Monday, February 13, 2012

Brush-making workshop in Truro

The Cape Cod Potters' annual meeting yesterday at Castle Hill Center for the Arts in Truro was preceded by four hours of heavy concentration on bamboo, animal hair, fine trimming and epoxy. Paul Wisotzky, a Truro potter ( with a gallery in Provincetown (Blue is its name), demonstrated his simple brush-making technique, then turned the afternoon over to about 20 of us who attacked deer, coyote and racoon tails for tufts that would become brush heads.
Maddeningly delicate work, at least at first, but after the first mangled brush, things came together. Most people walked out with eight to a dozen brushes, probably even now being tried out in studios around the Cape. I'll give mine a shot this afternoon, before beginning to dry-stack the kiln for a firing later this week.
The photos: Top, several of Kim Medeiros's brushes; Wisotzky demonstrating deer tail technique, with Castle Hill studio manager Brian Taylor looking on; Kim, Barn Pottery in Pocasset, in deep concentration as she cleans a bamboo handle; and Matt Kemp of Kemp Pottery in Orleans.


Dennis Allen said...

Are you basically tying a bundle then epoxying it into the bamboo?

Hollis Engley said...

Yes, that's it in a nutshell. The trick seems to be grasping together as much hair in a bundle as you can get, tying it tightly on the skin, then snipping it loose with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Then use strong thread to wrap the bundle tightly, tie off the thread, the epoxy it all around and push into a suitably sized bamboo piece. Rotate it in the bamboo to get epoxy on all sides, then let it sit and dry. You can also seal the ends of the brush handle by sanding or grinding on a wheel.

smartcat said...

Me want to do that!