Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paint Brushes Have Nightmares And Sometimes Dance

In my bedroom by the doorway
on a table in a glass cup
are some paint brushes. They’re standing
on their handles, bristles upward.
Acrylics. Oils. Watercolors.
Some were designed, manufactured
by England’s Winsor and Newton.
I think last night I heard them all
clinking around in their glass cup.
I may have imagined it but
I think they were all excited
reading some news I’d printed out
from Winsor and Newton’s website.
I’d left the page on the table
by the doorway to my bedroom
next to the glass cup of brushes.
A paint brush for years lost at sea
has been rescued and brought back home.
Brushes have nightmares of being
lost where there’s no one to hold them.
I may have imagined it but
I think my brushes read this news
last night and danced in their glass cup.

A Titanic Discovery by Emma Pearce!

Ever wondered about how long your Series 7 brush might last? Well back in 1994, Emma Pearce, then Technical Adviser at Winsor & Newton, found out in a most unusual way.

"Like so many people, I've always had a real fascination about the Titanic, fuelled at art school by those wonderful black and white photos of the grand staircase, staterooms, 1st Class promenades and reading rooms, the construction photographs and the passengers boarding in Southampton.

The 1994 exhibition at Greenwich Maritime Museum was the first following the locating and salvaging of the great ship, the prospect of seeing actual items retrieved from those rooms and decks was really exciting, certainly one of those landmark exhibitions in one's lifetime.

So I queued and travelled round with the hoards, amazed at each exhibit; the ship's compass, a chandelier from the 1st Class public room, a printed luggage tag, a suitcase still locked, pieces of coal, a steward's jacket with his name written on, even a bottle of champagne still corked. It was fantastic.

Then I turned a corner to pore over another cabinet and saw a paintbrush, fascinating I thought. Naturally, as a painter and Technical Adviser I leaned close to have a better look. My gasp at seeing it was a black lacquered Series 7 was clearly audible to those nearby. It truely looked exactly the same as those in my paint pot! How could this have been 2 ½ miles down for more than 75 years?

Now many of us who lovingly care for our best Series 7 brushes can be using them for many years but the ability to survive in those conditions and remain usable is surely the ultimate endorsement of quality!"

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