Kiln-Fired Stained Glass Painting - How to Clean Your Badger Blender
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Stephen_Byrne/182575]Stephen Byrne
The badger blender is probably the most expensive brush you'll buy for stained glass painting.
It's also the brush you'll use to achieve the most beautiful and delicate results - especially if you learn the pleasure of turning traced lines into shadows (and I promise I'll write a follow-up article on this technique right soon).
For now, though, first things first, and let's take a look at how to clean your blender.
And, to be clear, the kind of blender I mean here is about 3 inches across, and fairly flat.
It represents a substantial investment in terms of upfront cost - but one that will certainly last a lifetime if properly cared for.
And how many things can you get nowadays that last a lifetime?
So let's see how to look after it.
First up, when not in use, put it in a solid jam jar, handle down, so the hairs are in the air.
Most important here is the fact hairs will keep their shape like this.
Second, if it's not in use for more than a day or two, keep your blender in a box, away from dust and grime.
Third, cleaning. One way is to swipe its hairs against the leg of a table. Not too hard, mind! Just hard enough to dislodge easy dust.
The time will come though - especially if you use gum Arabic in your paint - when the tips will clog with tiny globules of dried paint and glue.
You'll know this is happening because - your blender won't blend. It'll start to leave streaks. Or those tiny globules will drop off and contaminate the surface you want to smooth. And if that's not infuriating, I'd like to know what is!
So here's what you do to clean your blender and make sure it lasts a lifetime.
Rinse the tips under warm water for 10 seconds.
If the tips are heavily clogged, also run your fingers lightly through them to help dislodge and dissolve the dirt.
Turn off the tap.
Hold the badger firmly by the handle and, in a suitable place, flick the blender several times to remove the excess water.
What you do next depends on whether the handle is round or flat.
Flat-handled brushes have less hair than round-handled ones, so, with a few more flicks, your flat handled blender will be dry and ready to use.
Round-handled brushes need a little bit of extra care. So place the round handle between the palms of both hands. Roll your hands back and forward in different directions so that the handle is twizzled and twirled. You'll see how the badger hair is beautifully fluffed up by this (co-)motion and restored to perfect shape.
So, to sum up, a gentle flick against a table leg from time-to-time.
Then an occasional rinse under warm water plus some flicking and rolling to restore shape to the tips.
And always keep the hairs away from anything which might distort their shape.
Stephen Byrne invites you to learn more about real kiln-fired glass painting. You will discover strategies and techniques, get tips and ideas, watch demonstrations and download photo-packed PDF guides. Just visit http://www.realglasspainting.com and get started right now.
Copyright Stephen Byrne 2010 all rights reserved worldwide
Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Kiln-Fired-Stained-Glass-Painting---How-to-Clean-Your-Badger-Blender&id=4482505] Kiln-Fired Stained Glass Painting - How to Clean Your Badger Blender