I have been doing some research on the availability of Premo Zinc Yellow and Cobalt Blue and I am now convinced that people at Polyform understand that these colors are essential to a complete artists’ palette. However, they only have a very limited amount of influence on which products large retailers, such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Dick Blick are willing to carry. The decision to stop stocking zinc yellow and cobalt blue was made by that sector, not by Polyform.
As artists and educators, we need to mount an effort to help Polyform give us what we need. What they’ve done for us already is more than most companies would do; they’ve continued to produce small quantities of products for which there is limited demand so that we would have them available to us. I am convinced Polyform would go back to mass production of cobalt blue and zinc yellow if the large retailers would stock them.
I think what has happened is that one or more major retailers decided they don’t want to carry those colors because they are poor sellers compared to some of the other colors. We need to make them understand that we need a full palette of primary colors in polymer clay the same way painters need a full palette of colors in oils, watercolors or acrylics. They wouldn’t drop one of the paint primaries because it wasn’t a top seller; we need them to view polymer clay the same way. I suspect they haven’t thought about it that way. I also doubt they understand that we need to have those colors generally available so we can educate the next generation of artists about the full potential of this still-developing medium.
So, how to we make our case? I welcome your suggestions. My opinion is that we should focus our initial efforts on the Michaels chain because it is the biggest art and craft chain in the world. I would like to start by compiling a list of reasons they should do this, so that if we get the chance to talk to their buyers we will be able to make the strongest case possible.
Meanwhile, Polyform gave me this list of online sellers of Premo Cobalt Blue and Zinc Yellow:
Polymer Clay Express
24300 Kakae Dr, Damascus, MD 20872
3954 West 12 Mile Rd, Berkley, MI 48072
If you know of any other sources, please let me know.