Our company is located in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Pfalz, Germany. This is the second largest wine district in Germany and our production is in the small wine village of Königsbach. Here, surrounded by vineyards, we design and manufacture our Kingscreek paintboxes.
The company is run by me, Lars Larsson, and my lovely wife Heike Larsson. As you might read from my name I am originally from Sweden but found my wife in Germany. After living in Switzerland, USA, and Sweden, we are now back in Germany.
In Sweden it´s all about wood (when not Volvo, ABBA, Nobelprize etc.), so it comes natural to me to work with wood. I built a beautiful canoe in wood (american red cedar) and eventually started producing tables and chairs from used oak wine barrels. As this is heavy physical work I soon sold this business and the furniture is now produced in another wine village nearby.
As I also have an old, but not developed interest in sketching and painting I made a final push to improve in this area. That´s when I discovered Urban Sketchers and people following them in the internet. I could see how they were interested in new tools and how many struggled to hold their small paint boxes with a tense thumb squeezing them against the sketchbook. That´s when I started to think about how I could possibly help them (and the rest is history - well not yet). So a year later we now have several models of boxes aimed for the sketching community.
Our vision was to design, produce and worldwide market innovative watercolor boxes, beautiful to the eye, nice, warm, and smooth to the touch - and very functional.
We only use wood from old red wine barrels (barrique barrels à 225 liter / 59.5 gallons). Usually the wood is french oak or sometimes, when a vanilla tone is desired, american oak.
The process starts with picking up the barrels from the winery. If we are lucky and the barrel is full, we spend the next month partying until the barrel is empty (hasn´t happened so far though).
Next, we disassemble the barrel with special tools and sort and dry the oak staves. The best staves are selected and cut to fit the process. Even though we use special machines to prepare the wood, it´s still a lot of manual labor going into the product. After cutting, shaping, grinding, polishing, branding and joining, it´s time for sealing with varnish and linseed oil. Last item is the foil for the color mixing areas.
… and this is how we help you stay color connected!