Wednesday, July 14, 2010


The redoubtable Unite States Artists, in their ongoing campaign to enable toilers in the realm of the would-be-if-only to bring their dreams to wild, careening reality, have started a Projects site that... well, you have to see it to believe it.


Blogger Travis Evenson said...

That's a waste of money, Jim. I'm sorry. You should be raising money for charity at this point.

10:30 PM  
Blogger thestallion said...

An artist's exploration of medium and process is so important to their development. I could never call such an endeavor a waste. Do those dissenters (on here and FB) think Jim has fully matured as an artist and has nothing new to learn? I surely don't.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Raising money for charity wasn't an option here, Travis. This site is funded and run by an arts organization and art is what they do.

I'm not keeping any of the money; it'll go to craftsmen who will fabricate the pen and to shopkeepers who will sell me the paper and ink and to promoting and paying for public demonstrations.

I'm not sure what you mean by "at this point". If you think I'm rolling in wealth you're wrong. I lead a more or less hand-to-mouth existence. In any event I'm not sure it's your job to concern yourself with my eleemosynary activities.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Travis Evenson said...

I'm sorry I left such a ridiculous drunken comment last night that prompted unnecessary defensive explainations. I truly was quite drunk. The fact of the matter is that I read your post because I always read your posts because I'm a fan and respect your work. Last night's brain's conclusion was immediate and uncalculated. Our right in life to undertake whatever projects we wish is truly sweet. Best of luck, Jim. Sorry for planting a pothole in your serenity!

7:24 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Oh, so it was the booze talking, eh? Heh heh. Sure, I've been there. Boy howdy! No apology necessary; I'm sure others share that opinion. Actually I was grateful for the opportunity to explain that this isn't a cash cow for me. I'm guessing that the pen will end up on display somewhere and that it will be a very moving artifact. You take care now.

7:51 AM  
Blogger Chad Woody said...

I can't wait to see how it works. I'll be impressed if you can overcome the surface tension thing... I wonder if you'll have to switch to something thicker than ink (in honor of a typo I just fixed, I'll call it "oink") like latex paint. At the very least, maybe thickened (evaporated?) ink like some I bought in SF's Chinatown a few years ago, which is so thick I have to water it down. The "baffle" you suggest... well, I have no idea. My science sense is tingling, saying that this will indeed be an engineering challenge, but dip pens do deserve more chaw. (Chaw = eclat)

If by damnable roadblocks you fail, I vote for throwing it like a javelin to impale a blood-filled pinata. No, wait--oink-filled.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Ted Blackman said...

Jim, you're pen project reminded me of a class I took at Art Center College, where the major assignment was to recreate a common item in proportionate, super-scale. I chose a six foot thermometer, which proved to be such a daunting task that I never completed it, even after a semester of trying. I carried the parts around for years and finally just chucked them, which was foolish, but I was young and impatient then. Two sheets of tin sandwiched together to form the pen point with just enough space between them might be the trick to control the ink, plus it wouldn't be noticeable if done right. What a fun idea, and you could create big, manly drawings with it! -Ted

10:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I saw your video on the Projects site, and the prototype you had in your hand,
instead of an ink reservoir, what if the lead contained many holes small in size (small enough that the ink will actually hold by surface tension) and connect all those holes to the main slit via a network of slits...?
just a thought...

11:33 AM  
Blogger Eric Knisley said...

I've got a project up at United States Artists myself (The Woodcut Thrillride, just under Jim's on the list this AM), and I'm excited about the possibilities. It's a great way to pitch ideas to potential funders. Making money on art is hard! Having this option is a big help. I'm chippin' in--how about you? Good luck, Jim!

And is it just my aging memory playing me false, or do I recall seeing huge ink paintings by manga artists? I mean REALLY huge, painted with mops on acres of paper. Does anybody remember that?

6:13 AM  
Blogger Mowog said...

What a fascinating idea!

Jim, had you considered using something like a small foam paintbrush affixed under the nibs and fed with ink from a reservoir? And I don't mean actually using the foam to produce the lines - the nibs would still do that, but the foam would merely keep the nibs supplied with ink, especially when more pressure is applied for a wider line. Just a theory. ;-)

And just like Ted, I also had a college art project that involved scaling up a common everyday object. In my case it was a car radio...

11:27 AM  

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