The Brush Study was designed for Furnishing Utopia, a group exhibition of works by a dozen international designers that explore and reinterpret Shaker furniture, objects, and philosophy, with specific reference to the archive of objects at Mount Lebanon and the Hancock Shaker Village in the Eastern United States. The Shakers excelled at their craft in the production of tools, best exemplified in their brushes and brooms, of which they made many for very different purposes. The Brush Study series examines and explores the forms, materials and various functions of specific Shaker brushes, providing a contemporary interpretation of the original works.
Bristles are made from natural horsehair and each brush handle is colour-coded in shades from the traditional Shaker palette in order to define and identify its particular function and intended location. This is a method very much in line with the Shakers’ approach to objects, which ensured that everything was always in its place.
White oak, natural horsehair 2016
2 3/4 (w) x 1 1/4 (d) x 10 3/4 (h) inches (brush no.1 — grey)
4 1/2 (w) x 2 1/4 (d) x 11 (h) inches (brush no.2 — ochre)
4 (w) x 2 1/2 (d) x 5 1/2 (h) inches (brush no.3 — blue)
3 3/4 (w) x 3 1/2 (d) x 11 (h) inches (brush no.4 — green)
photos by Charlie Schuck and Julie Langenegger Lachance