September 2000 Volume 21 Number 3

ASTM Begins Tests of Pastels

The American Society for Testing and Materials' Subcommittee on Artists' Paints and Related Materials (ASTM D01.57) has recently begun a project that may lead to the writing a quality labeling standard for pastels. Artist members of the subcommittee have received donations of sets of pastels from most of the major manufacturers, and will this Fall be conducting controlled lightfastness testing on a selection of colors from each set. Company participants include Koh-I-Noor, Unison, Rembrandt, Rowney, Sanford, Sennelier, Schmincke, and Yarka, among others. Materials remaining after the tests are run will be donated to the Modern Materials Collection at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC.

ASTM is one of the world's largest voluntary standards-writing organizations. ASTM D01.57 has, in the last twenty years, produced eleven standards for artists' materials, including quality standards for oils, alkyds, acrylics, watercolors, and gouaches, and a chronic health hazard labeling standard (ASTM D 4236) which is, by federal law, required on all artists' materials. The subcommittee is now working on a standard for colored pencils, and has just begun the preliminary work that may lead to a pastel standard.

ASTM D01.57 invites the participation of pastel artists and conservators in its standards writing and testing processes: attendance at its meetings, held twice a year, is free (there is no registration fee). The next meeting is scheduled for New Orleans, at the end of January 2000. For more information, contact Mark D. Gottsegen, ASTM D01.57, Department of Art, UNC Greensboro, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro NC 27402-6170; telephone: 336/334-5571, fax: 336/674 -7899, e-mail: emmark@gateway.net.

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