Unison Jim: AKA The Instagram Star

You may or may not have heard of our Unison Jim, but he is becoming a bit of a star on our Instagram page! Jim is one of our makers at Unison Colour and probably has the best job! I mean who doesn’t want to be mixing pigments and creating handmade Unison Colour pastels every day?

We asked our Instagram followers whether they had any questions for Jim and they happily obliged. Rather than keep the questions and answers to IG, we thought everyone that is a fan of ours would like to read what Jim has said.

1. Which is the blackest black – CB1 or CB2?

That is CB1 but watch this space.  My colleague is working on something very black indeed.

2. Which is your favourite pastel?

My favourite is not colour based but rather how it feels to roll and make it. I love making some of the vibrant reds and dark greens but making Grey 36 is something I’d happily do in my spare time.

3. Are there any plans to extend some of the range or bring back some of the discontinued colours?

Currently, we are concentrating on maintaining our product range, but you never know what the future holds! We may well look at bringing back discontinued colours, but this would be for a limited time only.

4. What is the most random and weird ingredient in Unison pastels?

We don’t have any random ingredients as the pastels are made using high quality natural pigments.

5. What is the most satisfying part of your job?

I’ve discussed this with my making colleagues and unanimously we agree that it is seeing the finished product on the tables at the end of the day. It makes it all worthwhile.

6. If you could make one new colour to add to the range, what would it be?

A nice Magenta would be an excellent addition to the range, but I have grave fears that it would be a pain to roll so I’m not pushing too hard.

7. Which colour is hardest to mix?

I have sworn more at BV12 than at anything else in this world.

8. Which colour contains the most ingredients?

Several of the pale additional range achieve this title. Tiny amounts of numerous pigments make them quite a tough mix.

9. How many pastels of each colour do you make in a batch?

Each recipe varies as colour and texture are the overriding criteria not quantity, but between 150-250 is a good ballpark.

10. Which colour needs the most unique ingredients?

It’s not interesting but it’s true, we don’t use unusual ingredients.  Pigments and binder that’s it.

11. Which colour maybe stopped due to scarcity of ingredients?

Hopefully none of them. We have a whole department (she’s a very nice lady called Hazel) who works hard reformulating and testing so that this does not happen.

12. How is Unison still managed by such a small team?

Whilst we have small teams in production and sales/marketing – we are a finely tuned machine and our teams can wear many hats and could be shifted across to help in other areas where necessary.

13. What does it take for an artist to be associated with the brand?

We held a recruitment exercise in 2020 and at the moment we are not looking to recruit any further artists.

14. How do Unison keep the pigment smooth to move and not scratchy?

The only answer I can give to this is John Hersey. He is the ethos behind our product, and we will not be moving away from it.

15. Do you do pastel artwork?

I don’t and be thankful for it. Nobody wants to see me arting.

16. How long did it take you to grow your beard?

At last, a question I know the answer too without having to ask someone for help. I have had a beard since I was 17. Its length varies with the seasons and my wife’s fancy.

17. Which is the hardest colour to create?

Finding a really dark black has proved a challenge. Watch this hopefully getting darker space.

18. Have you rescued anyone from the bathroom lately?

I can’t answer this question as I ama gentleman and wouldn’t care to bandy a women’s name.

19. What are the colours that have been discontinued?

Special Collection, Turquoise range, John’s colours and the oranges have been changed so that we only have 6 of those. Unfortunately, no swatches available!

20. Have you created any other the colours?

Only by accident. At times mistakes are made and pastels are judged not good enough so there is a very colourful pastel graveyard that will never see the light of day.

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15 Responses

  1. Fascinating answers and almost as intriguing as our recent visit to see how Unison make their beautiful pastels. I was particularly intrigued with the many many original recipe books for the specifics of each pastel to ensure consistency and integrity.

  2. Very interesting to read and lovely pictures; I especially liked the one of Jim rolling the pastel. What a fascinating job.

    1. Would unison be prepared to create a bundle of rejects from the graveyard at reasonable price ? This would be invaluable for beginners practicing techniques without using up their precious pastels.

  3. What a great blog!! Brings us closer to the Unison family and process. Magenta has been mentioned now so I’m looking forward to its creation!

  4. Loved this article. I would have liked to ask if Unison Jim can tell which colours he has in his hands with his eyes closed. Or to simplify can he tell whether it’s red, yellow or blue?

  5. This was fascinating! I’ve only been doing “real” art, (meaning not just sketching a few times a year) for about 3 years, and even then I’ve only done about 25 pictures, mostly animals. People started asking if I take commissions and how long a list I had because they wanted a painting by Xmas. Then it took off, and I’ve been SO excited to try the Unison pastels, of which I have Emma’s animal set and a landscape set. Today I expect my first velour paper. Can’t wait to do this painting of three Aussies on one surface! I LOVE your product, it’s velvety smooth, blends wonderfully and I really think it will improve my paintings!

  6. So glad my beard question got in! Lovely to meet Jim and the rest of the lovely Unison team on my visit in August! Keep on rollin’ rollin’ rollin them pastels! 👏❤️

  7. Looking forward to the magenta!! I ‘d love a deep eggplant colour if you would make one it would be a great addition to your wonderful colours. I chose to use your pastels as a beginner and I’m so glad I did because they make me smile whenever I finish a painting, they blend so beautifully and are encouraging me to try further. Thank you Unision Team

  8. It is so refreshing to hear when a successful company knows that they have got it right. It’s reassuring that the Unison quality we are used to is not going to be meddled with!

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