MAKEUP BRUSH BECOMES A MAKER’S FRIEND
I now accept that I’m a hoarder. I’m not an unfortunate compulsive who has filing cabinets instead of trashcans, thankfully, but I have been known to backtrack after passing a bit of interesting junk beside the road, because a block or two later, I persuade myself I can’t live without the junk. While walking, I’m prone to scoop up treasures. Usually, my loot ends up in a junk box in the back of a closet awaiting future MacGyver-isms, which I never get around to, and finally ends up in the dumpster or recycling bin when I’m faced with the choice of losing it or moving it.
But every so often, my scavenging habit pays off, if not in dollars then in valuable lessons.
Take my makeup brush, for instance. It’s about seven inches long, with a four-inch lacquered wooden handle, a two-inch black-anodized aluminum ferrule and a tip of soft, fine, black fibers about the size and shape of my thumb tip.
Now, barring the occasional Halloween costume, um ... I don’t wear makeup. So if I hadn’t found this brush lying in the grass seven years ago, and if I hadn’t invested the time and energy to stop and pick it up, I probably never would've had occasion to buy, use or even handle one—which would’ve been a great shame, because it turned out to be darned handy for all kinds of things.
I first reached for the brush when I became interested in fingerprinting. Its soft, fine, wide tip is perfect for applying dusting powder. A few months later, I found it just as useful (after a careful cleaning) for removing dust from my war-gaming miniatures, electronics, bonsai trees and all kinds of other delicate items in need of cleaning. It’s my tool of choice for daubing etching cream over a stencil to make patterns in glass, and although the etchant has pretty thoroughly stripped the anodizing off the ferrule, in every other way, the brush has held up well. Even strong solvents, like the acrylic cement I use to build mechanical puzzles, do not phase it, and once again, its broad, soft shape is perfect for rapidly wicking cement between the stacks of acrylic sheet I laminate together to make these.
It’ll be a long time before I wear it out, but when and if I do, I won’t hesitate to buy a replacement.