Repurposing Your Artists' Brushes

Posted on November 19, 2020 by Hayley McMachan

During our first period of complete lockdown, I found my thoughts drifting towards waste. Probably in part needing something other than pandemic to think about but also becoming more self-aware of my real needs at a time when so many restrictions and limitations were in place.
As we are in the business of Artists' brushes, I started to wonder what happens to all of those brushes we sell? Once the hairs have splayed, handles have broken, perhaps the ferrules have become loose, do they all get thrown away? Over many years in retail, our customers regularly surprised us with their innovative uses for them. My favorite was a customer asking for a recommendation of a super soft, natural hair brush. Our first question would usually be, "May I ask which medium you will be using ?" to which he replied, " oh no, it's not for painting; I need something to tickle my pet tarantula!". I use the brushes in my home for quite a few things other than straightforward painting, such as dusting off my son's collection of Lego models, cake decorating but never tarantula tickling.
Although all of these are great uses for our brushes, I decided that as I had quite a few spare minutes that I would have a quick check on my oracle, Pinterest, to see if there were any more slightly more creative ideas for the old Pro Artes and Da Vinci's.

The first image to appear was Artist Alexandra Dillon's Portraits on Everyday Objects. What I love about Pinterest is that from one tap in the search bar, It guides me to so many quirky, artistic and inspiring ideas that I had never thought of, so I decided I would share some of them. Now that we are all in the second National lockdown, I decided to revisit my search. This time to look for some Christmas gift inspiration with the hope of not only being able to repurpose those old Daler brushes but also make something original, thoughtful, and even better, save some money. If this isn't quite your thing, then as it did me, it may provide a few minutes of most welcome light-hearted relief and even bring a smile to your face.

Posted in recycling, repurposing