We LOVE finding the most unique grooming products on the market. We want to find and support interesting artists and companies founded on good quality, good craftsmanship, and good ingredients. We want to introduce you to some of the people who go out of their way to make your grooming experience exceptional by revisiting a series on our blog called, "Hands Behind The Art."
We are really excited to feature this new artisan brushmaker, Chris Trimble from BrushCraft. His beautiful and functional handles might just be one of the most unique grooming items you’ll have in your shaving arsenal. Turned with a fusion of burl wood and resin/acrylic, each is a one-of-a-kind talking point. We wanted to find out a bit more about what makes this artisan tick so we asked Chris to unload about BrushCraft.
- WCS: How did you get into wet shaving?
- Chris: Honestly I was tired of spending money on cartridges. I pretty much could shave twice a day with those. I thought that there had to be a less expensive option and something that did a better job. I started searching online and ran across DE's in 2008. I bought a Merkur and some Blades and then proceeded to hack my face up until I did some more research and learned how to use it.
There is certainly a learning curve with wet shaving, but it is so worth the effort. And if your dad didn’t teach you the in-and-outs of a double edge safety razor, don’t fret! The internet is full of resources to help you take your first baby steps.
- WCS: What was your first shaving brush?
- Chris: I bought a Van Der Hagen boar shave brush (I still have it). It was great, but the handle was not very good looking, which lead to. .
- WCS: When did you start making your own handles?
- Chris: I've always enjoyed working on a wood lathe and thought it would be nice to be able to turn shaving brush handles. One day I I had taken my son to the local Barber and was talking to the Barber about wet shaving and mentioned I'd like to buy a lathe so I could turn shaving brushes. He happened to have a 1950's Craftsman wood lathe in the basement of his shop and offered to sell it to me. I believe I made my first shave brush in 2011 (I still have it). Blood wood and a copper top with a 22mm best badger/grey. I believe 2012 is when I started selling my shave brush. It started so I could support my vintage razor collection. It all started out innocent enough before I even knew that I would start collecting. I thought I was going to save some money!
- WCS: How did you land on the unique style of the mix of wood and resin/acrylic?
- Chris: I ran across the maker of the turning blanks on IG (Beyond wood products) and was totally taken back by the materials. I didn't see that anyone was taking advantage of the material as a shaving brush handle. Not that I was the only one that had the thought to use it for that, just no one I could find at the time. Resin turns fairly easy. There are woods that turn easier and also harder than the resin. The material I use for these particular handles is stabilized in a vacuum and then the resin is added and put into a pressure pot.
These handles are very water resistant. With proper care, they will stay very nice looking. Just rinse the shave soap out of your shave brush and shaking out the excess water and then wipe the handle down so soap film doesn't accumulate.
- WCS: Where do you get inspiration for handle shapes?
- Chris: Usually, I have an idea in my head and try to translate it to the piece I'm turning. I rarely sketch anything out. Other times it's a decoration, or part of a structure that inspires me.
- WCS: What is the favorite brush that you have made recently?
- Chris: It’s hard to say, most of them are hard to let go of.
- WCS: Have you considered making this a full time gig?
- Chris: I have, and maybe someday it will be. For now, I'm satisfied with the pace at which this hobby has grown, slow and steady!
Chris’s brushes are truly a beautiful addition to any shaving den. Check them out today! Here's the link !