Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nature DIY Part 2: Cat & Human Hair Paint Brush

After making my Poke Berry paint (see Nature DIY Part 1) I realized that it had been so long since I actually painted that I no longer had brushes to paint with! Regular paints were too toxic for me, so I had skipped the whole painting medium of art the last 7 years and tried other less noxious endeavours. This turned out to be a great gift that forced my trained art mind out of the box... and on to discover things like this...

First you'll need to find some sticks, broken branches or strong vine for the handle of your brush. I cut mine from some dead vines hanging from a tree behind my house. You want the wood to be fairly easy to carve but not weak enough to break with pressure.

I then took a kitchen knife and shaved off the rough bark that was on the outside of the vine, from top to bottom. Doing this all the way to the top is optional, but is kind of fun. :)
You then will want to carve a point at the brush end of your stick, as pointy as you can get it. Above the pointy end I carved an indentation (as shown in the pictures here) as a place to wrap something around the bristles- because I did not use any type of glue or adhesives.

This is a ball of human hair, my hair to be exact. For a more uniform brush I would recommend cutting a chunk of hair out...but since I already had this giant ball of hair laying around (actually waiting to go into the compost), I just balled it up, and used scissors to snip off the ends. I tied a rubber band around the spot where the indentation was carved, to hold the hair in place.

Then I wrapped some scrap organic cotton over the rubber band and the loose hair very tightly.

Human hair makes an awesome paint brush!!!

And cat hair too! I got this hair ball from my neighbor since my cat wasn't shedding enough for my project :)

I put the cat hair on a Goji Berry branch and wrapped it with organic cotton too. The pointy carved tip under the hair can add some really cool lines when the right pressure is applied.

This is my quickie painting sample of what both the human hair and cat hair brushes combined can do. This is using the Poke Berry paint too (which only requires the berries, salt and water to make)! I think this is one super dee duper bad ass non toxic art project. YAY!

What other things could I use to make paint brushes? What other art tools can be made too?


Anonymous said...

Awesome! Your coolest craft/art project yet! I like the painting too. Magenta spermies are the way to go.

Miss Voodoo said...

thanks nick -
I think i should find a friend with horse hair... i bet that would make a good brush also!

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Sandra Thomas said...

Thanks for your great article. Hair extension is a big problem for everyone. I know people worrying about their hair. I learned a lot of things in this article.