The Story of the Schmincke Half-Pan Set
Editor’s note: Since 2013 we’ve done a series of custom sets and the current can be found here.
If you have shopped at Wet Paint in Saint Paul during the past 25 years, you know Darin Rinne, our General Manager. And you know Darin loves to tell a story. And I’d bet he’d tell you his favorite story is about the Schmincke Half-pan Watercolor Set. About 10 years ago, the U.S. importer of Schmincke color offered Wet Paint a deal on their 12 color half-pan set. We could give our customers a professional grade watercolor in a metal box at a comparable price to the competitor’s student grade in plastic. The only hitch, we had to purchase 100 sets. At the time, it was a big investment for Wet Paint, but we went for it anyway. The set was such a success; we ordered the set 3 times. Each time, the tin was a slightly different model. The fourth time around, no more were available.
The story continues and now Schmincke has a new importer in the U.S. but no watercolor set we felt met the criteria for our customers. Marcus from Schmincke in Germany came to visit us in 2011 and asked how he could improve their relationship with Wet Paint. Darin and Greg Graham, our Floor Manager, worked with Marcus to put together a selection of warm and cool colors of their choosing which would be affordable and still a workable palette. They found an appropriate tin with space to fit another 6 colors for expansion. We worked with other independent art supply stores to meet the manufacturer’s custom run commitment. The set was so well received by our customers, that we needed to order more custom runs. And we worked again with Marcus to develop a Schmincke Gouache set to complement the watercolors with a palette selected by our friend Roz Stendahl.
As we started seeing the end of our inventory, Schmincke informed us our tin was no longer available. Being such a successful program, Marcus and Darin worked up a 2013 edition which just got shipped to Wet Paint last week.
Liz Carlson, urban sketcher and Wet Paint sales associate, got into the act by creating a new palette of colors for the new edition. The colors in the 2013 set are more transparent than the original selection. It is a stand-alone palette of colors but has no duplication from the original selection. The new tin is a longer box that has enough room to hold a standard length brush (or a pen) or 2 travel brushes. And it comes with 12 empty half-pans. So a painter could include the colors from their studio palette, include the colors from the original Schmincke Half-Pan Set or expand their palette in a completely unique way.
Kate Katzer, Wet Paint’s framer and web sales associate, is very excited, almost giddy in fact, about the new Schmincke Half-Pan Set’s arrival. She has a number of web customers disappointed they missed the original set. She likes the fact that the palette of colors is chosen by a working artist rather than a marketing department. Liz Carlson’s color selection is appropriate for the plein air painter, the sketcher, landscape painter or portrait artist. The colors are for warm weather, vibrant and fresh. There is a story behind each color selection. For example, Liz picked Mountain Blue because “it isn’t as bossy as Ultramarine.” She likes Cobalt Turquoise and Transparent Orange because they mix well to make great middle tones.
Wet Paint is pleased to offer our customers the 2013 edition of the Schmincke Half-Pan Watercolor Set. Schmincke makes the best half-pan watercolors on the market. We have made a unique color selection you won’t find anywhere else. This set is priced ridiculously well. And the box wraps it all up as a beautiful object in itself. This is a watercolor set for those with great taste and an understanding of value & quality. We have worked hard to bring you a unique, professional grade product at a very affordable price. Visit our website to purchase and see the entire list of colors in this set!