Saturday, 13 June 2009

Product Review: Really Useful Boxes (for art media and crafts)

Product: Really Useful Boxes
Manufacturer / Distributor: Really Useful Products - a European Company that design and develop their own range of Really Useful Boxes.
Technical Details:
Summary: Robust transparent boxes which provide storage when transporting pastels and pencils.
Who should buy this?:
  • art tutors transporting materials for workshops
  • plein air artists
  • artists who sketch
  • craft artists
  • artists requiring storage for stock of art media
Who should not buy this?
  • artists with adequate storage
  • artists who don't need to transport media easily
  • artists with preferred alternatives for carrying art media
  • robust and sensible sized transparent boxes suitable for storage of dry media (or other art media or craft materials)
  • each box has a lid and and handles (and spare or replacement lids are available)
  • can be stacked or racked
Think Again?
  • Only to be purchased once you've sorted and rationalised what you already hold in stock!
Suppliers: Available from

At Felicity House's workshop yesterday, she showed and shared with us how she kept her pastels. One idea which I particularly liked were her use of different sizes of what I subsequently discovered are "really useful boxes".

They come in ideal size for holding
  • sets of pencils (back of the photo) or
  • pastel pieces in ground rice (front of the photo). It's a simple idea but very useful! No need to take the complete pastel set when using pastels plein air or away from home - take these small sets of pieces of pastels.
See the photograph to see what I mean.

Really useful boxes holding pastels and pencils
Felicity House's workshop kit

photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell

What I liked about the boxes were that they were transparent, had handles and could be stacked. I'm convinced and will be getting hold of some.

Their website provides a summary of the complete range of sizes and dimensions

This page provides details of Really useful boxes in different countries - UK | USA | Germany | Ireland | France | Belgium | Netherlands | Sweden | Switzerland

These are comments from Felicity House
The Really Useful Boxes are excellent ... BUT beware .... they are not 'water tight' like the tupperware style plastic box . ie when using for storing pastel pieces in ground rice , it can leak a bit if they are tipped up sideways . They are great for the studio and teaching. As I stack all my teaching boxes inside a large strong opaque R U Box and
transport this pretty well level , I dont have a problem . but they'd certainly leak ground rice if placed haphazardly in a rucksack that went at all angles during an outing , wouldnt be a problem with pencils , charcoal etc or with pastels in your larger grain cornmeal or whole rice.

My small , shallow, circular tubs have SCREW-ON lids , so they seal tight and don't leak at all . they are great to chuck in a rucksack for travelling. They are empty Garnier body creme containers...used to get from Boots , but I havn't seen them for a year or so now, I would get back up replacements if I had found them again. Others I've seen are not that shallow.

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