I was searching my local stores for the Richeson brush that you folks were highly recommending and finally found a vendor who would bring one in for me. Of course the cost was quite high. (not my question)
The vendor is trying to convince me that there are other brushes at half the cost that will perform equally as well. Has anybody actually confirmed that the Richeson is far superior? Is my salesperson way off base?
I also at this time would like to buy only one brush. My first tests will be contact printing 4x5 negatives. Then hopefully a jump to 8x10. Will a 2 inch brush be OK for both sizes?
Gray, get the 4 inch one, later on you will want to ge bigger and have to get another brush.
I dont recall the name of the other brush some people are using, Can your vendor get both and let you choose? you can try them in the store and see which one you like better. I dont know how much he is selling it for, but www.artxpress.com has them at pretty reasonable prices.
I think Daniel Smith has a synthetic brush that is a re-branded Richeson. And i believe you can google for Dixie Art supplies for the lowest mail order price on the Richeson. (wish I had known when I bought mine)
If you are doing 4x5 and 8x10 photos, i would recommend the 2" brush. I found out recently when I was doing some 4x5 test strips that it IS possible to have a brush that is too large for your print size. The problem comes in because the richeson brush is used soaking wet, and a brush whose water volume is much greater than the sensitizer volume will dilute your coating mix too much and result in weak prints. For 8x10 and smaller, the 2 " is about right. For 8x10 through 7x17, the 3" is about right, and for 12x20 and larger, the 4" brush is useful.
I am just starting in alt processing and used on old 2" junk brush for Van Dyke and Cyanotype. I found that if the brush is just damp - (wet and flung out) it seems to use less chemistry without apperent dilution. Is this a common practice? I generally learn from doing things that might fail to see what the limits are for success and this was another of those times. I like the brushed look better than the glass rod and am not using expensive chemistry.
I don't think you should listen to the art dealer. Does he print pt/pd? There are many brushes out there, and many that may be suitable for pt/pd. However, one that we KNOW of that works REALLY WELL is the magic brush.
I have heard comments of a Simmons brush that some people like better, but I don't have personal experience with it to recommend it.
Dixie is the best place to get the brush in the US. I don't know how that compares to the prices you found in Canada.
I use a 2" brush for 8x10 and 7x17, and also for 11x14. Bigger than that, I use a 4" brush. I would be concerned that the 2" might be too big for a 4x5 print. Luckily, the smaller brushes are relatively cheap. Remember, as long as you clean it out properly after each coating session you only need on brush in any size, since they are worked totally wet.
One recommendation, coat up multiple sheets at a time. This will be more time efficient, and also will eliminate the problem of dilution after the first sheet of coated paper. But, you may notice a slightly different quality of print from the first sheet to subsequent prints.
Then, after you have coated four or more sheets, you can wash the brush and the other items all at once. When I'm on a roll, I never coat one at a time. I'll often coat 4-6 sheets and then clean, then recoat the sheets, blow dry, and then print. I think it provides more consistency and is more efficient to work this way.
I use a one inch model for 4x5 prints and test strips for larger prints. For 5x7 and larger I use a two inch model. I have a couple of Simmons brushes that work pretty good but not as smooth and consistant as the 9010 brush. The 9010 gets my vote hands down.
Clay, that rubber coating worked great on my two inch 9010 brush, wild red color!
I can't say enough about the Richesion brush for coating palladium and kallitype. They don't absorb the chemicals so the mount of chemisry used is about the same as with a coating rod, and coating rods are just dastardly things in my opinion. Smooth as silk and don't shed.
Get as many as you can afford. The 1" and 1.5" brush are great for small prints of 4X5 and 5X7, the 1.5" and 2" are good for 8X10 and 11X14, and the 4" versin is super for 7X17, 12X20 and even 20X24.
Well, I can say one bad thing about the Richesion. The paint sucks and starts to crack almost as soon as you use it.
When using the richeson one first wets the brush? Are we talking about wetting the brushes and shaking out the excess?
I use a squeeze bottle filled with distilled water. Rinse the brush with the stream of water then shake out the excess. Make sure where you shake the brush because it's easy to mess up a piece of paper, even worse a negative.