Monday, March 29, 2010
Acquiring new brushes ... right next door
Maybe 15 years ago I bought my first bamboo-handled brush from Keith Lebenzon, a wonderful brushmaker I met at the Baltimore ACC show. Any stroke of the beautiful brush seemed to produce something wonderful. A year or two later, I bought yet another brush from Keith.
But the years and probably my cavalier treatment of my tools has meant that the brushes are now due for replacement. So I went searching for Keith online, found his website, but couldn't get the "contact" button to work. It turns out, sadly, that Keith Lebenzon died unexpectedly about a year and a half ago. His brush art was marvelous, both for the art of its construction and for what each brush could do in the hands of someone who cared.
I searched a bit deeper online and found Ron Mello, who teaches at Bridgewater State College here in Massachusetts, not far from Falmouth. Ron makes pots, prints and paintings, and he also makes brushes inspired by the kind of work Keith did.
So I've ordered two moose-hair brushes from him. They're not cheap, but neither were Keith's. And they look pretty good. Ron's work can be seen at ronmellostudio.com. Take a look.