Saturday, May 22, 2010

Streaming Consciousness

It seems as though I haven't written anything of substance on here lately, so I'm not going to do so now.  But I will share a few upcoming events and things that are interesting me...

On monday I turn 24, that'll mark another year of my board building life since my first board was built on my 19th birthday...since then I've shaped nearly 400 boards, 39 of which happened in the last 2 weeks, all hand shaped, all glassed by me.  every board, every time.
And in comes my first interesting thing: I've been teaching a young (17 year old) friend of mine, Conner Lyon to glass for the past few weeks, he's been running between shops with me learning the ins and outs of a solid color lam job, cloth inlays, half and half colors, and countless resin dots.  I'm about ready to set him free on my boards so I can spend my time in the shaping bay as orders from all over the world are stacking up.  

...I guess I put myself in an odd corner when I decided to not let anyone glass my boards for the past 5 years...BUT, I wouldn't have done it ANY other way.  I can safely say that I know every inch of my shapes intimately and have ridden the sh*t out of them and fine tuned them to no end.  and to this date i've never disliked a single board i've made for myself or a friend or a customer, they all have something to offer and teach us about the water's movement and interaction with the planing surface of a board.

Which is my next point.  When is it ever enough?  For anyone, for an artist, where does the desire and the motivation come from?  I've been digging to find it, and in all honesty I don't think there is an end.  Every time I nail a shape exactly how I want it...the question is raised, "but what if I did THIS?!?!"  It seem to be an endless well of "what if's", which must be why my father paints like he does, each painting has a very similar look and feel but each is a tweak or different composition or different emotion to evoke from the handler, just like a surfboard.  It truly is a personal path of just happens to end up in the hands of someone else when he or I is ready to hand it over and share the experience gained.

I didn't grow up in a pure surf community, I used to think that was bad for what I was falling in love with in my first year or two of board building.  Pretty quickly I found that it is a total blessing.  I'm free to explore my own brain and put my thoughts into shape.  I've always done things the hard way, and now I know I learned this on my own and I put my sweat and blood into what I sign my name on every day.

I feel like my work is more of a search through curiosity and exploration of the classic battle between form and function and I've found my muse particularly in hulls and the effects that their features can lend to everyday surfers and making it EASIER to surf, as opposed to what normal perception of hulls being hard to surf...

If you are the right type of person, stepping onto one will be second nature, pure flow and power.  Connection.  With the water, with the deck of the board, through the bottom and the rails, everything is connected and flowing.  Speed through MORE interaction with the water's surface than the idea of pumping to get OFF of the water; that doesn't sound like fun to me 90% of the time.

wow...I sat down to write about my birthday and my travels next week and ended up spewing out that...I guess I'll stop there.

Thank you all for everything you do for me, you keep food in my dog's bowl and foam in my shaping room.  and more than anything, you provide me with the link to my next step into my own curiosity.



A. Swanson said...

You'll always have support from the Swanson family and friends!

paulitspaul said...

thanks alot for the joy and inspiration i got out of your blog over the past few years. and happy birthda

Anonymous said...


gregswanson said...

I second Alex's notion haha. We definitely try to get the PC name out there. Keep up the good work.

PageOne said...

Well written. Passion is a beautiful thing. Keep it up!

Happy Birthday!