Palettes Made Comfortable - at last!

Turtlewood Palettes* is a small business located in the town of Thompson's Station, Tennessee. 

I was thrilled to meet Sherolyn and Michael Balsley (pictured above) at the 2008 PSOA Conference in Philadelphia. Michael has been hand crafting palettes for the last seven years and makes a palette that is extremely comfortable for an artist to use....and it is just what I have been searching for!

My beloved old studio palette was broken during a flight to europe some years ago (must have been a sleepy old elephant in the baggage section that decided to nap on my luggage that day). Until now I have not been able to find a replacement I liked.

This is a quote from Turtlewood about how these palettes are made:

"We use only the highest quality wood products for our palettes. Our Pro Series palettes are made of Russian Baltic Birch and the 1/4" palettes are made of Northern Birch. Each palette is handcrafted, balance checked, sanded, finished and inspected by wood artisan Michael Balsley to ensure that each palette is of the highest quality. Turtlewood Palettes are lightweight and make painting easier for the artist. Artists can use the palette as a value gauge and a color guide to help aid them in their painting."

Here's the secret to the most comfortable palette I've ever held:

This is a back view of the Pro Series II palette and counterweight (unfinished but also available toned). The counterweight is to balance the palette while the artist is holding it in his or her hand and to provide comfort of the hold.  

Good news - Michael makes both left-handed and right-handed palettes.

This is a front view of a palette that is finished. Since I prefer to mix my paints on a dark brown palette, I purchased an unfinished palette and will make it the color I prefer. 

Lots of artists like to work on a neutral grey palette too.

These wonderful palettes come in all shapes and sizes - and at last - my hand won't hurt at the end of a long day. 


You can order from Turtlewood by calling 615 599-3813. 

Or you can email Michael at (and say "Palettes" in the subject line).

Be sure to check out their website at:

* Note: There's a charming and heartwarming story about why Michael and Sherolyn named the company "Turtlewood." You'll have to ask them when you order one of their comfy palettes...

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