Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fine Art Brush Tips: The Ferrule

Interlock Bronze Series
We have discussed the brush handle, so lets move up to the ferrule. . . likely the second part of the brush that an artist checks when purchasing. 

Many of us tug or twist the ferrule in the store to see if it is tightly clamped onto the handle.  Over time, using a brush, washing it, and leaving it in water or solvent can loosen the ferrule's grip on the handle, or loosen the hairs in the ferrule.  So, it is an automatic maneuver to look for tightly clamped ferrules.

Like handles or the hairs used in making a brush, there is a hierarchy of brush ferrule quality.  Cheaper brushes will have ferrules made of tin or aluminum.  Better quality ferrules are brass or copper alloy ferrules that are nickel or chrome plated.  These ferrules have the best adhesion to wooden handles, and you can note, too, if that adhesion is double or triple crimped to the wooden handle providing even more sturdiness.  

To keep your ferrules in good condition, wash brushes properly after use and dry thoroughly, preferably hanging upside down so that water does not sit down in the hairs against the ferrule.  This will keep the tuft solidly in the ferrule and the ferrule solidly attached to the handle.  To read more about cleaning brushes properly, you can find my take in this previous post:  Cleaning Fine Art Brushes.

Take note that Dynasty's Black Gold series uses the highest quality ferrules for this fine line, providing the artist with durability at a fair price.  To see the ferrules for yourself, visit a store near you.

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.