Originally marketed and sold as Shiva Signature Oils, these paints were created by an artist out of personal need and passion. Ramon Shiva was interested in making a fine paint for himself and his friends in the late 1920s. Ramon's son-in-law saw the potential of this paint and encouraged him to make a real business of it. During this time, Shiva had a sixteen-year-old errand boy by the name of Jack Richeson, who made deliveries to the factory and was fascinated by the paint making process.
The paint took off: during the 1940s through the 1950s, Shiva became the leading oil paint manufacturer in the United States, and also led the world in bringing back casein, a paint from antiquity. During the late sixties, the company was sold and the drive seemed to be lost. The quest for purity and quality, once so proudly held by Ramon, was replaced by efficiency and price control brought on by the new owners' financial administrators. In the year 2002, a lifelong dream of Jack Richeson's came true. Today Jack Richeson & Company has gone back to all the old formulas of the 1950s that made Shiva oil the top brand in the United States.
In 2014, Sara Bansemer of PBS's "Painting and Travel with Roger and Sarah Bansemer" stopped in to see our paint making process. View the interview here