Early in July of fifty-four, Leo Wrye, anticipating the impending celebration of the nations one hundred and seventy-eighth anniversary of its declaration of independence from its former tyrannical oppressor, the so-called great Britain, was avidly discussing the inefficiencies imbedded in the then current procedures for cleansing artist paint brushes after, during, and between uses with a one-eyed free-lance semi-sober itinerant sign-letterer who had happened into his, Wrye’s, carriage house artists materials emporium seeking a rare and particular sort of lettering-brush which was manufactured by the art-sign brush company of new .jersey which Wrye just happened to carry in stock for such rare occasions and rare customers as this one. This talented itinerent was bemoaning the fact that his tools of the trade, his brushes, were ever in need of replacement even though he cared for them lovingly, cleaning ever so often in a turpentine filled coffee can by gently brushing them across a kitchen strainer immersed therein.
Wrye had been using a thin piece of aluminum folded and refolded and refolded into a sort of corrugation in the bottom of his coffee can for years to avoid the disintegrating effect wire-mesh nicely wreaks upon the delicate bristles of an artist’s brush. To understand the problem, one must understand the brush. An artist’s bristle brush is made from the white bristles plucked, selected. And graded by diameter and length, by Asians, of a special breed of hog indigenous to central China. Examined with a good eye, or failing that, a magnifying lens, it may be seen that the tip of this hair of the hog has a split end. For what practical reason for the hog is unimportant. For the artist the split end, called the “flag” in the trade, is of some importance. The finer diameter of these flag ends produces a softer touch for the laying on of color, which is not possible with a non-flagged brush, say a nylon or cheapy bristle, which sort of scratch across the surface of the canvas.
A screen mesh, the kitchen strainer, then universally used by artists all over ubiquitously, has an ingenious insidious self-contained, though unwittingly, built-in design feature ¬that of being an excellent hog-bristle chopping device. As these fine hairs are rubbed across the mesh screen they are inexorably snagged between the crossing wires and snapped off. But this is not the ultimate tragedy. A bristle is in effect a hollow tube in which lives various oils and the like which maintain its resilience and flexibility. Once the flag is so rudely severed, the tube has been opened at its business end. The
Artist now dips his brush into his coffee can filled with some sort of solvent, and presto, thanks to capillary attraction, he now is dissolving the delicate oils of the inner bristle. The bristle shaft becomes brittle and snaps. The former brush progressively becomes but a useless stub.
After the departure of the sign-letterer, wrye resolved to resolve this porcine tragedy. The corrugated aluminum
Jerry-rigged by wrye for his own use in cleaning his own
Brushes was not an optimal solution. It reguireo regular
Removal and cleaning as there were no passages for the
Settling away of dissolved paint solids.
The lion company has never spent a nickel on advertising, has never contacted nor courted nor even coerced a potential customer. Nor has the lion company ever contributed to a distributor’s mis-directed and exorbitant catalogue pipe-dreams. The lion company has impugned and repulsed all worthless charity scams, and never could be even slightly enticed into supporting or engaging in any kind of noble civic activities purporting phoney do-gooding schemes.
The lion company has properly cleaned the brushes of the artists of america for lo these many long years. Silicoil has become a national commodity, a national treasure, and will continue to be so, until death d0 us all etc…