Happy new year to all my blog readers! I haven't been working in the studio for quite some time now, since mid-October! I had a few shows for the holiday season as well as two weeks out of town visiting family for the thanksgiving and Christmas, so I haven't been slacking the whole time. I don't have any pending shows or orders looming so it seemed a good time to take a break and figure out my kiln/firing situation. I have a waste oil burner all set up and ready to go, I'm going to test it out this week to make sure it works as intended and IF it does work I will test it out on one of the kilns up at the school and see what kind of power it has. If all that works out I will be dismantling my wood kiln in short order and I will be building a smaller 30-40 cu. ft. salt kiln. This means that I will be able to continue the body of work that I've been producing, which to be honest would be a huge load off my shoulders. When I decided to stop wood firing my first plan was to switch to reduction firing which meant having to find a way to translate my work to a new type of firing or develop a new body altogether. Not to mention clay body, glazes, etc. If I can't get these waste oil burners to work then that might still be the way I go but we'll keep our fingers crossed.
Since I have had plenty of free time it has given me the opportunity to get back into making brushes. I had a pretty good run of making brushes back in 2009 but with graduate school and wholesaling I didn't have the time to keep up with it. I started making them because I needed some brushes that would make the specific types of marks that I like to make. There are a few brush makers out there that make really nice brushes but they tend to be very expensive due to the embellishment. I used to have a couple really nice brushes from a guy named Keith Lebenzon that were awesome...until my dog got ahold of them. I think I paid in the $50 range each for them back in 2002. So I just wanted to make some no frills simple brushes that make nice marks and hold a lot of liquid for painting on clay...that won't break the bank if the dog gets ahold of them. The brushes I use to decorate my work are from the first batch of brushes I made back in '09, they've held up great and they've certainly taken a lot of abuse. I rarely follow my own recommendations for caring for the brushes, I don't even know how many times I've left them sitting with slip or pigment on them for days. I know for certain I have one sitting in the studio right now that has been caked in Reeves Green since October, I'll give it a rinse and it will be good as new (though I don't recommend this).
I'll be putting the brushes up for sale on etsy starting next week. They're priced in the $18-25 range with free shipping.
I'm thinking of putting together a website for the brushes, so if you are a satisfied user of my brushes and would like to contribute a photo of your work and/or a glowing recommendation of my product I'd love to include it. You can email me brandon(at)supportyourlocalpotter.com
If you are a clay supplier or a retailer that might be interested in selling my brushes I'd be happy to talk with you about that opportunity.