BOOKS and POSTCARD COLORING BOOKS (5) from The Pepin Press. Themes include graphic design, fashion, costume, jewelry, patterns & ornaments, typography, and more.

GLOBAL ART MATERIALS offers the ArtGraf Viarco six-color water-soluble graphite kit (6) in earthtones: sanguine, ochre, sepia, brown, dark brown and black. It works great dry, or you can add water for a light wash or dark earth tones. Another exciting ArtGraf product is No. 1 (7), water-soluble and kneadable graphite.

INDIGO ARTPAPER offers handmade and archival cotton and flax-fiber paper made in its mill in India. Displayed at the show were cloth covered art journals (8) and spiral-bound pads of individual sheets that have a deckle edge on three sides. No two sheets are alike.

show-and-tell_3The magnetic and dry-erase ClipBook (9) from JIMM Y JOHN DESIGN ( was created to improve the function and aesthetics of the traditional clipboard. It’s durable, ultraslim, and flips like a notepad. Clipbooks are made in Philadelphia. Children’s art products from ECO-KIDS ( are made from nontoxic, natural ingredients and come in environmentally friendly packaging. (You might suggest the egg co loring kit (10) to customers looking for Pysanky supplies.)

DENIK company ( collaborates with independent artists from around the world, and will work with art stores to put the work of your artist-customers on THE COVERS OF ITS JOURNALS, NOTEBOOKS AND SKETCHBOOKS (11). For each book sold, the company donates a portion to the building of schools, this year in Guatemala.

“KINSHO PHOTO JOURNALS (12) from MacPhersons ( simply feel luxurious.”

The PAINT ORGANIZER AND STORAGE CASE (13) from Logan Graphic Products ( is great for artists who like things really organized for a class or for plein air. The handle of the AQUASH WATER BRUSH (14) from Pentel Arts ( is slightly flattened on one side to prevent it from rolling away.

show-and-tell_4CHARTPAK’S MEDIUM W FROM SCHMINCKE (see page 20) transforms traditional oils into water-mixable oils. It makes cleanup easy because you can rinse your brushes off with water.GRUMBACHER MISKIT (15) liquid frisket masks areas of a painting from an overall wash. Just brush it on. The natural latex rubber-based emulsion removes easily with an eraser, rubber cement pickup or a ball of dried Miskit. (

The new GREY MATTERS BRUSHES (16) from JACK RICHESON ( feature a matte-finished and neutral-gray handle and ferrule. They’re non-reflective, so you don’t get glare from studio lights or the sun if you’re outdoors.

DECO-ART ( offers A COMPLETE MIXED-MEDIA PROGRAM (17) that includes fluid acrylics, antiquing creams, misters, mediums, crackles and textures. Its AMERICANA DÉCOR MAXX GLOSS PAINT (18) is supposedly the glossiest paint on the market, for uses indoor and out.

X-PRESS IT STENCIL SHEETS (19) from Imagination International ( in sizes 8-1/2 by 11 inches and 11 by 17 inches have a low tack so that you can stick them onto surfaces and paint. They work great for aerosol paint jobs.

GOLDEN ( introduced NEW NIBS (20) that fit right onto 4 and 8-ounce bottles of its High Flow acrylics.

DERIVAN LIQUID GRAPHITE (21), in 50 ml bottles and 12 ml tubes, is available from ARMADILLO ART & CRAFT ( It can be thinned with water or acrylic mediums for a wide range of values. Large areas can be covered quickly and easily using a brush, pen nib or other art tool. There are two formulas – permanent and rewettable. They come in six colors including yellow, red, blue, sepia and two grays.

show-and-tell_5NITRAM FUSAINS FINE ART CHARCOAL (22) ( is available in batons; great for fluid drawing and for covering large surfaces. It provides richer and darker values than a charcoal pencil.

Ironlak ( from Australia-based AVT Paints has introduced an ALCOHOL INK-BASED PUMP ACTION PAINT AND INK MARKER (23). According to the company website, “They are available in 3mm, 7mm, 12mm and 15mm sizes and offer artists the malleability of a water-based, odorless paint formulation that boasts high performance, opacity and permanency.”

First-time exhibitor POJMAN POLYMER PRODUCTS introduced the unique 3P QUICKCURE LINE (not pictured) – 3P QUICKCURE CLAY, 3P ArtMedium and 3P Putty ( These “cure-on-demand” products for artists, crafters and DIYers won’t harden until heated with a heat gun. There’s no mixing required and they all have a long shelf life. No kiln or oven is needed to create strong sculptures with 3P Clay, which can also be used to repair holes in floors, walls and wood because it expands. 3P medium allows artists to create textured surfaces, and 3P Putty for home repairs has an unlimited working time.

The MONO SAND ERASER (24) from TOMBOW ( can be used to give paper texture.

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