oornament studio — a practice led by designer daniel huang and artist su yu-xin — has created a collection of beautiful paint brushes called ‘landscape tail’. the brushes are imagined as artistic expressions, not just functional objects, and they’re made from colored porcelain and hand-bound bristles.
images courtesy of oornament studio
the project began by looking at the tools artists use and how they have the potential to shape art history. for example, the invention of the metal paint tube made plein-air painting possible, paving the way for impressionism and revolutionary artists such as claude monet. the mass production of hog bristle brushes enabled dry-mark paintings by artists like cézanne. ‘however, these examples are increasingly rare in our times, as standardization becomes the norm and several brands dominate the industry.’ oornament studio questions, ‘in the context of global industrialization for art supplies, can personal tools create new ways of art making?’
the brushes were inspired by conversations with yu-xin. her artistic research explores the boundaries of modern colors and color-making and she compares making her own pigment as breaking out of the industry norms. with this in mind, the landscape tail collection is designed to widen new creative possibilities through novel grip form and bristle formation.
landscape tail was conceived during a two week porcelain-making trip to jingdezhen, china. jingdezhen is the most revered porcelain city in china, and a prime example of a hyperlocal craft community. it’s network of highly specialized and delegated craftsmen has allowed jingdezhen to export high quality porcelain for over ten centuries. while residents pride in the city’s fame, it’s a third-tier city that is difficult to navigate without local guidance. many smaller shops have been closed or relocated due to the ongoing urban-renewal program. the city’s digital network also focuses on the growing tourism industry around porcelain trade, leaving local craftspeople to rely on traditional ‘rolodex-approach’ to stay connected. with the help of local artisans, huang scavenger-hunted throughout the process.
the brushes are made from high-temperature-fired kaolin porcelain and each bristle is hand-bound with string and attached to marine grade 316 stainless steel ferrule. each tool is designed for a different purpose, from large strokes to more controlled figurative work, and the bristles vary in their formation, density, and length. the landscape tail collection comes in acrylics and oils series, with four brushes: a ridge brush for laying in large areas of water or color; hand-drawn-moon for blending, detailing, and figurative work; a pebble brush for controlled rhythm strokes with thick and heavy color; and a peak brush for controlled center-weight strokes with thick and heavy color.
name: landscape tail
design: oornament studio
edited by: lynne myers | designboom