High above the clouds, atop an antediluvian white elephant, rests the tiny, elusive Clouds brush on a floating cumulonimbus. Shy and recondite at first, it needs a little coaxing to come out of its shell, but once it gets going, it’s happy to be yours. It’s an individual that must come to be known, just as it will get to know you in return.
Fine, soft fur or feathers of an animal, sunlight sparkles on water, all the Lilliputian minutiae in a painting – this brush can handle them all. It is equally suited to the delicate detail required in botanical painting.
Why clouds? Clouds are merry and alive and represent the Air element. The brush logo is based on the ancient Chinese character for cloud. Tellingly, it is itself a happy spiral hanging from the sky.
Its ferrule is nickel-plated brass and the hair is the finest sable. Three times the price of gold, it is the best hair for creating the thin, elegant lines in miniature painting. The handle is raw birch wood, which is lightest and easiest to hold and allows for the best grip, which in turn grants the most control. Since these brushes are specially designed by me, they are not standard sizes, although they are close to the European size 00000 (UK equivalent 000).
In time, its true nature will be revealed; perhaps it is suited to the tiny, smooth lines of miniature painting; maybe it wants to relax into the natural flow of curves in illumination or tazhib; possibly it feels at home in the brilliant world of watercolour – it’s up to you to discover. Seek and you shall find. The master artist makes the brush their own. They know when to be gentle and when they can press a little harder. But do go slowly: after all, it’s a virgin.