I got one art supply this week and it was a minor one. I got a box of twelve little glass jars and lids. They are not the most important art supply in the world but I’m glad to have them. Y’see I keep the ink into which I dip my brushes in a similar little glass jar and have since around the early 1990s.

The little glass jar that I’ve been using since way back originally had fabric paint in it. I bought that paint in the mid 1980s. I can’t remember the brand name of the fabric paint but it was everywhere in the 1980s and I probably had a dozen or three jars of it as I used to paint my jean jackets with that paint.

After I used all the paint I kept the little glass jars that they came in. At least I kept some of them. They were nice jars and were one of those things that a person thinks they will have some use for someday. We’ve all got stuff around like that.

One of those little glass jars eventually became my inkwell. Actually a few of them did as I use a few different brands of ink. The jar is two inches tall and about an inch across. I usually buy my ink in eight to sixteen ounce containers and then pour some into the small glass jar.

I like using a small glass jars better than the small plastic one ounce jars that ink often comes. The small glass jar is heavier and easier to see into. When I dip my brush into the ink I like to see exactly how deep the bristles go into the ink. Dipping the brush in blindly is no way to go. I usually top off the ink in the little glass jar every morning or two. If the glass gets down to half full it gets harder to see into.

I’ve thrown out, recycled, or misplaced most of my 1980s little glass jars. I still have about three of them up and running but I used to have more but I don’t remember what happened to them. I know that I’ve never broken one. I could have stuck a few somewhere long since forgotten or I could have finally gotten rid of the ones I never used. Either way they’re not around.

There have been times over the years that I’ve thought to buy some new little glass jars but I never have. I kind of always wanted the same ones but never saw any. It wasn’t until I bought two new bottles of two new brands of India ink that I decided I needed new jars. Plus I wanted the new ink in the same jars as the old ink. So I stared looking on Amazon and eBay. I found all sorts of different jars on those two sites but not the ones I wanted.

It turns out that one of the problems I was having in searching for the jars is that I had their size wrong. I had always thought that the jars were one ounce jars but it turns out that they’re only three quarters of an ounce jars. I think I got that idea from the plastic one ounce cubbies that I’ve bought over the years. They look about the same size but one has walls of thin plastic and the other walls of thick glass. That could easily make up for the one quarter of an ounce difference.

It turns out that Amazon had the most variety of little jars so I ended up looking at a lot of them on there. It seems that all of the one ounce jars were plastic or the wrong shape as they were made for makeup. The makeup jars are wider and shorter than the ones I was looking for but I was leaning towards, at least, trying some of them since they were what I could find. But then I stumbled onto some jars that looked similar to mine.

The similar looking ones were three quarters of an ounce (22cc). The picture looked like what I wanted but often the pictures have no scale. But most things sold online have specifications that you can read if you look around. I read that the jar was about two inches tall by an inch across. I went and measured my jars and they were the same. At $16 for twelve jars I decided to give them a try.

It turns out that these jars are airbrush jars. You fill them with paint and then screw the jar onto the airbrush and it becomes the paint reservoir. After you’re done with that color you unscrew it and put the lid back on. I never paid much attention to airbrush jars before so I always missed them.

One thing I notice about the new little glass jars as opposed to the old ones is that the new once have a gasket/seal on the underside of the lid. This is to keep them airtight so the paint stored in them won’t dry out. The old 1980s jars may have, at one time, had such a seal but they are long since gone. The old jars aren’t quite air tight but are close enough that the ink doesn’t dry up in it very quickly. I’ve had untouched ink in a jar for months at a time and it only dries out a bit. Usually I empty the jar of ink if I don’t plan on using that brand of ink for a while.

Now that I bought two new brands of ink along with the three old brands I already have I’m not only glad to have new jars but I’m glad to have new airtight jars. Some of the jars will probably be sitting around unused for a while. With five types on India ink that’s definitely the way it’s going to go. I even transferred some of the old ink in the old jar into a new one.

That’s a lot of writing about a simple little glass jar but often it’s the small things that are important. I love trying new art supplies and I’m always up for something that’s more efficient and better but if I find the best tool for the job I like to keep using it. That’s not always possible but this time it was.