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Subject: Airbrushes


From: Rachel Sabino <rachel_sabino>
Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2002
Candis Griggs <ccgriggs [at] earthlink__net> writes

>I interested in purchasing an airbrush for use in paint and resin
>applications.  My primary use for it at this point would be in
>ceramics conservation

I strongly recommend Iwata products for use in ceramics
conservation. Although Iwata is not the cheapest brand on the
market, the simple fact is that a skimpy tool does a lousy job, and
Iwata products are supremely crafted.  I also recommend Iwata
because, unlike some other airbrushes, the working parts are self
contained making it virtually impossible to clog up the mechanism
itself.  This leaves the user responsible only for the scrupulous
and regular care and cleaning of the needle and tip.  All Iwata
airbrushes (with the exception of one or two models) are dual action
which is admittedly harder to use, but produces the best result. The
Eclipse HP-SB that I use has a .35mm nozzle which is narrow enough
for very fine work but wide enough to permit the application of
resins/media of varying consistency (including but not limited to
acrylic and urea formaldehyde) and also to accommodate certain
particulate additives, such as fumed silica or powdered pigments,
which are necessary for certain finishes.  I chose this model
because it is a side feed which I find easier for color matching,
though I do not use the stainless cup that came with the airbrush.
Instead I use tiny, clear plastic cups which makes the color
matching much more streamlined.

To achieve certain effects on plaster fills, I have found it
necessary at times to spray with a solution of plaster in which case
I advise obtaining a separate airbrush, this time a bottom-feed
model (which usually comes with a small glass jar--very easy to
clean).  In this case, it is not necessary that this tool be of the
same high quality as your retouching brush.  In our workshop we keep
aside an old airbrush (with a .5mm nozzle--important!) to be used
only for spraying plaster.  You'd be surprised where you can find
old airbrushes.  Quite a few hobbyists use them, so discarded
airbrushes can often be found at boot fairs or other such markets.

You should be prepared to spend $500 for your compressor unless you
can find one second hand.

<URL:> has a complete on-line catalogue
and a great deal of information/tips which has always proven
infinitely more helpful than the person behind the counter at the
art supply store.  I hope you find this information helpful.  Good

Rachel Christina Sabino
Conservator/Restorer of Ceramics, Glass and Stone
West Dean College
West Dean, Chichester
West Sussex PO18 0QZ England

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:51
                Distributed: Wednesday, January 23, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-51-004
Received on Wednesday, 16 January, 2002

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