Fieldtrip: Gamblin Artist Colors

By Sam Huff October 31


Our workshop crew recently had the opportunity to take a spin through Gamblin's facility here in Portland, Ore. and to be completely honest, until a few months ago I had no idea they operated out of the same city as us.  I've had the pleasure to chat with Gamblin President Pete Cole on a few occasions, and after hearing bits and pieces about the process and operation they run, I thought,  "Okay, enough hearing about this place.  Let's go see it first hand."


As these field trips often are, lifting the veil almost always reveals something much different for me than what I was expecting.  Housed in a large industrial space right on the Willamette previous used to warehouse timber, I was first surprised at how trim they're work force was considering how much product they crank out each year.  A lean, mean paint making machine.


The second thing that hit me was just how bright and saturated the raw pigments and paint were.  It's intense.  I'd liken it to walking into a Sour Patch Kids factory and grabbing a handfull of the conveyor belt.  Only here it's throwing color at your eyes that are more vibrant than they're accustomed to seeing.

The texture in that place was pretty incredible as well.  From the sticky, waxy buildup of linseed oil on this repurposed industrial chocolate warmer, to the thick, gooey consistency of paint getting mixed - everywhere corner I turned revealed another crazy process used in making paint.

Little excursions like this are great for us as a company to get outside of our process, see what other small business manufacturers are doing, and learn a thing or two that we can apply to our own operation.  Thanks again to the whole Gamblin team for accommodating us, and especially Pete Cole for great commentary throughout. 

For more about Gamblin's process and approach to paint making, check out their latest video below.  Great stuff.