How to take care of your brush in Asian Brush Painting, Calligraphy and Sumi-e


Opening and preparing a Chinese Brush

Chinese Brushes are usually shipped with water-soluble glue on the hairs to maintain and protect the tip. It is imperative that this glue is removed entirely before you start using your brush. The best way to do this is to first rinse out as much glue out as you can, and then soak the brush tip. Use cool water, and make sure that you aren’t overly aggressive in rinsing, especially where the bristles meet the handle. Brushing the Tip against the palm of your hand is sufficient to loosen the glue. Once you’ve done this, a brief soak of about 30 minutes will free up all the hairs so that the ink will flow easily and fluidly. Do not leave the brush standing on its tip in a cup of water: this might damage the tip before you’ve even used the brush!

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