I had the pleasure of meeting Rosemary of Rosemary & Co. last month at the Plein Air Convention in Monterey, California. Rosemary did a demonstration of how she makes her Sable artists’ paint brushes.
Rosemary has been making artists’ paint brushes for 31
years. Art is her passion. Each brush is handmade in her house in
Yorkshire, England. Her small family
business now employs 14 local people in the fine art of hand made brushes. Here is Rosemary with her tools of the trade, discussing the paint holding qualities of a Sable brush...
Rosemary used to make her brother’s fly fishing flies. She learned how to make artist brushes because she was disappointed in the brushes she found at the local art supply store. She deconstructed Windsor & Newton brushes to discover how they are put together – and then started making brushes for her own use. Pretty soon, her artist friends tried her brushes and the word spread. Her brushes are now considered some of the finest in the world.
It was fascinating to watch Rosemary make a Sable brush. She shared lots of information such as:
· No animals are killed to obtain the fur – thank goodness!
· Sable fur for making the brushes costs 3.5 times the price of gold.
· Sable brush makers must keep their hands cold – towards that end, they work on a marble slab – the fur misbehaves in the heat – it likes Siberian cold.
· Moths can destroy expensive sable brushes – keep sable brushes in a container with moth balls, sandlewood , lavender or cedar.
Having seen Rosemary’s passion for a well made brush, I decided to purchase some of her oil painting brushes. They are brilliant! I have been using them almost non-stop since I purchased them. They are so superior to anything I have tried before. As an oil painter, I am using her Ivory Series of oil painting brushes – they are made of synthetic material rather than bristle. They are very affordable considering the care that goes into making them. I am delighted to support a small business that produces a quality product with pride and integrity. Good tools do make a difference. To check out her brushes go to: http://www.rosemaryandco.com/