Pretty much since I can remember I have always enjoyed seeing behind the scenes shots – either of movie special effects (like Jurassic Park), an artist’s studio, or just about anything else you can think of. I love to see what goes on behind the scenes. Every little mundane detail is absolutely captivating.
I remember when DVDs first came out. They all had some sort of blooper real or a behind the scenes how-we-did-it sort of film. I used to watch those first. Director’s commentary is even better. If some of the cast and crew were on it then even better.
I used to read and collect comics. I wanted to be a comic book artist as a kid. That dream quickly died. I’m not good enough for one thing, but I absolutely dread story telling. I have no interest in telling the story of any number of fake characters. I’m only interested in the process that lead up to the product. I want to know what kind of paper, pencils, pens and inks the artists use. I want to know why. I want to know where I can buy those things.
Over the years I’ve asked dozens of people, craftsmen, artists, electricians, plumbers, mechanics, carpenters, sculptors, and many others, about their technique, about their tools, how and why they do things and why they do them that way. Many have been very giving with the knowledge they possess, and all of those who have been generous have been very patient with me. A few have been very secretive and protective of what they know. Why? I honestly don’t know. I asked one craftsman, a guy who retips fountain pen nibs, if he would be willing to share photos of his shop so we could sort of enjoy a behind the scenes view of his place and what he does. I thought it would be awesome to see where the master does his work. Sort of like getting to see Leonardo at work, doodling away in a sketchbook, drawing up plans for fanciful inventions and flying contraptions. Instead of a nice comment and a group of photos, or a nice comment telling me sorry no, that he prefers not to, he came at me with this:
“Can I see what you do for a living, so I can copy it, and make money too :-)?”
Really? That’s the kind of response I get from one of the best nib craftsmen on the planet?
Well of course I replied by showing him a video of me in a classroom teaching a bunch of wild little kids an art lesson. Something about line and silhouettes. It was fun. You can see it in the youtube channel below.
So with that in mind, here are some pics of my shop and links to my youtube channel where you can see a load of videos on making pens and a little nib grinding and adjustment. Anything I can do to help in any way. Just ask if you have any questions. My knowledge isn’t secret, “holy”, or private and I will share freely.
Pics from the shop tonight.