6 December 2018
Materials of a da Vinci Maestro Paintbrush
Paintbrushes are one of the most popular tools used to create art. They can range from cheap plastic ones to the more expensive hand-crafted kind. While each one may get the job done, the true importance of the product is the way in which the materials are collected. The brand da Vinci sells a range of higher-end paintbrushes which is a prime example of this importance. Their Maestro brush is made up of materials like sable hair, gum arabic solution, wood, modern component glue, nickel and gold plated ferrules, and nitrocellulose. Da Vinci Maestro paintbrushes are a relatively sustainable product. This can be concluded by the rate at which the materials needed for the paint brush are acquired.
Because of the mass-production of paintbrushes, it is difficult to create a sustainable product. It is important to study the sustainability of a product because of the environmental degradation that comes along with it. With a huge population that is constantly growing, more and more products are having to be created. This takes a toll on the environment and can cause a huge influx of greenhouse gases, deforestation, pollution, and many more negative outcomes. However, this can be helped by trying to make each product sustainable--or relatively so. In order to collect materials for a product sustainably, the environment should not be greatly harmed. Furthermore, one should be able to collect the materials needed for a long time--for example, not depleting the earth’s natural resources. Da Vinci artist brushes have been able to come close to being referred to as sustainable, because of the materials used and the way these materials are collected.
As mentioned before, the materials used in a da Vinci Maestro brush are sable hair, gum arabic solution, wood, modern component glue, and nickel and gold plated ferrules. The hair of the paintbrush is sable hair. Sables are a species of marten and are found in Japan, Russia, and Siberia. In an interview with The New York Times, Viktor Chipurnoi--vice director of Soyuzpushnina, the fur association that buys and sells furs with private traders--said that ''after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia went from having about 200 mink farms to about only 50 still operating today, and not all are good quality, and there are only five sable farms left.” Since there are not an immense amount of sable farms, there are thus not an obscene amount of sables being farmed for their fur. While this may make them more expensive, it also makes them more sustainable as they have more time than other farmed animals to reproduce. Since the paintbrush bristles are made out of sable hair, it means that they are not made of plastic. Therefore, one does not need to take into account the harmful byproducts that come from making plastic bristles or the environmental damage from making plastic. This environmental damage can come from the manufacturing and transportation of the plastic, but since the da Vinci brush is made out of sable hair we can bypass that completely. In this case, the sustainability only relies on the amount of sables that are available. Furthermore, the paintbrushes are made from the winter coat of the sable so they are not being killed for their fur all year round.
The sustainability of the paintbrush is also taken into account through the gum arabic material. Gum arabic solution comes from a tree called the gum arabic tree. According to the Invasive Species Compendium, this tree is a “highly invasive species...a weed of unspecified importance in Australia.” Since it is an invasive species and has created environmental stress, using it as a source for materials is not as harmful as if the material was collected from a native species--thus leaving it more sustainable. Likewise, since the gum arabic comes directly from the gum arabic tree, there is little processing to be done to get the final product, enhancing the sustainability.
Da Vinci prides themselves on the handles of their brushes. According to the da Vinci official website where they discuss the technical terms of their brushes, the handle of the Maestro brush is made from wood and “artists often prefer unlacquered, so-called plainwood handles.” Since we were not given a specific type of wood, I am thus generalizing the handle as being made of wood. Because of this, I was able to go more into the aspect of deforestation in concern to the sustainability of the brush. While collection of wood can cause deforestation, these brushes are more expensive and thus not produced in as high quantity as other non-wooden watercolor paintbrushes, so it is the more sustainable product. Once again, since the brush’s handle is not made out of plastic, we are not concerned with the environmental degradation that comes from mass-producing plastic objects. Consequently, it is relatively more sustainable. Besides this fact of being relatively more sustainable, it is also less energy intensive of a building material than other materials. According to a study done by R.J. Cole and P.C. Kernan and spoken about in a life cycle analysis of primary energy use in wooden buildings, “the production of the concrete building used 6% more energy, and the steel building used 14% more energy, than the wood building.” This further shows that wood is a better building material than other sources, making it a good choice for the da Vinci Maestro brush.
One of the possible less sustainable materials in the da Vinci brush is the modern component glue--otherwise known as two component epoxy. According to Adhesives.org, “Two component epoxy adhesives are used to bond metal, plastic, fiber reinforced plastic (FRP), glass, and some rubbers.” In the case of the da Vinci Maestro brush, it is used as a bonding agent for the multiple materials. Modern component glue is made from a two part epoxy of an epoxy resin and epoxy curing agent. According to the US grant for epoxy resin, “an epoxy resin composition which comprises a curable epoxy resin, a hardener, and a block copolymer [is] formed by the reaction of a triphenol-alkane type resin or a polymer thereof with a specific organopoly-siloxane.” Likewise, according to the US grant for epoxy curing agent, “Epoxy resins, particularly those of the polyglycidyl ether of a polyhydric phenol type, are cured by incorporating therein a polyoxyalkylenepolyamine usually with an accelerator such as a combination of piperazine and an alkanolamine.” While the epoxies are made from chemicals--and so have the possibility to cause water and other forms of pollution--if the waste is handled correctly there will be little to no environmental damage. Furthermore, one has the opportunity to reclaim spilled or leaked epoxy for later use. This contributes to the paintbrush being a relatively sustainable product.
A possible inconvenience to the Maestro brushes being referred to as sustainable based on the rate at which the materials are collected depends upon the collection of gold, nickel, and brass--an alloy of zinc and copper--for the ferrules. The ferrule is the metal part of the paintbrush that strengthens the handle and prevents it from splitting or wearing. In the case of the da Vinci brushes they are either nickel or gold plated brass ferrules--more specifically nickel for the Maestro brush. Since they are made of metal, there is the environmental degradation that comes from the collection of metal--ie mines, clearing of land, pollution. For example, in “Using Life Cycle Assessment to Evaluate Some Environmental Impacts of Gold Production” by Terry Norgate and Nawshad Haque, “the environmental footprint of gold production (per tonne of gold produced) was shown to be several orders of magnitude greater than that for a number of other metals, largely due to the low grades of ore used for the production of gold compared to other metals.” However, in the same article they mention that “some technological developments in gold ore processing that have the potential to reduce the environmental footprint of gold production,” which gives up hope that there is a possibility of gold becoming more sustainable. As aforementioned, in order to create brass you need an alloy of copper and zinc. In “The Life Cycle of Copper, Its Co-Products and Byproducts” by Springer Science, it is stated that through the current collection process of copper, “the impacts on biological diversity...have been ignored. Decision-makers may also focus more on the short-term consequences instead of longer-term impacts, creating negative unintended consequences.” However, likewise with the gold article, it is stated that “better processes are being developed and are becoming available.” This also gives us the hope that the collection process of the material will be more sustainable, thus making products such as the da Vinci paintbrush more sustainable. The second part of brass--zinc--also has the issue of sustainability. In “A Global Life Cycle Assessment for Primary Zinc Production” by Eric Van Genderen, Maggie Wildnauer, Nick Santero, and Nadir Sidi, it is stated that “while the LCA model generated a full life cycle inventory, selected impact categories and indicators are reported in this article (global warming potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, photochemical ozone creation potential, ozone creation potential, and primary energy demand.)” This coincides with the other metals, referring to the environmental damage that occurs from the collection of the material. However, since the metal ferrule it is a small part of the paintbrush I would still consider the paintbrush as a whole to be a relatively sustainable product.
The last material necessary for the da Vinci Maestro paintbrush is nitrocellulose. In the case of the Maestro paintbrush, it is used as the paint coat for the brush. Nitrocellulose is made up of two parts--cellulose from cotton and nitric acid. According to Britannica, “cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer obtained from wood pulp or the short fibres (linters) that adhere to cotton seeds.” In recognition of the previously mentioned wood material for the paintbrush and the fact that cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer, we can propose that cellulose is sustainable. In order to combine cellulose with nitric acid to create nitrocellulose, Britannica explains that “cellulose sheet and nitrating acids are fed into a reacting vessel, where nitration proceeds until the acids have been centrifuged from the nitrated product.” In concurrence with the cellulose presumed sustainability, since nitric acid is a naturally occurring product of the nitrogen cycle, we can assume that it is sustainable as well. However, nitrocellulose is highly dangerous as it is a toxic material and can be ignited easily through percussion. In order to reduce this possibility of ignition, Britannica states that it is stored in water or alcohol--both relatively sustainable products.
It can be very difficult to create a truly sustainable product. However, da Vinci Maestro paintbrushes can be thought of as a relatively sustainable product. This can be concluded by the rate at which the materials needed for the paint brush are acquired. While there are some materials that can cause environmental degradation if not handled properly or made to be a large part of the product, in all the Maestro brush can be considered relatively sustainable. It is essential to try to start and make all products sustainable--or relatively so. Without enough thought into what goes into the products we create, the environmental damages can be catastrophic. However, by creating products out of materials gathered in a more sustainable way, the future can be changed for the better.
“Acacia Nilotica (Gum Arabic Tree).” Invasive Species Compendium, CABI, 27 Sept. 2018, www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/2342.
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Nitrocellulose.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1 Mar. 2018, www.britannica.com/science/nitrocellulose.
Genderen, Eric Van, et al. “A Global Life Cycle Assessment for Primary Zinc Production.” SpringerLink, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 31 May 2016, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11367-016-1131-8
Gustavsson, Leif, et al. “Life Cycle Primary Energy Use and Carbon Emission of an Eight-Storey Wood-Framed Apartment Building.” Energy and Buildings, Elsevier, 4 Sept. 2009, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378778809002126.
Norgate, Terry, and Nawshad Haque. “Using Life Cycle Assessment to Evaluate Some Environmental Impacts of Gold Production.” Journal of Cleaner Production, Elsevier, 28 Feb. 2012, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652612000947.
Springer Science, and Business Media Dordrecht. “The Life Cycle of Copper, Its Co-Products and Byproducts.” Google Books, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003, https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sqShBQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT8&dq=copper+life+cycle&ots=Ah6J52yKHK&sig=n2PETUry4drQRITntokldh0DmdA#v=onepage&q=copper%20life%20cycle&f=false.
“TECHNICAL TERMS AND WHAT THEY MEAN - About Us - Artist Brushes.” Da Vinci Künstlerpinselfabrik, www.davinci-defet.com/englisch/artist-brushes/about-us/technical-terms-and-what-they-mean.html.
“Two Component (2-C).” Adhesives and Sealants, Adhesives.org, www.adhesives.org/adhesives-sealants/adhesives-sealants-overview/adhesive-technologies/chemically-curing/two-component-(2-c).
Tyler, Patrick E. “Behind the $100,000 Sable Coat, a Siberian Hunter.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Dec. 2000, www.nytimes.com/2000/12/27/world/behind-the-100000-sable-coat-a-siberian-hunter.html.
“US4110313A - Epoxy Curing Agent.” Google Patents, Google, https://patents.google.com/patent/US4110313A/en.
“US4859722A - Epoxy Resin Composition.” Google Patents, Google, https://patents.google.com/patent/US4859722A/en.
6 December 2018
Energy of a da Vinci Maestro Paintbrush
Paintbrushes are a commodity seen at practically any superstore; brushes are stocked in bulk, varying in not only size, but also price, shape, and most importantly, brand. There are makes meant for youth first learning to grasp things as well as the well seasoned aficionado who will accept nothing short of “their” model. Da Vinci is one such brand that has had years in hand crafting and honing a trade that is often mass produced, leading them to not only having a loyal following, but also an environmentally friendly practice. Da Vinci paint brushes are a relatively energy efficient process that is a sustainable practice for the global energy crisis in the long run, thanks to the conscious energy efficient practices, manual labor involved in processing, and simplicity in the design.
The greatness in make of da Vinci may not be as pronounced at first glance, but upon closer examination of the simplistic design, further disparities prove themselves a worthy mention. Or rather, instead of simplistic and such associated connotations, perhaps the better word is economical, or efficient. According to the manufacturing process laid out on their website, the making of the brush itself requires few processes, and because of the materials, very few inputs. The actual paintbrush itself is made of wood, red-sable hair, a metal ferrule, lacquer, and “modern component-glue”, a gum arabic solution (“da Vinci”). Though perhaps one or two more ingredients than what can be initially seen, most of the make of the brush is surface level, and primary. Wood, red sable hair, and the metal ferrule, and gum arabic solution, which form the majority, are all materials that were taken directly from the earth and then physically processed. The wood was harvested from “sustainable European forestry” (“da Vinci”), presumably using modern techniques of a fossil fuel chainsaw, or other mechanical equivalent; according to The Forest Forum user @Frickman, “I sometimes run two and a half gallons of gas and a gallon of bar and chain oil through a Stihl MS460 in a day. I may cut six to eight thousand feet of logs in that time.”. One gallon of gas is roughly 1.3x108 J, meaning at most 3.25x10 J of energy are expended for a logging operation of “six to eight thousand feet of logs”. Though the logging operations or the processing of the wood are not stated or alluded to on the da Vinci website, it reasonable to assume this is prevalent in the making of the paintbrush. It is reasonable to assume that a large number paintbrushes could be made from this one yield, since even though the majority of the paintbrush is the handle, it is still a very small amount of wood (roughly 6 inches). At half a foot each, and not nearly as thick as any standard log (only around a quarter of an inch at the thickest point), potentially several thousand could be made from that harvest. As for the the red sable, “a cousin of both the weasel and the mink” and since “most exquisite specimens of sable are still found only in the Russian wild”, these animals are hunted manually, with the use of tracking dogs at the hands of hunters (Tyler). Since the animals are not farmed, no energy is expended in order to produce this material. The last of the primary materials, the metal for the ferrule, is nickel, a metal with a melting point of around 1,453 °C, mined from underground ores and typically made into a nickel matte which is then further processed (Wise). The journey from ore to one kilogram of nickel is a process that takes “230-270 MJ (63,900 to 75,000 watt-hours)” of energy (“How much”). So around 2.7e+8 J of energy go into making one kilogram of nickel. The metal, however, is only a very small portion of the brush, comprising only the thin sheet that makes the cylindrical ferrule. The actual weight of the ferrule is not quantified, however it significantly much lesser than one kilogram, therefore this estimate can only be fractionalized in it’s assumption to the relation of the product. Lastly, for the gum arabic solution, which is a mixture of water and dried powder from gum trees (“Gum Arabic”). It is not unreasonable to assume that the same logging operations to harvest the wood for the handle could be applied to the gum arabic.
The only secondary material, the lacquer, is a more delineated line of energy consumption and expenditure towards a final product. Lacquer is said to be from a process called “tumble-finishing” that uses only 10% of the material, and recycles the rest (“da Vinci”). So even though the use of a secondary material is less energy efficient, they are using it in a way that can negate some of the ill effects. There is vagueness in which glues or lacquers exactly they use, but one of the most common lacquer sealants is nitrocellulose, more commonly associated with its use in explosives. The process to make this compound involves cotton, sulfuric acid, and nitric acid (“How to”). As an explosive, it is an exothermic reaction, meaning there is no necessary energy input into making the compound. The cotton gathered would require energy inputs for fertilizer and other maintenance; according to one source based in a Turkey, “cotton production consumed a total of 49.73 GJha−1” (Yilmaz, Ibraham, et al.). That equals roughly 4.973e+10 J per hectare. Around 899 pounds of cotton can be obtained from a hectare (“Cotton Yield”), which far exceeds the amount needed to create the nitrocellulose necessary for the lacquer. The process may be more intensive in order to get the material, it is still not enough to make the paintbrush seem inefficient by any means, since it only consumes such a small portion of processes that would happen whether or not the brushes were made. The next part of the journey, beyond simply materials being collected, would be the way they are manufactured and processed.
Probably most important of all is the fact that the factory, which usually consume the lion’s share of energy. The da Vinci building follows strict ecologically conscious guidelines in its operations, and continues to strive to do so. Even simple details such as factory location are better for the world: the factory remains close to company headquarters, and therefore the people that work there, meaning less fuel used in travel. The building has large windows for natural lighting (few low current supplementals), which saves in electrical energy. The company only endorses vehicles that maintain standard exhaust regulations, in petroleum or diesel, and monetarily reimburses and encourages carpool of its employees. The environment of the building is mostly naturally controlled, with no air conditioning in the summer, and the heatings is part of the city of Nuremberg’s communal heating (“da Vinci”). The heating is 50.6% gas, consuming 1,255,477 of 1000 kWh, or 4.5197172e+15 J annually. It is mindful to note that this figure is for the heating of the entire city, not just the factory, which would be a far smaller portion. The lighting, also drawn from the city of Nuremberg, would use the electricity; the city averaged 2,833,091 of 1000 kWh, or 1.01991276e+16 J (Brunner). Again, the factory would be a much smaller portion of this number. As far as factories go, the building operates much more like an artisan workshop, which creates the legacy of their brand and saves energy while doing so; still, like many other business, they must have a way to export their product. In this, da Vinci is very much like many other companies in terms of wasteful energy expenditure.
Key to the success and environmentally conscious efforts of the da Vinci brushes lay in the fact that the assembly of their fine brushes is mostly by hand, and their downfall is having to rely on the popular modern transportation methods. The choosing of hairs, physical assembly, shaping, and cutting all happen from a brushmaker in their factory. The only actions not performed by the workers would the lacquering and glueing of the brush, which are performed by machines the company built, powered by the city’s shared electricity, as discussed in the factory. People, as a rule, are more energy efficient, even if not time efficient. Most of the embodied energy of the paintbrush lay not in the manufacturing, but the transportation of the item itself. Da Vinci is a world renown company that ships globally, including overseas to places such as the United States of America, China, India, and Japan, to name a few. These are just a sample of some of the thirty two countries listed on their distributor website (“da Vinci”). The way da Vinci chooses to export their product is not mentioned explicitly in their website, but by standards in Europe, “In 2016, the total value of EU-28 goods transported by sea was EUR 1 701 billion, this figure is for both imports and exports to non-member countries” and “It shows that the relative importance of sea transport was even greater, accounting for 80.8 % of EU-28 exports and 73.4 % of EU-28 imports in 2016” (“International Trade”). By these figures, it reasonable to assume a company like da Vinci would utilize sea transport. Along with this, would be the transport from sea port to inland to sell the product, most likely utilizing freight trucks; both methods that consume a large amount of energy, “This is a Freight trucks made up by far the largest share (23%) of total transportation energy use, followed by marine vessels (12%)”(“Transportation Sector”). Specifically, in land transport, “The movement of freight consumes about 6.2 EJ of energy annually” (Komor). Here the company acquires a lot of embodied energy into the paintbrush that it cannot necessarily avoid.
Though there may never be the best way of making a paintbrush, there certainly are better ways that produce products that are of fine quality and ecologically conscious. Da Vinci continually works to not only improve their products, but also decrease their energy consumption. By following specific regulations that allow worker, environment, and consumer satisfaction, it is easy to see the attraction of a simple paintbrush, and also the importance. The standards set by the da Vinci company should be a model not only for the brushmaking industry, but the world at large. The better quality of products is at no tradeoff to the environment, the workers, or the company.
Brunner, Michael. Nuremberg Facts & Figures 2017. City of Nuremberg, 2017.
“Cotton Yield per Harvested Acre in the U.S. 2017 | Statistic.” Statista, www.statista.com/statistics/191494/cotton-yield-per-harvested-acre-in-the-us-since-2000/.
“DA VINCI AND ECOLOGY - About Us - Artist Brushes.” Da Vinci Künstlerpinselfabrik, Da Vinci, July 2013, www.davinci-defet.com/englisch/artist-brushes/about-us/da-vinci-and-ecology.html.
“Energy Numbers.” ENVIR215, Washington EDU, 2005, www.ocean.washington.edu/courses/envir215/energynumbers.pdf.
@Frickman. “what is your chainsaw MPG ?”. The Forestry Forum. motif, September 21, 2010. http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=46008.0
“Gum Arabic.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/gum-arabic.
“How Much Energy Does It Take (on Average) to Produce 1 Kilogram of the Following Materials?” LOW-TECH MAGAZINE, www.lowtechmagazine.com/what-is-the-embodied-energy-of-materials.html.
“How To Make Nitro-Cellulose That Works.” T E X T F I L E S D O T C O M, textfiles.com/anarchy/INCENDIARIES/explod4.txt.
“International Trade in Goods by Mode of Transport.” Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings, Eurostat, June 2017, ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/International_trade_in_goods_by_mode_of_transport.
Komor, Paul. “Reducing Energy Use in US Freight Transport.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, 14 Jan. 2000, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0967070X9591991R.
“Transportation Sector Energy Consumption.”International Energy Outlook 2016, U.S. Energy Information Administration, www.eia.gov/outlooks/ieo/pdf/transportation.pdf.
TYLER, PATRICK E. “Behind the $100,000 Sable Coat, a Siberian Hunter.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 27 Dec. 2000, www.nytimes.com/2000/12/27/world/behind-the-100000-sable-coat-a-siberian-hunter.html.
Wise, Edmund Merriman, and John Campbell Taylor. “Nickel Processing.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 5 Sept. 2013, www.britannica.com/technology/nickel-processing.
Yilmaz, Ibraham, et al. “An Analysis of Energy Use and Input Costs for Cotton Production in Turkey.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, 3 Aug. 2004, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960148104002393.
6 December 2018
Waste, Reuse, and Recycling of the da Vinci Paintbrush
Paint brushes are a must to any artist that considers any type of painting, in order to achieve the desired result. But not all paintbrushes are created equal. The Da Vinci paint brushes are created with the intentions of being high quality paint brushes for artists of all skill levels and also being environmentally friendly in today’s society. Da Vinci is a brand that makes high quality paint brushes by being methodical with every step of the process, when it comes to bringing the Da Vinci paint brush from their factory in Germany to your home. This brand has made a name for itself by being one of most eco friendly brands in the in the world: with their constant attempts of reducing their environmental impact on Earth, how they proceed with their waste management, and their emphasis on encouraging their customers to reuse and recycle paintbrushes.
Da Vinci paintbrushes have managed to reduced their environmental impact in more than one way. This can be traced starting back to the employees of their modern factory in the city of Nuremberg, Germany. Such as encouraging their employees to take public transportation to work via the train, by reimbursing them with at least half of the public transportation fare (Da Vinci). Another way that they do so that involve vehicles is by incorporating carpooling for their employees; with vehicles that are economical in in petrol & diesel consumption and are up to date with the latest exhaust regulations in order to reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere (Da Vinci).
The main factory of Da Vinci paintbrushes is a prime example of how a factory can be modern and eco friendly--by making simple changes in their everyday choices. One important everyday choice, is the fact that the factory receives most, if not all, of their lighting from natural sunlight. By incorporating huge windows that allow the sunlight to illuminate the rooms of the factory. And when sunlight alone is not enough to illuminate the work space needed, they can always rely on their low current lighting appliances that they have installed (Dick Blicks). These are two examples of simple everyday choices that greatly benefit the environment. Another example, is by connecting their factory to the city’s energy supply. So, that they do not have their own heating supply. Lastly, is the use of the staff to hand make most of the product and operate the hand made machines to glue the brush pieces all together at the end resulting in once again reducing their carbon footprint on the environment. (Da Vinci)
While I was doing research on Da Vinci’s waste management procedures there was not much information offered other than the fact that they are, “especially disposing of problematic wastes like toners, remains of adhesives and glues, etc. (Da Vinci).” But since we know that they are conscious of the environmental impacts that creating high quality art supplies can come with, I think it is safe to assume that they indeed take the necessary actions to dispose of such wastes. Procedures such as properly classifying and disposing adhesives as Special/Hazardous Wastes. To be either thrown away in its own bins for the city’s pick-up services to retrieve it or personally throw it away in the city’s recycling depot (Germany Handbook). This procedure is also imitated in the United States, where it is also advised to not throw away these Hazardous Wastes into your trash bins for they can be very harmful to the environment (Management). Another universal procedure for waste management is not using harmful solvents when creating such wooden handle paintbrushes (Paintbrush).
Although it is not stated whether or not that Da Vinci takes full initiative to emphasize the reuse and recycling of a paintbrush-- they do however take certain actions that involve the actions of reusing and recycling. When doing research on Germany’s waste management, I realized that they happen to be very fond of recycling and repairing/reusing items in order to reduce as much waste as humanly possible (Germany Handbook). One example, is the universal practice of recycling and reusing any of the paintbrushes bristles that are in condition to be reused will be done so (How it’s made). Another action, for example, is when it comes to Da Vinci packaging their products. They make the initiative to use recyclable cardboard boxes to create the packaging for all of their products. (Da Vinci) So if Germany is a country that happens to be concerned with the way their waste impacts the environment, it can also be safely assumed that they would take actions to reuse old paintbrushes rather than throw them away. These actions can include, but not limit; properly cleaning the brush bristles, storing the brushes properly, and buying quality brushes (Newton & Illustrators). By buying quality brushes one can guarantee the artist that they are getting what they are paying for, thus the product should hypothetically last longer than the leading competitors if taken care of correctly (Illustrators).
What about other countries such as North America, specifically the United States? Well there are actions that can be used all of the world not just Germany and the U.S. Some of the actions are: using the proper shampoo to help care after the bristles on your brushes, doing your best to clean the base of your bristles, and cleaning your paintbrushes immediately after using them (Heaston). But there are some recycling solutions that are only available in the United States. An example involves buying an “Art Supplies Zero Waste” recycling box from TerraCycle. Where upon on it being full of art supplies like paintbrushes, you ship it back to TerraCycle. Once it is at your local TerraCycle station, the waste is either manually or mechanically inspected and separated into piles of what can or cannot be reused or recycled. Upon being sorted they take the necessary actions to give adequate parts a second life by incorporating the reusable materials onto new paintbrushes (TerraCycle). Or some other alternatives other than recycling and taking measures to prolong the paintbrushes’ life cycle. Is to simply find another use for your old, worn down, and beat up paintbrushes such as: using them to clean in hard to reach spaces like nooks and crannies, donating them to homeless charities, or using them to once again mix colors & paint attempting to paint with a dry brush technique (Louisa). The possibilities of reusing and recycling are almost endless, it’s all a matter of what the user is willing to do.
As mentioned earlier the Artist Paintbrush Series from Da Vinci is one of the most efficient brands of art supplies in the world. This is done so in three ways. Taking actions inside and outside of the manufacturing factory to reduce the environmental impact that results in creating such high quality paint brushes. These actions makes the corporation not only more likely to succeed once there is a shortage of raw materials and energy supply, but it also makes them a leader. A leader that can help guide others by showing other corporations how a modern factory should not only produce the desired results, but also be more mindful of the ever changing planet that we live on. Another action that makes them one of the most efficient brands in the world, is their attention to detail when it comes to properly disposing and reducing the amount of waste being produced. The fact that they are aware of the waste they produce and still manage to reduce as much of it as humanly possible. Such as by reusing old recyclable cardboard boxes for the packaging (Da Vinci) helps to prove even more that they indeed have the potential to be leaders and role models of the upcoming modern factory designs and day to day operations. Lastly, their emphasis on reusing and recycling as many products as possible, no matter how miniscule. Is yet another example of how they are one of the world’s most efficient factories. Da Vinci doesn’t feel the need to brag about their eco friendly actions that are helping to prolong the life cycle of this planet, but I honestly feel that they should. Or at least spread word of how they produce their products. If more countries around the world such as China, Russia, and the United States found ways to incorporate humans in their factories. Hypothetically there should be a reduction of Carbon Dioxide and Hazardous Wastes into our ecosystems. Which in the long run would result in not only the survival of our planet, but also the survival of the future generations to come in this new environmental crisis that we are facing today known as climate change.
Florida, University of. “Paint Brushes, Paint Rollers, and Rags.” Environmental Health Safety, 14 Jan. 2015, www.ehs.ufl.edu/programs/chemrad_waste/maint_waste/paint-brushes-paint-rollers-and-rags/.
Heaston, Paul. “5 Tips for Properly Caring for Paint Brushes.” The Craftsy Blog, 2 Sept. 2013, www.craftsy.com/art/article/caring-for-your-paint-brushes/.
Illustrators, Artists &. “How to Look After Your Paintbrushes .” Artists & Illustrators Magazine, 0AD, www.artistsandillustrators.co.uk/how-to/Art-Theory/825/how-to-look-after-your-paint-brushes.
Management, Waste. “Our Services – Residential.” Waste Management – Residential Trash & Waste Removal Services, 2012, http://www0.wm.com/wm/services/containertips_resi.asp
N/A, N/A. “Da Vinci and Ecology.” Da Vinci Künstlerpinselfabrik, Da Vinci Artist Brushes, 2013, www.davinci-defet.com/englisch/artist-brushes/about-us/da-vinci-and-ecology.html
N/A, N/A. “Da Vinci Brushes.” Most Recent - Lesson Plans - BLICK Art Materials, Dick Blick Art Materials, 0AD, www.dickblick.com/brands/davincibrushes/
N/A, Louisa. “How Can I Reuse or Recycle Paint Brushes? .” Recycle This, 15 Dec. 2008, www.recyclethis.co.uk/20081215/how-can-i-reuse-or-recycle-paintbrushes.
N/A, N/A. “Paintbrush.” How Products Are Made, 0AD, www.madehow.com/Volume-5/Paintbrush.html.
N/A, N/A. “Production of Artists' Brushes - Brush Making - Artist Brushes.” Da Vinci Künstlerpinselfabrik, 2018, www.davinci-defet.com/englisch/artist-brushes/brush-making.html.
N/A, N/A. “Waste Separation.” Handbook Germany, 2018,
Newton , Winsor &. “Care and Cleaning of Brushes .” Care and Cleaning of Brushes, 2018, www.winsornewton.com/na/discover/tips-and-techniques/other-tips-and-techniques/care-and-cleaning-of-brushes-us.
TerraCycle. “Art Supplies Zero Waste Box.” TerraCycle, 0AD, www.terracycle.com/en-US/zero_waste_boxes/art-supplies#how-it-works.