Bob Ebendorf is renowned for his teaching skill, so I jumped at the chance to take a short workshop titled "A Brush with Creativity" at the Cos House in La Villita, sponsored by Equinox Gallery. Based on a collection of found objects provided by the organizers and enhanced by anything we brought along, our assignment was to construct one or more artist brushes.
My first attempt was a simple wrap of coque feathers tied around a butter knife with a scrap of reclaimed silk ribbon. Bob characterized it as very Indian in feel, which seemed appropriate as I have some trace Indian ancestry. It reminds me of an Indian implement in my collection that has green feathers and wraps of white rabbit skin and fur, so this will complement it beautifully.
I also made a pair of brushes based on porcupine quills that I scavenged along a roadside in Italy. Both have feathers, one as the brush itself and one as embellishment, and the bristle brush is enhanced with a copper electroformed cicada wing.
Finally, while rounding up odds and ends to work with, I thought of these tubes that I've stashed for years. Wrapped with quilting scraps and thread ends, they provide a colorful handle for simple marabou brushes. The curved brush has two handmade glass beads scavenged from the bead reject bowl.
During the discussion, Bob suggested that I consider winding the long metal tubes into a spiral and forming the brushes into brooches. I was reminded today while gathering fiber and glass bits to combine with metal that I love all my special media and should give some serious thought to combining them as I move forward. There were many amazing brushes on the table to inspect. It's fascinating to see what attracts and motivates individual artists.