Sunday, January 6, 2013

Brush Washers....

Have you ever been at a flea market or estate sale and see a small decorative object with a bowl? Not sure what it is? 

Many times, you have discovered a brush washer. These items started as utilitarian, but became decorative, collectable items and an art form unto themselves!

Asian themed brush washers are most common as they were created to clean the ink from calligraphy work, but their popularity continued and has been interpreted through many mediums including ceramic, bone and precious minerals.

This is a fine example from the Ming dynasty of a dragon with a wonderful surprise of a fish design inside.

I received this antique  frog brush washer for Christmas. They are usually quite small since the brushes they cleaned were for detail work.

This is the first decorative brush washer I ever bought. It is signed and was  brought back as a souvenir from WWII.

Do you own any brush washers that you thought were teeny flower vases? Now you know the correct usage of these decorative objects!


Your French Buyer said...

Once again, you educate with beauty.
Did not not this...will be looking now. Thanks

Gina said...

Dear Theresa, How interesting! I don't have a brush washer nor did I know that they existed. One of my small vases from the orient in celadon could be a brush washer. But most of all I am so interested in your photo with the frog brush washer. It's the Italian maiolica in the background that has me drooling. ox, Gina

Theresa Cheek said...

You are too kind! They are all newer pieces, reproduction...but have a nice look. I did just purchase two older Italian apothecary jars on line. Can't wait to get them!


Mark D. Ruffner said...

Dear Theresa - I've been meaning to buy a certain brush washer that has a clamp that keeps the brush in the liquid without letting the bristles lean on the bottom and become mis-shapen. Practcal ... BUT ... not as handsome as your lovely bowls!

Theresa Cheek said...

Oh Mark, that is the kind most of us use every day! (when not grabbing a plastic cup)LOL! Only when I demonstrate do I bring out the pretty stuff.

Karena said...

Theresa, these are wonderfully delightful pieces; and I would have never known their true use!


2013 Artists Series

helen Morris said...

I had no idea. Thank you for enlightening me...again.

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