Since 1977 Kremer Pigmente has provided products for preservation, restauration and art worldwide. Vermilion, Smalt, Lapis Lazuli, Bone Black and Madder Lake – are just some examples of rare pigments of which the ancient production procedures have seemed to be forgotten for centuries. However one company brought these pigments back to life and made them available again.
In the course of the industrialization and the two world wars the traditional craft of paint manufacturing disappeared. The color industry of the 1930ies focused on pigments and paints for technical use only and mainly aimed for mass production. Until today the paint manufacturing industry tries to produce very consistent color shades. These uniform hues highlight the main difference between synthetic pigments and natural pigments. The appearance of minerals changes constantly depending on their various points of origin. Crystals of natural pigments reflect light very strongly which enhances their brilliancy significantly. The tradition of self-made paint from pigments and binder is still being practiced all over the world due to these unique features. “Pigments and paints do not only consist of their materials and the way they are produced. Much more can be discovered with a glimpse behind the scenes. The historical values play a crucial role” explains Dr. Georg Kremer, the
founder of Kremer Pigmente.
In 1970 graduate chemist Dr. Georg Kremer received a request from a befriended English restorer. He is in search of “Smalt”, an intense blue shade made of cobalt-containing glass, which is not available anymore at that time. The pigment had already been used by the old Egyptians and experienced a renaissance in the Baroque. After extensive research, Georg Kremer was able to reproduce the recipe for the historic blue glass. These works formed the basis of the foundation of Georg Kremer’s one-man company in 1977 in Rottenburg am Neckar. Until today ongoing research and the production of old and forgotten pigments allow Dr. Kremer to combine his chemical knowledge with his passion for history. Back then the product range covered more than 100 pigments after two years already. Growing international demand enables the niche company to expand steadily.
In 1984 the company founder purchased an old flour mill in Aichstetten in the Allgäu. The building was converted into a Color-Mill, where the production, the warehouse, sales and a showroom are located. Additional branches are established in 1982 in Munich and in 1985 in Stuttgart. With the foundation of Kremer Pigments Inc. in 1989 in New York the family run business strengthens its international presence and opens up the American market for pigments for artists and restorers.
Today the company produces 250 of its 1500 pigments in the color mill. Due to highest quality and purity standards Kremer Pigmente has become the world market leader in the field of historic pigments. „Our research surrounding old recipes of traditional paint making bring back to light many long-forgotten colors. In addition, we experiment with many different materials such as stones, bones or roots which allows us to create knew, unknown shades and variations of hues, “says David Kremer, managing the company as CEO in the second generation of the family. Besides the handmade historic pigment range, Kremer Pigmente also distributes modern, synthetic pigments.
Historic and modern binders, glues and various media are essential tools for restorers. The wide choice of fillers give the possibility to change a color’s transparency and surface properties. Ready-to-use colors such as pastes, oil colors, retouching colors or watercolors are all handmade and produced according to old recipes. Natural dyes, modern synthetic pigments, solvents, chemicals, additives as well as tools, brushes and technical literature
round off the assortment.
Kremer Pigmente not only offers products online but also through 3 own stores in Aichstetten, Munich and New York and more than 100 resellers worldwide. The company’s entire portfolio can be found in the product catalogue which also includes recipes, application advice, suitability lists etc. Individual ready-made colors based on oil, acrylic or alkyd resin can also be ordered and are custom-made according to specific requirements and needs. Customers have the possibility to consult technical advice of our expert team in Aichstetten – either by phone or on site. Furthermore our technical staff offers classes and workshops throughout the year treating different techniques and manufacturing processes. Updates, product information, recipes or useful links and articles can also be obtained by subscribing to the Kremer Pigmente monthly newsletter or visiting the facebook page.
What we’ll see in Cremona: Ground Coat GD
«We present you a new base coat produced according to an alchemistic recipe – explains Kremer Pigmente – from the High Renaissance. Brown stained sculptures, wood carving and the violins from the cremonese masters exist since the late-Gothic. Until today the characteristics of this base coat has been unknown. We have combined the best of natural resources to gain the curiously hardness and colorfulness of this secret base coat. The wood from maple and fir gets stony-hardened and amber-colored.
Due to the base coat the wood loses its absorption and the sound gets precise and sustainable The wood needs to be polished multiple times as usual. The base coat is applied evenly inside and outside with a soft brush or a sponge. After a few minutes the outside surplus should be removed with a cloth. The process should be repeated outside up to three times. The consumption is about 100 gram per violin. Varnish after the last polish with spirit or oil varnish».
The Ground Coat GD (#79720) is available in 100 ml and 1 l (Info).