Anthony Turchetta owns an insurance company in Arizona but very obviously likes making things of beauty with his own hands. So he also owns The Golden Nib (TGN), Penworks, Penchetta Pens & Nibs and Cave Creek Casting and is very well known as a retailer of quality pens and a maker of very fine artisan pens.
He has transferred this passion over to the shaving world where he is probably best known as a specialist supplier of brush knots from TGN, but he is also a retailer of a wide range of shaving kit at Penworks. And he sells his own brushes under two brand names, Penworks and Penchetta.
Of the Penworks brushes his site says: Manufactured to our specs for the finest quality badger hair brushes at a very reasonable cost. A great value for a top notch brush that will provide years of service.
And of the Penchetta brushes his site says: Hand made custom shaving brushes from rare & burl woods, resin & stone. Available in limited quantities all hand turned by Penchetta. A wide variety of unique shapes and knots in silvetrip, finest & super badger.
Tony knows a lot about brushes, he retails Simpson’s and Omega, also he sees the vast number of knots that he sells at TGN. So his own brushes must be something special, especially the Penchetta ones.
So imagine my surprise when two brand new examples turned up on UK eBay. One is a Penchetta with a Malachite Tru-Stone handle and a super badger 20mm knot with a 47mm loft. The other is a Penworks with an “Acrylic Cream” handle, though it is not single colour, and a 22mm finest badger knot with a massive 62mm loft. Each comes with a hand written identification card.
Malachite is a vibrant green semi-precious stone that is an ore of copper. Tru-Stone is a propriety composite material of about 85% powdered stone mixed with resin under pressure. It resembles the natural stone but can be worked on a lathe, it is very popular for pen making and in this instance has been used to make a very nice shaving brush handle.
So what are they like to use? Dry the malachite super badger is extremely soft tipped and the cream finest badger has quite soft tips. But wet they are both similar, extremely soft, to the point where you wonder how good they would be at picking up a hard soap and how good at exfoliating. The malachite brush has some backbone from its short loft and, in general behaves like a top end silver tip.
The cream handled Penworks brush is a very different beast. With its long loft and high density it has more badger hair in it than any other brush I own, despite only being 22mm in diameter. It has bloomed mightily and just about doubles in weight when wet. In use it is just one big floppy mush of softness and can lather a face in little more than a couple of strokes. This brush would get through your creams (for that is what it is destined for) at a prodigious rate and once charged could lather up several people. In fact you could use it for home decorating.
So two very different brushes that are rather nice and fairly unique works of art and yet which in use behave like the quality top end brushes that they are.