I am so happy to show you the Holiday 2023 brush holder: the Cranes Over Mount Fuji ACT 2. This is a new version of the previous Holiday 2020 brush holder but bigger, roomier and showcasing a more complex construction.
We created this second release of the Holiday brush holder with the same artisans that manufactured the first release, they are based in Hiroshima, Japan. The artisan who works with me on these brush holder projects is extremely well known for the quality of his work, but also because he is very passionate and curious- that’s exactly why I love to work with him. I know he will be excited and always find a way to turn something that sounds almost not possible, into something amazing.
HOW THEY STARTED AND EVOLVED
In March 2020 we released the very first Wooden Brush holder, a permanent brush holder made out of walnut wood and featuring sliding separators.
This version is still in the collection today, it’s sold out at this moment but it is in production and should come back for spring 2024.
In December 2020, for the Holidays, we released a Limited Edition Cranes over Mount Fuji brush holder. It was made of walnut wood as well, it was a longer but thinner version of the permanent Walnut Brush holder.
In December 2023, we will release the Act 2 of the Cranes over Mt Fuji. We wanted to keep the same story with the same elements, but give it a different twist.
Just like with the Holiday Sunset Cranes Maki-e brush set, this brush holder was complex to manufacture but it was such a joy to work with the artisans and see them so excited about it! Seeing it here today and being able to touch it feels absolutely amazing, we all sincerely hope that you will love it!
The brush holder is 28.2cm long, 8cm high and approx 6cm wide. It weighs approx 370g and has 10 compartements: 5 for the bigger brushes and 5 for the smaller brushes. A back compartment is approx 5cmx2.5cm, a front compartment is approx 5cmx1.6cm.
It is the same length as the previous Cranes over Mt Fuji but this time, it has two rows instead of one: one thinner for the smaller brushes to stand in the front, and one wider for the thicker handles at the back. This configuration helps us organize our tools, while optimizing the space it takes on our vanity.
In the back compartment we can fit handles up to 24.4 mm diameter, in the front compartments we can fit handles up to 15.5mm diameter – small face brushes can also fit in the front row. I think it’s very pleasing to see our smaller brushes fitting more neatly in the front and the larger more comfortably at the back.
At the bottom of the compartments, we have placed a layer of GS Felt to provide protection to the wood and the brushes.
Depending on the diameter of the handles, we can store between 30 and 40 brushes. We can push this number if the handles are thin but it depends on how the brushes are organised.
The front of the brush holder showcases two cranes flying and a lake at the foot of Mount Fuji. We used the same cranes in order to link this version to the previous one.
This Brush Holder, the biggest so far, has been crafted using two different woods: the front and the back panels are made out of walnut wood, the rest of the brush holder is maple wood. These two woods have been assembled using a technique similar to Yosegi. Yosegi is a woodworking method that involves combining various types of wood, utilizing the differences in their natural colours to create intricate patterns.
THE WOOD GRAINS
The front and the back panels of the holder are showcasing their beautiful natural wood patterns.
Every holder is going to look different due to the patterns created by the wood grain. If we imagine the walnut wood grain to be the sky, and the maple wood grain to be the structure of the mountain, each holder will tell a different story.
For this newer version, instead of lasering the Mt Fuji shape, we have designed and inserted a maple wood inlay within the walnut front panel.
The Mount Fuji inlay is smoothly merged onto the walnut base, the surface feels so silky to the touch and the exposed grain of the two woods fused together give so much interest to this piece.
Seeing the three brush holders side by side shows the difference in thickness between the previous Holiday version (in the center) and this new one (on the left).
Unlike with the permanent Walnut Brush Holder, the separators are fixed in the longer versions. The reason why the separators don’t slide in the bigger versions is because of their longer lengths, if we want to create something durable, we need to adjust the design accordingly. A longer panel of wood is naturaly more likely to move with time because the two edges are further away, the separators being fixed will contribute to the durability of the holder.
On the previous Cranes over Mt Fuji we used the same wood to craft the entire piece, the separators inside were painted black. For this new one, we used two different woods (walnut and maple) and we are playing with the natural grain and colours of these woods.
This brush holder comes in a sturdy cardboard box, wrapped in silk paper and inside, you will find the little care leaflet.
The box was made from recycled paper coming from the paper cranes that are sent and dedicated to the Memorial Tower in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, hence the little dots of colour all over. As it says on the box, a portion of its cost is donated to the Atomic Bomb Dome Presevation Project Fund.
The brush holder has been covered with a urethane coating to protect it from water and stains but it is a wood piece and wood moves with temperature and sudden humidity fluctuations. It should be stored in a dry place and away from direct sunlight.
Thank you to all of you for being so continuosly encouraging with your messages and your kind support! This helps me and allows me to continue working on amazing projects, and we are just starting…
I also would like to thank the incredibly talented artisan behind this piece for his amazing work. His kindness, curiosity, determination, patience, are only some of the reasons why I admire him more than words can say, I am so honoured to be able to share this journey with him and with all the wonderful people behind the scenes!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
This Holiday Brush Holder is limited edition, it will be available on Beautylish on the 19th of December 2023, at 10am PT, and it will retail for 260 USD.