I have an artist friend, Bina Shah, who I met whilst on an artist residency over in Ballinglen, County Mayo. She not only creates beautiful abstract paintings but has in the last couple of years started to make her own tools out of bamboo.
I've been watching Bina's instagram posts over the last couple years as she developed her bamboo drawing tools and thought it was about time I gave them a go.
She makes a range of tools from black bamboo including brush pens, dip pens with pointed and flat nibs and mark making tools of various sizes. She also makes her own botanical ink from oak gall and walnut.
Spoilt for choice I eventually decided to go with 3 of her mark making tools: thin, medium and large. They arrived beautifully wrapped with a sprig of bamboo and a gorgeous business card with one of Bina's own paintings printed on it.
At the moment my paintings have a very smooth finish with not much texture on but I thought these would be perfect to use with the carbon papers I make to create fine detailed marks with a bit more of a looser, energetic feel to them.
So I took a demo painting which was completely dry and made some marks with the bamboo tools and some turquoise carbon papers. This was the result. Lovely pops of contrasting turquoise marks!
You can watch my experiments with the tools on this short video.
I am definitely going to be experimenting some more with these tools on some larger works. If you'd like to try out some of Bina's bamboo products then head on over to her website.