some of Gavin’s Mojo Brush Collection

GAVIN’s SYNTHETIC BRUSH COLLECTION

This is my real passion – collecting exceptionally beautiful and special Synthetic Shaving Brushes. Some Brushes can stand alone in their splendour without context, while some make more sense as a group together, when their collective beauty resonates and they become something special together, other brushes are special for other reasons for example historic.

If you see a handle without a knot or worse still, a handle containing a badger knot, then it could be that a stock photo crept in, or it is a Vintage brush undergoing restoration and will have a suitable synthetic knot fitted as soon as possible. Either that, or you have been fooled by the newest generation synthetic knots that not even I can tell from badger. Rest assured though that I always use Synthetic where I can. It offers so much more variety and performance today and is cruelty free.

Each and every Brush has been cherry picked. I will do my best to portray the brushes well and explain why they are so special if it is not obvious (it is so hard to capture the beauty and art in a photo) If you want more info just ask. I will start out with nothing more than a list and a few stock photos, but slowly I aim to use good photos of the Brushes displayed properly in my collection, and I aim to bring you reviews and comparisons, so that the maximum benefit of the collection can reach you the user, over and above their sheer Art and Magnificence. So look deeper to find out why it is so special, if it’s not obvious at first. I present to you my special collection of Synthetic Brushes. Enjoy!

Titanium Alpha Shave Outlaw V2 with G4 knot. Just superb.

Themes for an Art Collection

There are many reasons to collect Shaving Brushes. so much Art and beauty in shaving brushes for so many different reasons and I have tried to capture the very essence of that in what every brush has to offer. Firstly some of these brushes have an intrinsic beauty from the match of texture and colour of the raw base material sometimes unusual and unique. Others are part of a Theme. Some especially the Resin handles have been used like a canvas to paint an internal 3D picture that often shimmers and shines in the light when seen firsthand – something extremely difficult to capture in photos. Then just like razors one level deeper there is real history behind many of the Vintage brushes. Whether they witnessed more than one World War, or generation after generation in a family. Imagine the stories they could tell.

The Brush on the left here is an Artisan Brush from Bob Quinn at EliteRazor. It is turned from Desert IronWood and has a beautiful grain showing fantastic contrast. No, that  is not a badger knot it is the latest and best 24mm Synthetic G52B (of which I own many, photoshopped-in because I haven’t had a chance to glue it at the right loft yet). Sheer beauty!

My family of Muhle Classic Black Brushes. XL 25mm, L 23mm, M 21mm, S 19mm. Love them all, but especially the M.

Gavin’s Modern Brush Collection

Here is a huge mix of very different Shaving Brushes each Special in its own unique way. For the most part they can stand on their own while some are part of a small sub collection.

 

 

Gavins Artisan Brush Collection

Gavin’s Mojo Collection

As a Brush Collector, I had well over a hundred brushes and thought I had located all the top Artisans making the Finest Quality Brushes for my Synthetic Brush Collection. Wolf Whiskers was stunning and I adored my Brush from Bob at Elite Razor. Dogwood was awesome. Then quite by accident just when I really thought I had seen everything ( these were such beautiful works of Art it was hard to imagine anything else), I stumbled across Mojo Handcrafts and was absolutely dumbfounded. Speechless. How was it possible after all the thousands of brushes I had already seen, for me to see a truly next level standard of Brush Art. Behold I present to you Gary Spruill from Mojo.

Mojo Handcrafts is a small company owned by Gary, a skilled craftsman, that has specialized in crafting high-quality Artisan shaving brushes and handles for over two decades. His Signature Piece is probably his Northern Lights rendition which has everything you could imagine and more. And it really has to be seen in person with light playing at different angles to bring out the full glory of the piece. There are two types of Brush Owners, those who are lucky enough to have seen a Mojo firsthand and those who are yet to. To have one is a little more tricky but he does still do Brush drops in the middle of the night every now and then. Better be Quick! Remember – Every Mojo Brush is unique!

Visit Mojo

 

Gavin’s Artisan Collection 

I love Mojo brushes but there are many other artisans out there making True Art in the form of Shaving Brushes and I am always running around behind them trying to grab their masterpieces. Many of the same names keep coming up again and again so keep your eye on them, they produce some gems.

Watch Mojo, Dogwood, EliteRazor, Wolf Whiskers, Paladin, shavemac, Billy Goat, BlackShipGroomingCo, Mred, Lutin , Leonidam, Rod George Designs, Turn N Shave, Wald, Bob Farvour, Bobby Moffett, Wild West, SummerBreak, Pantarei, APShaveCo as well as many others.

I will try to link to them when I get the chance.

Gavin’s Yaqi Collection

This is the section of my Synthetic Brush collection that is commercial and since I enjoy so much, I have been able to go to the trouble of sourcing the Brushes, to make them available to you through this shop (whenever possible). Each Brush is outstanding in its own way so the trick is to learn what that is, and which one is best suited to your unique situation. If you need an opinion or comparison just ask. I am brutally honest with my answers. Folk learn to trust me for that. I refuse to have my opinions bought with money.

Yaqi Brushes are extremely good value for money. They have lovely soft synthetic knots and vibrant colours and look especially good with translucent light. I have many favourites. They are especially well suited to the beginner but are not something you will outgrow.

Gavin’s Vintage Brush Collection

There are many different categories of Vintage Brush. This starts with a Vintage Brush in original New condition, NOS New Old Stock, very prized. Then there is Original Vintage that is used and has history behind it – also sought after if in good condition. If used and not in good condition, One has to make the choice to leave it in original condition which in some cases is appropriate or attempt restoration. Restored Vintage Brushes ( if done properly) are highly sought after, and with the right synthetic knot will look perfect and outlast any natural knot. If glued properly for a restoration with silicone the knot can be replaced indefinitely and the brush can last almost forever. Especially butterscotch Bakelite handles are sought after.

Then we come to Vintage Brushes that are restored but are common so are restored with a playful nature eg adding different colours or knots the original handle never got to enjoy. There is some scope for creativity here but it is nice to see restorers again using silicone to glue the knot so that no change is permanent. Nowadays we also see manufacturers offering a homage to a good old classic by recreating something extremely similar but with a modern twist and PAA are very good at this with a lovely selection of “new” “Vintage” brushes, I find it fun chasing down the original brushes that the new brushes are paying homage to and pretty much have one for each of their ten brushes. Then you also get companies that are using modern materials and manufacturing techniques to make brushes almost identical to the old classic brushes. Heritage Collection make awesome brushes along this vein, and you will be knocking down their door once you come to appreciate the designs and colours of yesterday. All in all there is something for everyone. Enjoy!

Gavin’s PAA Collection

This is the section of my Synthetic Brush collection that is commercial and since I enjoy so much, I have been able to go to the trouble of sourcing the Brushes, to make them available to you through this shop (whenever possible). Each Brush is outstanding in its own way so the trick is to learn what that is, and which one is best suited to your unique situation. If you need an opinion or comparison just ask. I am brutally honest with my answers. Folk learn to trust me for that. I refuse to have my opinions bought with money.

The PAA brushes are very special because they are all brushes that pay homage to Classic Vintage Brushes from YesterYear except they are brand new with lovely synthetic knots. So you get the old school vibe with modern performance. I collect the original homage Vintage alongside the modern PAA just for fun

Gavin’s Alpha Brush Collection

This collection started when I looked for an aerospace looking (fins/wings) brush to go with my Titanium Black Blackland Blackbird. I located the AlphaShaving Outllaw V2 and soon had the black and the Titanium versions, it wasn’t long before I wanted all the other versions, I had discovered a winner of a brush esp the Ti. So I gradually gathered all the metals and colours except the red, never liked the red, nothing wrong with it, just not for me. I had by then also discovered the Albert which is a favourite to this day and of course the Revolver Noir set with the Alpha G5 synthetic when it first came out was just a total game changer. It signed and sealed the synthetic vs badger debate on the spot – I still can’t tell the difference between the two except of course it dries quicker. It had solved the last of the problems some people had with synthetics, heat and water retention and flow rate, and splayability vs backbone – everything. It is known by different names at different importers G52B/G5D and mid 2023 is the synthetic market leader. If well made solid performing brushes are your thing and you can afford them – look no further than AlphaShave.

 

HERITAGE COLLECTION SHAVING.COM

Neil Breed runs this truly amazing company that produce replica Vintage Brushes using modern equipment and materials (he also does restorations and also does Razor Replicas esp a Beautiful Gibbs Adjustable DE) 

They look amazing and pull off the retro look with style. They really show off the art and Colour not to mention the amazing geometry from yesteryear. It is easy to put together a beautiful looking collection of these brushes. I highly recommend his work.

THE JAYARUH COLLECTION

You will have to take my word for it, but you have not lived until you have “adopted” a Brush from Jim Roe’s Collection. A unique and very humbling experience. I asked him for a brush that would look like a chunk of wood lovingly carved by hand and must not be symmetrical. I got it, but I also got to meet a really wonderful person who helped me out with some other razors. Check out his website and Collection. Number #430 is proudly mine and I’m now a member of the club.

HOW MANY BRUSHES DO I NEED?

Only 1.
But just like clothes it is so nice to be able to select the right Brush for the occasion depending on your skin and what kind of shave it will get; and to admire the Beauty of the Brush and its craftsmanship is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If you then get infected with SBAD (Shaving Brush Acquisition Disorder) well I’m afraid I can’t help you, except to tell you there is indeed a support group.