The Exceptional Box
Exactly three weeks ago today Matthew and I were in Geneva, Switzerland. We had a special reason for being there; we were to be given a tour of the Caran d’Ache factory! [Caran d’Ache, in the opinion of this artist – and many other artists – are manufacturers of the best artist-quality light-fast coloured pencils in the world.] Before the appointed day and time, we had an opportunity to explore Geneva and visit two Caran d’Ache boutiques in the city centre.
First we went to House of Colors Fine on Place du Bourg-de-Four opposite the Palais du Justice.
I sought permission to photograph inside the shop…
…and then I bought some supplies. I was almost light-headed from the treasures within. What was to be done next? TO THE SECOND BOUTIQUE….
Caran d’Ache chez Brachard on rue de la Corraterie 10 was our next stop. Once again I was given permission to take photographs.
I was stopped in my tracks by an an enormous box of coloured pencils on display. I had seen this box on the internet and hoped that I might see it in real life in Switzerland – and there it was. Oh MY!
I bought some more art materials and then we walked in a happy daze beside Lake Geneva while I daydreamed about how the factory tour would be…and I thought about that exceptional box.
The following morning we were greeted at the Caran d’Ache factory in Thônex by Eric Vitus, Fine Arts Manager. We were introduced to Carole Hubscher, President, and then Eric took us on a comprehensive tour, showing us materials, machines and methods which are used to make pens, pencils, oil pastels, and paints. It was such a delight to discuss my favourite art materials with their creators and developers that I have no adequate words to convey the absolute joy of our visit. Thank you, Eric!
We mentioned to our guides, Eric Vitus and Gaby Perrissol, that we had seen a rather amazing box of pencils the previous day, and was this box perhaps available to purchase? There was one on view in the board room so we had a thorough inspection of it. Matthew said, “We’d like to buy one if it is available”. To cut a long story short, arrangements were made. Huge thanks to Gaby and to Viviane Du at Caran d’Ache for organizing passage of The Exceptional Box across the world. We have number 62 out of a limited edition of 100.
The box is not only a piece of perfection on its own, but it also reminds us of that day, the factory tour, the alps of Europe, the people we met, and the whole magnificent trip.
To fully appreciate this box of pencils which is a true work of art, I invite you to watch the two minute video Matthew made.
The Certificate of Authenticity says, “To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Supracolor Soft, Caran d’Ache has concentrated its colour expertise to gather a selection of its legendary products in a luxurious wooden box. This world most important treasure chest of Swiss made artists’ pencils contains 422 colour pencils, including 30 exclusive Supracolor Soft tones. The exceptional Limited Edition is a testimony to the history of Caran d’Ache and a tribute to the world of colour.”
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