History of R And F
This year marks the 26th anniversary of R&F Handmade Paints. What began as a painter’s solo endeavor has evolved into a multi-faceted paint company that is material-focused and artist-driven.
R&F’s Founder Richard Frumess began making encaustic paint as a painter simply to support his own artistic practice and to ensure that ready-made encaustic was kept in production at a time when there were no commercial manufacturers. During the first year Richard produced encaustic paint as R&F Encaustics. While he struggled to start-up the business, asking pigment suppliers for double samples and also working a second job, the seed was firmly planted. This first year in business Richard sold a line of 39 colors including five “pearlescents” to art retailers in New York City as well as Denver, CO and internationally in Paris.
Within R&F’s first year in business Richard was urged by friend, former coworker and fellow artist Carl Plansky, who later founded Williamsburg Oils, to develop a second complimentary product that also contained wax. The notion was to formulate an oil stick that was different from what was already on the market. Richard worked to create this new product that combined a small amount of natural wax so that the paint could be poured into a mold and would maintain a form, but would satisfy the artist’s desire for the same high-quality professional colors that traditional tube oil paints are known for in another format – the stick. What came out of this conversation were ably named Pigment Sticks. When Richard introduced Pigment Sticks to the market in 1990 they were available in 31 lipstick-soft colors.
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