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Hi everyone,  Just back from a few days painting in the Burren Centre in Clare and realised how ill equipped I was.  the tutor had a fab easel from America made by Stolek (I think).  I have searched the web but it seems an expensive job to get to Ireland.  Does anyone know where in Ireland or Europe that I could purchase a similiar one.  There was a tripod and then the box connected to it. 


Any help or info would be greatly appreciated.



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Hi Ann. I used to have one, but wouldn't buy another. The underlying problem is poor design and construction - basically the legs seize up after about a year. That's the most common problem, but the hinge linking the canvas support to the palette area broke on mine first. I got a replacement part for about €50 including postage but two legs packed in a couple of months later. I've since switched to an Easyl box and tripod which cost about the same but is much more durable.
Hi Michael, Thanks for that, where can I get a good one, is there a website I can buy one off or a store that sells them.


OK, so you're absolutely determined! You can order it only from their own website, But check with Margaret Kent who also had one before you buy!

Hi Michael, no you've got me wrong, I dont necessarily need a soltek one but where in Ireland can I get a decent outdoor easel. Are the timber ones better anyway. where did you get your easel.

Hi Anne,
The popular choices in Ireland are so-called French easels (sometimes called Jullian Easels, after an early manufacturer) - basically a wooden box easel with 3 telescopic legs which come in full and half widths - folded they look like a sort of wooden attache case and the half size can be had for about €60.
The other option is a regular wooden 'pochade' box - the kind you can buy a set of oils or acrylics in - attached to a camera tripod by means of a metal adaptor plate (costs about €15). You screw this onto the base of your box and how you hold the canvas or panel depends on the box and your ingenuity. If the tripod has a 'quick-release' mechanism, as most do these days, so much the better.
You can spend a lot or a little on camera tripods. They are mostly better quality for the money than tubular easels you can buy. Like all these things, there's a trade-off between how light and portable it is and how heavy and stable it is.
Here is another Thread with pictures to give you a better idea.
I just noticed that the "Administrator" replied just before me. We're probably saying pretty much the same thing except that my estimate of the price of the half-size french easel is way off. The "administrator's" estimate is likely to be spot on!

Michael McGuire said:
The short answer is probably that you can't (buy in Ireland). The resurgence in plein air painting has its origins in the USA and most of the more specialised equipment is only found there as a result. However, Anthony Bridge, based in Malvern, makes some very nice small reasonably priced paintboxes (, but these are only suitable for small panels. It is relatively easy to attach the fittings to the underside of the box which makes it quick to attach to a camera tripod (best to purchase an older heavier one second-hand on the internet - the newer ones for digital cameras are too light for artists).

If you're relatively new to this, my advice to you would be to purchase a half size French easel, which is reasonable sturdy and portable. These can be purchased in most art supply shops (only guessing but probably €150-200). If and when you get really hooked, consider ordering a more specialised easel and tripod from one of the US suppliers, but expect to get little or no change out of €500 or maybe even pay more, now that the $/€ rate has turned pear-shaped. Also be prepared for a possible sting in the tail if ordering from a US website - you may have to pay another 20-25% to the Revenue (VAT and duty), unless you get lucky and sneak through (sometimes things like artist's easels are assumed to be cheap items and are overlooked)!
Hi, thanks for that info, I have had a look at the Jullian easels and I think I might chance one of them first and see how I get on. Might go for the full size one, what do you think.

A bit too heavy unless you plan to never walk anymore than a few yards from your car. Then again you're probably younger and fitter than me!

Ann, I have a pochade box which fits on to a camera tri-pod, it all fits in to a rucksack which also holds plenty of other bits and pieces for painting and is really strong. I bought it after been to Clare also (Valerie Craig) and it is good to use and easy to carry. It cost me about 200 Euro about 3 years ago and the tri-pod cost about 40. I got the pochade from a company in the states - (included paint brushes and a few other accesories) and it came within 10 days. I bought the tripod locally and it fits on to straps on the bag. I carried it all around Wexford a few years ago at the art in the open and found it ok. It holds 3 6x8 boards in the box (wet ones) but you can fit quite big size boards (have used it for 12 x 16 but then carrying this size too far with wet paint can be a problem. The palette is also quite small for doing a larger painting. Last year I bought a Julian easel - half size and this is better to use but heavier to carry (the pochade is made of light beach and is really well made). I use the Julian inside and out when not too far to carry and I would not buy the full size if I was you. if I had to pick one to buy I would go for the Julian half easel over the pochade and I think they have come down in price. Photo of pochade atttached
Thanks Norah, that was really helpful. I am so confused though. there are so many options. It is easy to get a Jullian half easel so maybe I will try that first.
Being in Clare was so inspiring as was Valerie so I am mad to get going properly.

Thanks again.

Yes Ann it is confusing - I got a full size julian easel as a present and sold it after I got the half size one as it is much better- use it most of the time but have the pochade always in the boot of the car. The pochade box is good too but would get the next size up from 6x8 one. Overall the Julian is my favourite as I wont be travelling too far from the car anyway as when I go walking I carry a watercolour sketch book and artist quality set of schminke pans and this I can carry all day as well as flask etc. Good luck with the search

you probably have your easel sorted out now, but if you look at youtube you will find some information on easels, some strange ones, but worth a browse.

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