Deirdra (Dee) Silver started in artists' materials in 1964 in New York City at the very busy retail location of Joseph Mayer Co. on Union Square. Dee remained an artists' materials retailer until she became a manufacturer’s representative in 1979. One of the lines she represented was a manufacturer of premium artists' brushes. In 1990, as that manufacturer slid into bankruptcy due to mismanagement, Dee saw an opportunity to start her own artist brush business, a company that would reflect her knowledge, experience and dedication to superior quality and one that would have her name on it. Thus, Silver Brush was born.
Dee says, "Unlike most products sold to consumers today, artist brushes, in our quality class, are still manufactured, for the most part, by hand. Brushes are made by artisans who have apprenticed with master brush makers, for very long periods of time."
Since its founding, Silver has added many very popular series to its already extensive selection. Natural hair brushes such as those made from hog bristle, sable, ox, squirrel and pony hair are all part of their product mix. Synthetic materials, once considered inferior, have now gained prominence in the market place as filament design and construction have advanced.
"Today we use Taklon, Risslon and Interlon synthetics in our brushes in both long and short handle versions. They have great resiliency and longevity. They are a far cry from the early days of this type of artist brush," says Dee.
"As I travel around the states and overseas I am consistently looking for products artists can use to their benefit. I always ask 'How will the artist use this and who is the artist that needs this?' The brushmakers that make our products are the most experienced. Hence the quality that we offer from Grand Prix to Sterling Studio is the best in their class."
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