Products made with Passion…
Nurtured by the idyllic setting of Zurich, Lascaux was founded 40 years ago by Alois K. Diethelm. Being a painter, M. Diethelm was able to use his artistic passion and make the most of the wise advice and constructive criticism from his artist friends.
The company is now in the charge of Alois Diethelm’s daughter, who is also a painter. She embodies the new generation of the company, being surrounded by a team that is able to combine products of exception and with the constant will to be innovative.
The keystone of Alois Diethelm’s big project was the launching of a paint that allowed artists to work on larger surfaces. The stumbling block for artists who wanted to paint on large formats was always the lack of products allowing it. Acrylic paint was the best solution, even though at the time most artists despised it and thought of it as a paint for children. Lascaux took on the challenge of enhancing the prestige of this medium to show the fresco-hungry artists that acrylic paint was the solution to their problems.
Lascaux thus aroused the enthusiasm of professional artists, teachers, art therapists, art restorers and the most prestigious museums. In the space of 3 decades, the company pulled itself up to the first international rank in the ares of water-based colour manufacture and development of products for art restoration.
The company is named after the famous rock paintings in the Lascaux caves, because the paint specialist company wanted to stress the durability and excellent resistance of his products. Lascaux developed 10 ranges of paint and a range of mediums to answer the highest demands and is still at the artists’ disposal for any further technical information. The company organizes informative classes on site in order to lay bare its products and allow the participants to acquire a perfect knowledge of them. Lascaux also puts at their disposal informative documents, technical cards and colour charts to complete these classes. There is also, on a world scale, a special telephone line dedicated to clients requiring technical information.
Lascaux colours are solvent-free and are the subject of very strict toxicological controls giving the upmost respect to protecting the environment. The Lascaux colours are water-based and the cleaning is done exclusively with water in the manufacture workshops. The company equipped itself with a sewage treatment plant which produces every year over a million litres of perfectly pure water. The Lascaux colours are the result of a handcrafted work made by true geniuses. Each colour hasits own recipe and the person who started the making of a colour is responsible for it from the beginning to the end of the process. Just like a gourmet chef using all their talent and ingenuity in the making of a dish, the colour maker will add to the pigment a controlled amount of binders, thickening agents, scattering agents, additives etc. to give the colour its unique brightness.
For the critical ingredient of the colour, the pigment, Lascaux makes sure to have a gigantic stock in order to maintain the continuity and coherence of its range and never suffer any possible shortage. Because of this you will not notice any variation in the same shade during the space of a few months.
The creation of the paint really starts in the mixing room. The specialist pours the ingredients of his recipe one by one, according to a particular order, into a large vat where the mixer will operate. After this step, quality controls measuring various parameters will vouch for the quality of the colour and its adequacy to Lascaux’s quality criteria. The colour then goes through a three roll mill which eliminates residual pigmentary accumulation and air inclusions that formed during the mixing. The other goal of this phase is to make the paint more consistent and even. Every Lascaux colour, and some additional products, goes through this rolling mill.
For the packaging of the colours and mediums in various receptacles the employees work on semi-automatic machines adjusted for the different packaging of the Lascaux ranges. The labels of the different products are glued and customized by hand in order to bring to each range a particular touch.
Lascaux Studio Acrylic Colours are perfect for outdoor frescos. Combine this with their transparent UV varnish to protect your work from all the conditions the weather has to offer. It contains protective agents that absorb UV rays and make them harmless to the colours. The coat of varnish will also help to protect your work from rain, weathering, time and touch.
As an example of the use of Lascaux products, in the summer 1998 in Zurich, over 800 cows were painted by about 400 artists and designers and exhibited in the whole city. Most of these artworks were realized with Lascaux products: Uni-Primer, Studio acrylic colours and 2-UV transparent varnish.