Gamblin’s Contribution

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MPF Conservation mixed paint colors with the assistance of the pigments of Gamblin Artist Colors. Jamee Linton-Kelly and Scott Gellatly brought all the many Gamblin Oil Paints to the MPFC studio and saved us from buying paints for mixing, and possible false starts.

It was a morning of mixing basic colors, and after that, we purchased the pigments needed for the project, and the base colors were tweaked until they matched in many types of lighting.

However, we also wanted to test ALL the colors if  possible to add to the body of historical information MPFC has gathered about Mason Monterey furniture.

Robert Gamblin, the founder of Gamblin Artist Colors and Gamblin Conservation Colors, offered to test the existing colors of several well-chosen classic pieces of Oregon Caves Monterey furniture. The items selected were chosen for their range of colors on a given piece, and these were taken to their studio for the tests.

While the tests are not definitive, it allowed us to confirm suppositions on color ranges and to confer with a master of color pigments (Robert Gamblin) on the colors used in the finishes. Mostly, Robert confirmed conclusions, but he had a few ideas which were different than ours,and this as helpful when it came time for us to test mixes.

The testing performed was problematic in that Mason colors are a layering of many pigments to achieve what Mason called “Straw Ivory,” “Smokey Maple,” “Spanish Green,” or any of the many finish colors offered. Still we chose our testing points carefully; sometimes we were able to test chips where the base colors were free of the Smokey Maple topcoats.  Robert took several readings of hard-to-test areas.


Above, Robert testing the colors on a Horse-shoeback, above left, and an A-Frame, above right. Below, pinpointing the test sites on a Lamp-table, center, and more testing images of Robert, bottom.  The machine is a CM-2500d Konica Minolta Spectrophotometer.


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