Inspiration comes not only from our painting subjects but very much also from the materials with which we create art.
Vintage tins have a unique rustic charm to them. Personally, using vintage typewriter tins as watercolor palettes recalls the same kind of playful nostalgia as seeing toy wagons made out of plastic baby powder bottles, or fetching little earrings of sappy santan leaves. I am from that generation that still experienced a good deal of typewriter use (I used to own a beautiful, teal Remington!) and saw the transition of home computers from massive 5-piece assemblies to the sleek little laptops of today. These old, charming typewriter ribbon tins are a reminiscence of the manual, often arduous yet utterly satisfying process of typing out 50 pages of a term paper - alike in many ways to the process of creating art in today's digital world.
Be inspired by these little items of history! Each vintage tin is unique from the logo designs and the retro typography, down to its patina, nicks, dents and closure quirks. These tins were sourced from the US, from shops that say some of these are as old as circa 1920s. I cleaned them to remove loose rust, then sprayed them with clear acrylic to stop further rusting, preserve the patina and make it more hygienic to use.
If you have not bought vintage items before, please note that the tins listed here are actual vintage with reference to their age, i.e. not just 'vintage-style' or 'retro' with reference to their design. Most vintage items cannot be expected to look flawless, on the contrary, the patina that can only be achieved with age - that wear and tear, that's their exact appeal. I do my best to be honest with descriptions and take photos that best show their condition, so please do check all photos and read the descriptions.
Monochromatic blue litho print features typewriter keys on the lid, which is stamped with "Hollyhock Brand". The bottom indicates that the tin contained a black and red medium ribbon made for the Remington Noiseless. There is another stamp saying "Holley's Office Supplies, Des Moines, Iowa". Made in the USA by Decorated Metal Manufacturing Company.
PLEASE HOVER/MOUSE OVER THE PHOTOS TO SEE UP CLOSE. The photos are part of the description, they best communicate the degree of ageing and patina.
Diameter: approx. 2.4 inches | 61 mm
Height: approx. 13/16 inches | 20 mm
Number of wells: 10-21
Volume/well: ~0.98 mL
One lot includes:
1 piece vintage typewriter ribbon tin
1 piece 10 or 21-well white plastic palette, choose in the options
1 piece white plastic mixing palette
Free: swatch card made with 300 gsm watercolor paper
As with the other travel palettes, this palette is designed with the objective of being able to carry as many colors as possible in a small case. Think of it as an upgraded dot 'card'. It is ideal for working on smaller pieces or journals, on works where one would not normally lay down big washes or use big brushes, or as a secondary travel palette when bag weight/space is a priority. It is NOT designed to be used as a main palette and will be insufficient as a studio palette, or for use with brushes with tips wider than 8mm. I recommend this palette if your journal is 5"x 8" or smaller, with round brushes size 6 or smaller, filberts and flats with widths of 7mm or smaller.
The paint palette is handmade by manually pouring liquid urethane on manually cast moulds. The moulds were cast from 3D-prints of palette configurations that I custom-designed and modelled specifically for each type of tin in my shop. Because of these manual aspects of production, you might find imperfections such as an occasional bubble or uneven bottom. I will ensure that none of the flaws affect the usability of the palettes.