I have recently returned from two weeks in Paris. The city is filled with delights and it was a joy to spend the time exploring, taking photos and doing a little watercolour painting. One of the highlights (right up there with having the ENTIRE Impressionist gallery in Musee D'Orsay to myself for over half an hour!) was visiting La Maison du Pastel, the wonderful pastel shop on Rue Rambuteau. Isabelle and Margaret are warm, inviting and fascinating ladies to chat with.
The story of the Henri Roché and La Maison du Pastel is fascinating and can be read here on La Maison du Pastel website It is one of persistence, research and pioneering. The pastels have a long history of development by chemists in association with artists such as Degas and Whistler. Isabelle Roché has rebuilt the range to almost 1,000 absolutely divine colours which are hand made using the traditional methods. The atelier is in the countryside away from Paris, she and Margaret spend Thursday afternoons in the Paris store which is where I met with them.
They kindly allowed me to loiter and take photos.
If you are looking for the best pastels in the world, you can order from their website.