06-09-2017, 10:10 AM
#1
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
One of the most beautiful handle creation - at least for me - is the Lee Sabini Alibaba handle. The Rooney counterpart to Simpson's Persian Jar used to be available in three sizes. The largest knot measured about 22mm.

First appearing with the amazing Heritage 3 band hair and then followed by the equally stunning 2 Band Heritage knots.

Those times are long gone and I am lucky to own one Alibaba of each Heritage knot. 

Today I can add to this collection the upsized  creation of Lee and Brad Sears: the Alibaba in Finest with a 26/50mm knot in beautifully grained faux ivory with a tortoise ring.

Palm lather reveals a resilient knot with soft tips. Will be on deck tomorrow.

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 06-09-2017, 12:31 PM
#2
  • doc47
  • Senior Member
  • Northern Arizona
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Beautiful brush to add to your collection!

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 06-09-2017, 12:38 PM
#3
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Great addition to the duo you already have Georg.

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 06-09-2017, 03:01 PM
#4
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I must say I'm a fan of the old stuff you mentioned , but this new brush is quite a fine example as well. Congrats.

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 06-09-2017, 03:48 PM
#5
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Beautiful, Georg!

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 06-14-2017, 01:47 PM
#6
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
User Info
The Rooney Alibaba was all the rage 7 or 8 years ago. It seems these days, there is a new flavor every week. I cannot keep up.

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 06-15-2017, 01:30 AM
#7
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
User Info
Gorgeous brush, congrats!

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 06-15-2017, 03:24 AM
#8
  • eengler
  • Administrator
  • South Dakota, USA
User Info
Great trio there!

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 06-15-2017, 03:50 AM
#9
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
User Info
I love the look of the Alibaba in faux ivory.

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 06-15-2017, 04:12 AM
#10
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
User Info
The tortoise ring adds a nice flavor. Enjoy your new brush, Georg.

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 06-15-2017, 04:35 AM
#11
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(06-15-2017, 04:12 AM)chazt Wrote: The tortoise ring adds a nice flavor. Enjoy your new brush, Georg.

The tortoise ring is a gorgeous highlight on any ivory brush. One of my favorite looks.

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 06-15-2017, 08:36 AM
#12
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
I think the original Alibaba design is stunning and while smaller than I normally prefer it is a pleasure to use them.  I have an Abercrobie & Fitch branded Alibaba which puts production in the early 90s at the latest so I believe the Alibaba predates the Sabini era even.  Brad Sears has created a great partnership with Lee and I have purchased a few brushes from them which are fantastic all around.  I definitely appreciate the interpretations Brad has applied to the classic styles, but there is something about the original Alibabas that just have a bit better proportions to my eyes.

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 06-16-2017, 06:29 AM
#13
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
(06-15-2017, 08:36 AM)blzrfn Wrote: I think the original Alibaba design is stunning and while smaller than I normally prefer it is a pleasure to use them.  I have an Abercrobie & Fitch branded Alibaba which puts production in the early 90s at the latest so I believe the Alibaba predates the Sabini era even.  Brad Sears has created a great partnership with Lee and I have purchased a few brushes from them which are fantastic all around.  I definitely appreciate the interpretations Brad has applied to the classic styles, but there is something about the original Alibabas that just have a bit better proportions to my eyes.

True, the original Alibaba is "bustier"...

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 06-22-2017, 06:03 AM
#14
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(06-16-2017, 06:29 AM)German Wrote:
(06-15-2017, 08:36 AM)blzrfn Wrote: I think the original Alibaba design is stunning and while smaller than I normally prefer it is a pleasure to use them.  I have an Abercrobie & Fitch branded Alibaba which puts production in the early 90s at the latest so I believe the Alibaba predates the Sabini era even.  Brad Sears has created a great partnership with Lee and I have purchased a few brushes from them which are fantastic all around.  I definitely appreciate the interpretations Brad has applied to the classic styles, but there is something about the original Alibabas that just have a bit better proportions to my eyes.

True, the original Alibaba is "bustier"...

The Alibaba, along with the Emillion, are my two favorite shapes, hands down.  Nevertheless, you guys raise a terrific point!  

One of the beauties of making these handles by hand (v. on a CNC) is the ability to alter shapes fairly easily within the constraints imposed by rod size.  What I'm saying is that if you'd like what I'll call a "Classic" Alibaba, I'm certainly open to talking about it.  The challenge, though, is that when one attempts to create (say) a 28mm Alibaba in the classic shape, we end up with a handle approximately 50mm in (maximum) diameter and about 80-85mm long. (Sorry, it's been a while since I worked out these dimensions and can't seem to find my notes; so I could be off by a few mm.  Blush )  The point is: that that's not only large, but pretty darn heavy.  The other challenge, which Lee raised, is getter hair long enough to look (and perform!) right in such a large handle not only due to the characteristics of high quality (read "thin") badger hair (floppy brushes, anyone?), but just getting really long hair in the most recent "crops" has been challenging to say the least.  (Other reasons why we elected to "play" with the handle design.)

Now saying that, a 24mm classic Alibaba would certainly be more manageable--and very do-able in most resins.  (Just drop me a note before ordering, please!)

The bottom line is that Lee and I gave a good deal of thought to these efforts before tampering with what are, admittedly, marvelous designs.  But taken all together--and given most folks' desire for larger 26-30mm brushes--we found the older "Rubenesque" style, while unquestionably attractive, just wasn't practical to accommodate most modern tastes.  So instead, we turned to a more statuesque (Art Deco?) design that seems to work very nicely up to about a 30mm knot size.

I hope some of this is helpful.  And if you have any questions, please ask!

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 06-22-2017, 06:12 AM
#15
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What a beauty !   Heart  Lee has knots that are the best I've tried since 2013 .

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 06-22-2017, 05:13 PM
#16
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(06-22-2017, 06:03 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote: The Alibaba, along with the Emillion, are my two favorite shapes, hands down.  Nevertheless, you guys raise a terrific point!  

One of the beauties of making these handles by hand (v. on a CNC) is the ability to alter shapes fairly easily within the constraints imposed by rod size.  What I'm saying is that if you'd like what I'll call a "Classic" Alibaba, I'm certainly open to talking about it.  The challenge, though, is that when one attempts to create (say) a 28mm Alibaba in the classic shape, we end up with a handle approximately 50mm in (maximum) diameter and about 80-85mm long. (Sorry, it's been a while since I worked out these dimensions and can't seem to find my notes; so I could be off by a few mm.  Blush )  The point is: that that's not only large, but pretty darn heavy.  The other challenge, which Lee raised, is getter hair long enough to look (and perform!) right in such a large handle not only due to the characteristics of high quality (read "thin") badger hair (floppy brushes, anyone?), but just getting really long hair in the most recent "crops" has been challenging to say the least.  (Other reasons why we elected to "play" with the handle design.)

Now saying that, a 24mm classic Alibaba would certainly be more manageable--and very do-able in most resins.  (Just drop me a note before ordering, please!)

The bottom line is that Lee and I gave a good deal of thought to these efforts before tampering with what are, admittedly, marvelous designs.  But taken all together--and given most folks' desire for larger 26-30mm brushes--we found the older "Rubenesque" style, while unquestionably attractive, just wasn't practical to accommodate most modern tastes.  So instead, we turned to a more statuesque (Art Deco?) design that seems to work very nicely up to about a 30mm knot size.

I hope some of this is helpful.  And if you have any questions, please ask!

Thanks for all the detail. I appreciate all the thinking that goes into proportioning brush designs -- and how it affects looks, feel, weight etc.

This was a very useful read. Thanks Brad.

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 06-23-2017, 04:29 AM
#17
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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Brad, that is an excellent explanation of the thought and skill that goes into designing a brush handle.  My two favourite handle shapes too are the Alibaba and Emillion.  I have an Emillion 1 with a Heritage knot and I'd love to add an Alibaba, but no bigger than 22mm.

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 06-23-2017, 05:42 AM
#18
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(06-23-2017, 04:29 AM)Rufus Wrote: Brad, that is an excellent explanation of the thought and skill that goes into designing a brush handle.  My two favourite handle shapes too are the Alibaba and Emillion.  I have an Emillion 1 with a Heritage knot and I'd love to add an Alibaba, but no bigger than 22mm.

I appreciate your kinds words, Bryan.  A 22mm Alibaba in the original style is certainly do-able in most of our resins.  We can take this off-line, if you'd care to discuss details.  The Heritage hair however is something Lee's been trying to get more of, but has had no luck so far.

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 06-23-2017, 06:19 AM
#19
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
User Info
(06-23-2017, 05:42 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote:
(06-23-2017, 04:29 AM)Rufus Wrote: Brad, that is an excellent explanation of the thought and skill that goes into designing a brush handle.  My two favourite handle shapes too are the Alibaba and Emillion.  I have an Emillion 1 with a Heritage knot and I'd love to add an Alibaba, but no bigger than 22mm.

I appreciate your kinds words, Bryan.  A 22mm Alibaba in the original style is certainly do-able in most of our resins.  We can take this off-line, if you'd care to discuss details.  The Heritage hair however is something Lee's been trying to get more of, but has had no luck so far.

Brad, thanks very much.  I'll e-mail you with specifics.

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 06-24-2017, 12:26 PM
#20
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
(06-22-2017, 06:03 AM)BSWoodturning Wrote:
(06-16-2017, 06:29 AM)German Wrote:
(06-15-2017, 08:36 AM)blzrfn Wrote: I think the original Alibaba design is stunning and while smaller than I normally prefer it is a pleasure to use them.  I have an Abercrobie & Fitch branded Alibaba which puts production in the early 90s at the latest so I believe the Alibaba predates the Sabini era even.  Brad Sears has created a great partnership with Lee and I have purchased a few brushes from them which are fantastic all around.  I definitely appreciate the interpretations Brad has applied to the classic styles, but there is something about the original Alibabas that just have a bit better proportions to my eyes.

True, the original Alibaba is "bustier"...

The Alibaba, along with the Emillion, are my two favorite shapes, hands down.  Nevertheless, you guys raise a terrific point!  

One of the beauties of making these handles by hand (v. on a CNC) is the ability to alter shapes fairly easily within the constraints imposed by rod size.  What I'm saying is that if you'd like what I'll call a "Classic" Alibaba, I'm certainly open to talking about it.  The challenge, though, is that when one attempts to create (say) a 28mm Alibaba in the classic shape, we end up with a handle approximately 50mm in (maximum) diameter and about 80-85mm long. (Sorry, it's been a while since I worked out these dimensions and can't seem to find my notes; so I could be off by a few mm.  Blush )  The point is: that that's not only large, but pretty darn heavy.  The other challenge, which Lee raised, is getter hair long enough to look (and perform!) right in such a large handle not only due to the characteristics of high quality (read "thin") badger hair (floppy brushes, anyone?), but just getting really long hair in the most recent "crops" has been challenging to say the least.  (Other reasons why we elected to "play" with the handle design.)

Now saying that, a 24mm classic Alibaba would certainly be more manageable--and very do-able in most resins.  (Just drop me a note before ordering, please!)

The bottom line is that Lee and I gave a good deal of thought to these efforts before tampering with what are, admittedly, marvelous designs.  But taken all together--and given most folks' desire for larger 26-30mm brushes--we found the older "Rubenesque" style, while unquestionably attractive, just wasn't practical to accommodate most modern tastes.  So instead, we turned to a more statuesque (Art Deco?) design that seems to work very nicely up to about a 30mm knot size.

I hope some of this is helpful.  And if you have any questions, please ask!

Brad, thanks for the additional perspective. I picked the 26mm knot as I was afraid any larger size would yield a larger handle to the point it would become too large for my taste. Your comments confirmed that. The handle is truly a looker and the ivory material is beautiful.

It is kind of funny that everybody raves about 28+ knot dimameters (I have a few too). Most brushes I own, however, are between 24-26mm, which I still view as the sweet spot considering comfort and flow through.

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