Makers of Distinctive Wet Shaving Accoutrements
Nancy, my wife and business partner, and I make custom and "ReadyMade" shaving brushes by hand in our Maryland Eastern Shore workshop. Each step, from selecting, cutting, forming, and assembling raw materials to hand turning, sanding, buffing, and polishing, is performed by me. I obsess over everything from design and production nuances, to special-order adhesives, to the state-of-the-art inks used to imprint our logos.
The badger knots (aka the "bristles") used in our "Brad Sears" brushes are sourced from a carefully selected Chinese maker. These knots are hand-tied from minimally treated, unbleached 2-band "Finest-grade" hair. Each knot is inspected on our receipt for the correct size, shape, and other characteristics before being hand-washed with a clarifying shampoo and soaked in a warm shampoo/conditioner/borax solution for several hours before being thoroughly rinsed and combed. The combing removes loose hairs and lets us identify and remove any that shed more than a few hairs. The tips of the remaining knots are lightly bleached to achieve what we consider the right amount of face feel. (These knots will, of course, continue to soften with use over the first 10 - 12 (or more) shaves.)
All this hand work requires time, patience, and attention to detail. We try to fill orders within reasonable timeframes, but we do not rush. Every brush—and brush handle—is completed to the best of our abilities. Our patrons deserve no less.
Beginning August 1, 2023, we will be offering the 25mm Muhle Silvertip Fiber "STF XL" synthetic knot as an option in BSSW brushes. Although our price for these knots is 2-3x the cost of most synthetic knots on the market --making their cost comparable to our Chinese Badger knots--we selected them based on the understanding from reliable sources that the Muhle Silvertip Fiber knots compare favorably with the best synthetics offered by the major brush makes. (See more about Muhle knots here.)
Since 2016, we have been honored to collaborate with world-renowned knot maker Lee Sabini creating Morris & Forndran brush handles for him by hand, as described above. Nancy ships finished handles to Mr. Sabini in the U.K. where he imprints each handle with the Morris & Forndran logo and provenance then hand-ties and fits each knot to align with each brush's intended purpose. Mr. Sabini then returns the now finished brushes to our Maryland Eastern Shore workshop. .
Once the brushes arrive, we carefully inspect each brush then prepare the inspected brushes for sale.
The preparation process consists of hand-washing each brush with a clarifying shampoo before soaking in a warm shampoo/conditioner/borax solution for several hours before being thoroughly rinsed, combed, and air-dried. The now dry brushes are coated with an automotive sealant to increase the handle's hydrophobic properties and facilitate ongoing maintenance.
Finally, the brushes are photographed and added to the ReadyMade Collection for sale.
Although we discontinued the Morris & Forndran Custom Ordering process on July 31, 2023, we have agreed with Mr. Sabini to continue offering "ReadyMade" Morris & Forndran brushes on an irregular schedule.