What is it about brushes?

What kind of shaving brush do you use? Tell us all about it!
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TRBeck
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What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Thu May 16, 2019 8:57 am

I have set aside soap AD. I still try something new now and then, but it's mostly just my homemade stuff and the Speick and Palmolive sticks I have in reserve.

I have whittled the razor collection down over time and see no reason to use anything other than the Rockwell 6S going forward. I like having this piece of gear pretty constant.

Aftershaves, colognes, etc.: meh. I have homemade splash at 20% alcohol that works well and a couple of fragrances. Simple.

But the brushes:

Mondial Antica Barberia boar
Omega 49 w/white handle
Omega 49 w/black handle
Omega 11137
Omega Premium 011842 w/jade handle
Omega 10108
Semogue 620
Semogue 2000
Semogue 2018 TSN LE boar
Semogue Mistura Taj Resin
Shavemac 2-band Silvertip
Maggard 2-band SHD in a Whipped Dog Handle
Edwin Jagger XL Synthetic
Rudy Vey handle w/Muhle 25mm synthetic knot
24mm Synbad from APShaveCo
Simpson 58 Best

Obviously, this is a tad excessive (and it does not include the loose knots I've picked up to set in handles when I learn to turn them or decide to buy some from Etsy). I have acquired most of these relatively recently after using the EJ XL exclusively for about 5 years. A few months ago, on a whim, I bought the Semogue Mistura, which is an excellent brush that does exactly what I want. Then again, so did the EJ for a long time. The Mistura sent me looking at other natural hair brushes, and here we are.

I think brushes have always been my toughest AD. I love many brushes, but I don't like having many brushes, as I don't get to use any of them often enough. Besides, the idea of 1 has always appealed to me. I wonder if for those of us afflicted with brush AD, the appeal is similar to the appeal of straights. These are objects with utility, and they all do the same thing, but they do it with distinctive personalities and tendencies. In some cases, too, there is an aesthetic preference at work (I like wooden handles, simple handle shapes, and the workmanlike vibe of boar). I don't know. It seems different to the soaps or the frags.

Having said all of that, I do want to narrow my brushes back down, out of collector territory (which Buzz many years ago set at 3). My soft cap for now is 5, but I'd like to get it to 1.

You brush lovers: why do we do this?
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

Rufus
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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Rufus » Thu May 16, 2019 1:31 pm

I too am attracted to shaving brushes. At present I have 27 badgers, 3 boars and 4 synthetics. Obviously, badgers are my first love, but I have to say that a good boar is hard to beat. As yet I haven’t found a synthetic that satisfies me the way my badgers and boars do. In consequence synthetics are strictly for travel mainly because they dry so quickly and are relatively inexpensive. Horse has never grabbed me and I had my last one reknotted with TGN 2 band badger because I liked the handle. I like brushes for their variety, aesthetic appeal and sensory pleasure. In other words they are more than just a tool. To me razors are tools; nice tools, but just tools. I’ve found the shaving creams and aftershave splashes I like and have no urge to explore them further. My love for brushes notwithstanding, I am singularly unimpressed with some of gaudily coloured (e.g. Moonjava) handles that seem to be the rage today; they seem more suited to the window of a sweet shop rather than adorning my shaving cabinet. My favoured handle colours are faux ivory and faux antique ivory, but I do have a soft spot for butterscotch and faux horn.
Bryan

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TRBeck
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Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by TRBeck » Fri May 17, 2019 8:15 am

Rufus, I concur regarding many of the handle colors that are popular right now. Some of the swirl patterns are lovely, but most are actually pretty garish-looking to me. Faux ivory, faux ebony, faux horn, jade, and wood look great to me.

I agree that brushes are more than just a tool. I feel the same way about straights. They are beautiful in particular to me when there is no real effort made to impose beauty on them but when they instead take a form that enhances function. I don't mind an attractive set of razor scales or a nice-looking brush handle, but anything overly ornate turns me off. These were at one time everyday objects that everyone owned, and their aesthetic appeal to me is partly tied up in the fact that they are made to be used, and that their makers had use in mind (as opposed to nice SOTD pics) when designing them.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

Oscar11
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Location: North Dakota

Re: What is it about brushes?

Post by Oscar11 » Sat May 18, 2019 6:36 pm

Curiosity. We'll pay to see the varmint in the side show,

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