Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Look Inside the Factory: Brushmaking

Kolinsky Sable hair, very expensive and high quality
Ferrules, ready and waiting
Pony hair, long and soft
Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the actual brush making factory in Glendale, New York.  Although I would like to work in the office there, I live in upstate New York and had yet to see where the brushes were made.  Later in the week, I will share more about brushmaking itself, but today, I thought I'd share some closeups of the process and the materials used in making these quality brushes.  

What is amazing about the factory is how many hand made brushes are put out on a daily basis, not just the Dynasty line, but also the cosmetic brushes that FM Brush builds-- think 30,000.  There are stacks of inventoried handles, hair and ferrules, waiting to be built into brushes.  This factory, along with the sister Thailand factory assemble brushes, though the hairs may come from anywhere in the world.  FM uses high quality hair and synthetics in making their brushes, so many of these will be imported from Europe or Asia.  The hair is sold by weight, and distributed in tight round packages.  

Black Goat Hair, sold by weight
Squirrel hair brush heads
Canister of Dynasty Gold Nylon brushes, great for students
Brush makers, some which have been making brushes for over 35 years, create brushes by hand.  They place hairs into the ferrules, mix hairs to get the right blend for a specific type of brush, stamp handles, adhere the ferrules onto the brushes, ship, pack or trim.  In each step, there is quality control to check the last process done on the brush.  There are so many steps to making a high quality hand made brush. 

I was able to sample so many different types of brushes; to play with them and some paint gave me a deeper understanding of how hair types effect the final piece.  I could easily feel the differences between the white bristle brushes, or the synthetic hair brushes for oils.  I look forward to sharing all these details with you in the upcoming weeks, we will compare synthetic hairs and look at the differences in brush shapes and types.


Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

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