I know this is a subject we keep beating the drum on over and over again. But a comment a while back in one of the stories last week sparked a different take on the subject. The comment from our pals at Brightworks.“We work on many boats along side mechanics and others performing functional services. They claim their work to be more important than ours (varnishing), because they allow owners to use their boats. I always say that our work makes them WANT to.”
So you may want to get a cup of coffee for this rant. It goes back to the way mankind deals with change. It’s connected to the digital revolution we are in the middle of, the industrial age and the way culture evolves. You can even reference wall paper, yes wall paper as a example of why your classic boat is pure art. I warned you, this is going to be an odd rant. So, you ask Mr Woody Boater, what in the hell does wall paper have to do with my Classic Boat.
Meet William Morris. William Morris was an artist and textile designer in Victorian England. Now, I am no art history specialist… I got a C in two years of painful art history. But small details have stuck with me, and I will no doubt butcher William Morris. And to be honest, it doesn’t matter, because the point is obvious once you see it. Anywhoo, William Morris helped start the Arts and Crafts Movement in England. It also happened in the USA with Elbert Hubbard. Once again, I will butcher all this, so google them if you want to go full geek on them. As I said the point stays the same. Here is that point.
When the Industrial revolution happened, one could replicate very intricate wall paper, iron works etc in a mass production way. Intricate wall paper was easy and thus, the people that made early wall paper, the craftsman became obsolete. They were replaceable. Fine printers, silk screen artists, craftsman that built beautiful wood furniture and so on by hand, now were replaced by machines. Are you still with me. Get a second cup of coffee. We will wait.
You back? Why? Just kidding. So what happened to these people? Well, like William Morris, he said no. And made his wall paper the way it was. It’s a subtle yet profound difference. And what happened to that wall paper? It became art. Art on a wall. William Morris wall paper is art on the wall AND the people that make it became overnight artists. No longer silk screeners etc. Because they chose to do things by hand and with a human point of view. And the people buying that make the choice to buy and appreciate the art of that. This is something that occurs deep in the brain and part of what makes all of us magical and… yes, human. It’s why that dumb ass replication of the statue of liberty in Vegas is just crap, while the one in NYC is true. They look the same, but one is emotion, and one a prop.
So, if I have lost you, here is how it connects to your boat and back to the mechanics comment. Today’s modern boats, stamped out in plastic forms are no different that the reams of crap wall paper produced in the millions of yards. They are disposable. Just like used wall paper and cheap Walmart furniture. It may look like its old, but was made without a soul.
And yes, even the mechanic that is keeping your hand built engine going is an artist. That’s right. Sorry Mr Mechanic, the fact that you are will and love to keep an old engine going, when knowing that a more efficient modern engine would work better is a choice made as an artist…And to those thinking that this is about being old or new, it’s not. This comment was made on a story about Glisenti Boats and there unique design.
That’s art and William Morris would be proud. It’s original and hand made with a soul of an artist. So, your Woody Boat is art, no longer a boat, no longer a vessel to transport people, unless of course it is transporting you to a better place. A place were art is appreciated and respected. You may now go to bathroom and get rid of all that coffee you had to drink to stay awake during my butchered art history rant! And yes, a good butcher is an artist!