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  1. #1

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    "Magic brush" in UK

    I have been coating for Pt/Pd for 4x5" negatives with a glass rod, and it works well. But for bigger negatives, I have read here about the "magic brush", that one can buy from Richeson in the US. Does anyone know where one can buy equivalent ones in the UK?
    Many thanks

  2. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Richeson is a UK manufacturer - I would be surprised if you cannot find their brushes in art supply stores in the UK as well.

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    Look for DaVinci 5080 series brushes too; they're good and maybe they will cost a little less than Richeson's...

    Regards,
    Loris.

    EDIT: Their website says that Richeson is located in Wisconsin... ???

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    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    The closest equivalents I've found are:

    1) "Winsor and Newton Cotman Wash" which are available in most art stores (they're blue).
    2) "da Vinci Serie 5040" brushes which are bit harder to find but are nicer (they're black with a red tip)

    Neither of these are as nice as the Richeson flats (which are well worth importing if you have the money) but they're good enough to use.

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    I would crtainly be prepared to be wrong as I have under 100 images under my belt but I have not seen a difference in the magic brush and the store brand sable brush at 14$ or so. I have two store brand brushes from different stores and they are obviously from the same chinese manufacturer. I have one new Richeson magic brush which I bought being influenced by the preponderance of positive posts about it. All in All, the Richeson is a disappointment as it performs no better than the generic sable brushes. Your kilometerage will almost certainly vary.
    Last edited by cowanw; 12-09-2010 at 03:16 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  6. #6
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    In my experience, it became very obvious very quickly the superiority of the Richeson brush. I think they must do something to the tips of the brush bristles that makes them smoother, as all other brushes I've used have been more coarse which leads to anywhere from very mild to very obvious surface abrasion. Other brushes tended to absorb more emulsion into the bristles while coating, thus requiring more emulsion to cover a given size print. Yes, they're silly expensive, and the ferrules and handles are actually quite cheaply made, but the bristles are something else entirely and make it worth the price.

  7. #7
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    The magic brush has a combination of characteristics which no other brush I've used achieves. The most noticeable are:

    • The bristles are not too springy so you can brush quite quickly without it flicking the coating all over the place (but they're not so soft that they don't get into all the nooks and crannies of the paper)
    • The tips of the bristles are very smooth so it glides across the paper nicely (by comparison, the Winsor Newton brush is almost scratchy)
    • I've also found that they tend to help people make smoother coatings sooner.

    If you listen to your brush strokes while you're coating then you'll hear the difference. You'll feel the difference too.

    Of course other brushes can be used, and can make good coatings. But I haven't found an equivalent to the magic brush (I wish there was in the UK because they're expensive to import).

    I suppose it's like using an Ebony or a Linhof Technikarden. They're a joy to use, but you can still make good photos on a beaten up Kodak 2D.

  8. #8
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    I stumbled upon an english supplier of the Da Vinci brushes and a huge assortment of other brushes (no Richeson, though): http://www.cornelissen.com/

    Impressive range of materials and tools overall, recommended for a look.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  9. #9

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    Many thanks to all that answered. The consensus seems to be that it is worth having the brush. And as it does not seem to be available in the UK, I will have to see if Father Christmas can afford the import duties from the US (sigh...).
    Again, many thanks

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    I would crtainly be prepared to be wrong as I have under 100 images under my belt but I have not seen a difference in the magic brush and the store brand sable brush at 14$ or so. I have two store brand brushes from different stores and they are obviously from the same chinese manufacturer. I have one new Richeson magic brush which I bought being influenced by the preponderance of positive posts about it. All in All, the Richeson is a disappointment as it performs no better than the generic sable brushes. Your kilometerage will almost certainly vary.
    Not to be picky, but I highly doubt you got a sable for 14$ Most likely you got a synthetic sable brush. I don't know about how they compare in platinum printing, but a real sable brush blows away synthetics for watercolor work.



 

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