28.01.2017 - 31.01.2017 — Hall: 4.1 Stand: A 56
For more than half a century the brush factory has specialised in the production of fine art brushes.
In 1951 in a small artisan shop in Emilia, Wilma and Arturo Bonazzi, brother and sister, decided to set up their own business after years of training with the local masters, to learn the secrets of traditional gestures, their sequence and the capability to recognise the most suitable materials. Wilma married young Borciani and the union of the two surnames gave rise to the mark, which was immediately outstanding for quality of product, precise artisan craftsmanship and courtesy in satisfying the demands of professional restorers and painters who came to the brush factory searching for special tools for their works. Still today, repeating almost magically the ritual of gestures assimilated over time, the attention to raw materials along with artisan skills that have never been lost in our production (done entirely in Italy) satisfies the most demanding artists, lute makers, gilders and restorers who have preferred us for years and constantly keep us busy to live up to their expectations.
High quality, intense research and innovation applied to ancient painting techniques have been tested over and over.
We are pleased to share with you a part of our history which, along its way, brought shop experience to be competent for important interventions on monuments and works of art in Italy (such as the imposing restoration of the Sistine Chapel in Rome) and the prestigious national restoration schools (Istituto Centrale di Restauro [Central Restoration Institute] in Rome and Opificio delle Pietre Dure [Semiprecious Stone Works] in Florence).
How They Are Made
How is a brush made? If you want to learn how to make a brush and look for information about how to do it, you will find very little. You find something in the "Libro dell’arte" by Cennino Cennini from Colle val d’Elsa, painter at the service of the Lord of Padua, Francesco da Carrara, in the mid 15th century.
Nothing was left in writing by the Milanese Paola Pedretti in the second half of the 19th century, who successfully tried her hand in making brushes "for use in France and Rome" and deserved a prize because she was considered "among the industrious people who study for the redemption of our country from some tribute that was paid time ago to foreigners".
You can read something more in "La tecnica della pittura ad olio e del disegno artistico" ("Oil painting and artistic design technique") by Gino Piva, in 1985, but don’t expect anything more than pointers. More information can be traced in the "Nuovissimo ricettario chimico" by Antonio Turco (1990 - Hoepli) but in this case too the consultation would probably leave many questions unanswered.
The fact is that creating a simple brush combines many specific, particular skills concerning raw materials, the tools necessary and extremely good manual capability. It takes patience, power of observation, curiosity, constancy and method to make a good brush. These are the main, essential components, along with manual dexterity, which lead us to think is more a natural gift rather than an acquired method.
Today the brush factory is the highest example of Italian production in the sector.
The rhythms of this precise, patient craft, tempting fate, are still alive today. The artisan aspect of the product, linked to nearly manual work, has been handed down – hitting the target of success right in the centre. Thus the excellence of our products is recognisable and recognised; on the other hand, low quality articles are easy to identify because the head of the brush is obtained by shaving the tuft to the desired form. This way the tip ("feather") of the hair is cut, losing the most precious part, the part that gives softness and precision to the stroke.
When visiting the company, there are encounters with the processing experts who, with more than fifty years of experience, create brush tips, trusting only the mastery they have acquired over time.