Monday, July 27, 2015

The Three Worst Tools I Own.....and why I love them

Here they are, the three worst tools I use on an almost daily basis.  I think the two paintbrushes are almost as old as my children, who are in their 30's.  The bottom one was worn out as a paintbrush when I started using it as a texturing and joining brush for Creative Paperclay®.  It is PERFECT for that!  The synthetic bristles are just the right length and have exactly the amount of firmness needed to push the clay in to cracks and crevices for repairs and joining pieces.  It is great for blending seams together, and for creating textures such as fur and wood in miniature.

The top brush, with the outer bristles worn off and the bristles in a permanent curve is the most fabulous brush for adding tiny amounts of "slip" clay on miniature sculptures.  It holds the clay and the curve allows me to push or pull the clay where needed.  The ferrule has come off many times, but I love this brush so much that I glue, squeeze the ferrule back on, trim the handle, or whatever needs to be done to repair it.

As for the diamond file, it is a cheap import that came with a perfectly wonderful defect.  The end is ever so slightly bent, which I discovered is an amazing aid in wood and clay carving and sanding.  I can get just the tip under a section and clean out right under the carving lines, and can use the angle to get in just the right spots. The tape on the handle lets me know at a glance that this is the tool with the curved end, since I can't immediately spot it otherwise when it's in the case with the other files.

Someone coming in to my studio might think I should throw these worn out, defective items away, but the brushes are the first things I reach for when I take out the clay sculpting tools, and the file is my "secret weapon" in achieving tiny carving details.  I don't know what I am going to do when the brushes finally wear down to nothing or the file tip loses it's tiny curve, but I will seriously miss these long-time companions.

I've been on the lookout and searching through my old brushes for possible replacements, but so far, I can't find anything that comes close.....and as for the file, if you see a lady in the hardware store feeling the ends of the needle files to find the defective ones - say "Hi", it's probably me.

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