The PanPastel Story

PanPastel Creators Bernadette Ward & Ladd Forsline developed PanPastel during 5 years of research & development. They set up their company Colorfin and a small factory in rural Pennsylania where they make PanPastel Colors.

They are still involved in the manufacture of every batch of color in the same factory, with the help of a small team of employees who assemble and pack PanPastel; they have been making and shipping PanPastel since August 2007.

Bernadette Ward & Ladd Forsline Co-creators PanPastel Co-founders Colorfin LLC

Ladd Forsline & Bernadette Ward
Co-creators PanPastel
Co-founders Colorfin LLC

"The idea behind the development of PanPastel was to create a dry color medium that would work like a fluid paint.

We saw that the pastel medium hadn’t changed from the stick format for hundreds of years; and before that, going back thousands of years, humans had used raw pigments and earth to draw and paint.

So we decided to develop a material that retained the characteristics that make the pastel medium special—it’s directness and purity of color — but to make it function like a paint. After much experimentation in our art studio and laboratory, we developed the pan format.

The pan format changes everything! Making the colors function like a dry velvety paint. This brings many benefits, for example the artist can now mix pastel colors together for the first time.

We knew that pastelists would be immediately attracted to PanPastel as the colors offer many advantages for pastel painting. We also wanted to offer painters, who normally use wet colors (oils, acrylics etc), a dry medium that would deliver many of the same fluid paintable qualities that they are familiar with.

Our job was to develop the materials and make them available to artists, knowing that they would instinctively know how to use them in their work. We were right! Artists are taking PanPastel in so many exciting creative directions.

While the colors are used for traditional painting and drawing techniques, they are also being used for countless mixed media techniques."

Bernadette & Ladd
PanPastel Creators

About Colorfin LLC

Colorfin is the company that Bernadette & Ladd founded to manufacture and sell their products. It is devoted to the creation and production of innovative materials for fine art and craft.

Colorfin was founded with the sole purpose of expanding the choice of contemporary materials and tools available to artists.

All Colorfin products begin life in the art studio; they are then developed in the Colorfin laboratory and return to the studio for extensive testing to ensure that they offer high quality and practical materials for today’s artist.

The aim of Colorfin is not to replace existing materials, but to enhance the process of making art by offering new materials and stimulating artistic expression.

Bernadette Ward

Bernadette is a marketing and business development professional. With extensive experience as a senior executive in a number of markets including cosmetics and fast moving consumer goods. Prior to creating PanPastel and founding Colorfin she had spent a number of years working in the art materials industry – developing markets and products. Bernadette is a business graduate of the National University of Ireland (Galway).

Ladd Forsline

Ladd is an artist and inventor. He graduated from the MFA program at the Yale School of Art and went on to set up Forsline & Starr Ltd, the company behind such inventions as Colour Shaper® and OilBar®. These products, which were revolutionary at the time of launch, have now become standard tools & materials for artists and crafters.