Lili Krakowski on mon 2 may 05
Mel, while I agree with everything you say about tools (in this case
brushes) I think otherwise about investing in this and that.
Leaving aside that I read somewhere that Lucie Rie used "cheap Woolworth
brushes" (I expect to apply glaze) I shudder at this business about "good
As you rightly say, brushes are far more specific tools than is generally
thought. When one goes to an Asian shop that specializes in brushes they
ask: What do you want it for? And every bit of brush work has its own
brush, and some cost a fortune--but for the Master there is nothing else.
For the average person? Come on!
Most of my handtools are home made. Some are adapted from wooden spoons and
the like and some are carved (by me) from scraps of pretty woods gotten from
woodworkers. others are made from steel strapping and old saber or hacksaw
Now I neither pretend that these are as glorious as what Phil makes, etc.
and that some of the Judson wooden tools aren't pertier. I do not however
think they have limited my work.
I am very sad indeed that potting has become costly. I am sad indeed that a
polished bit of wood costs $ 7 and a bit of saw blade stuck in a dowel as
Potting used to be cheap. Cheap. Poor people could afford to pot. I think
Newbies get the impression that good tools =costly tools. So they are
There are people out there who are gifted, talented, and who make minimum
wage. They want to learn about clay but they do not have the money. For
them investing in good tools is not a possibility. Period.
And without wishing to offend Mel, Bamboo Karen, or anyone--get brushes you
can afford. Ask the hairdresser and such like for old soft makeup brushes
she no longer uses. EXPERIMENT with those brushes. Learn. Try.
The craft is more important than the tools. (Little Drummer Boy,or Le
Jongleur de Notre Dame and all that.) No million dollar tool replaces
heart, brain, and hands. As far as I am concerned by a couple of "Chinese"
brushes at a "craft store" . Learn how to use them. Have fun with them.
You can do a whole lot of learning with them. Then, later on, move up....
(Llewellyn. Ignore this. I know you are a good old potter, and not a
newbie. I was not addressing you.)
Be of good courage