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The House Journal   | November 1902

vintage Aerograph airbrush

The Aerograph Airbrush

The conquest of his materials is the life's work of the artist. The hardness of the stone or the toughness of the metal alike refusing to express the ideas he is attempting to formulate through their medium, are the great obstacles which have to be overcome. No doubt, as time goes on, these very difficulties bring, in return, certain advantages, which the worker in the more plastic materials never experiences; but, notwithstanding this other side to the question, every means available for overcoming inherent difficulties in the medium should be adopted, on certain conditions, by artists, as giving them greater facility in the expression of their ideas.

For the laying on of surfaces of colour, the brush, up to recent times, has been the most approved implement. It has flexibility and softness, two qualities which assist in the even distribution of the pigment over the whole surface. It is difficult, indeed, to conceive anything very much softer than the fine camel's hair brush, and yet in the Aerograph we have greater softness and flexibility in air, as the name of this tool implies.

Air as an aid to art.

The idea of spraying, of course, is not a new one, but it has been left to these present inventors to devise a machine that would carry out the spraying in an efficient manner. Not only must the colour be evenly distributed, but the artist must be given the greatest possible control over the flow of the paint, being able to darken or lighten the tint, and if necessary to put in solid lines. This is achieved by the Aerograph airbrush.

The Aerograph machine is made in various sizes, but can always be easily held in the hand. The flow of colour is controlled by the small knob above, moved with the finger, and the colour in use is kept in the open reservoir near the point. The air pressure is derived through a pipe attached under the instrument and communicating with a reservoir, which in its turn is charged by an air pump, adapted in a clever way for manipulation by the foot.

So much for the machine itself, and now as to some of its practical applications. For fine art work of many kinds it is extremely useful. An effect excelling that of the finest stump work is obtained by it. For all classes of photographic enlargements, whether finished in water colours or monochrome, it is also of great assistance ; but it is in decorative work more particularly that we see its value. For stencilling it is perfect, the running of the paint at the edges of the plate becoming an impossibility. Beautiful soft effects maybe obtained by slightly raising one edge of the stencil plate and letting the colour flow past it. In fact, for all decorative work, professional or amateur, the machine is rapidly gaining an unassailable position on account of its enormous advantages in producing superior effects.

The only other point which space permits us to mention is the rapidity with which the Aerograph does its work. Large schemes, which in the ordinary way would be quite out of the question, become perfectly feasible; and, in short, it is no sort of exaggeration to call it a practical necessity to artist craftsmen who would excel in the branches of art—and nearly all are included—for which the Aerograph is adaptable.

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